Global Security Watch--the Caucasus States

Global Security Watch--the Caucasus States

Global Security Watch--the Caucasus States

Global Security Watch--the Caucasus States

Synopsis

Written from a multidisciplinary perspective, "Global Security Watch--The Caucasus States" is the first serious study to investigate the 21st-century security concerns raised by the Caucasus states of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia--states that interact with the Great Powers in a region that has become even more significant as a new energy corridor for the West.

Following a review of the geographic and historical characteristics of the South Caucasus region, the book examines the political and security conditions of each Caucasus state, providing a highly detailed analysis of the political roots of security challenges, the key players, and the farthest-reaching effects of events and leaders. A final chapter summarizes the main security concerns of all three states for the future. Beyond the policy significance of this work, readers will find it useful for examining the relevance of the Clash of Civilization theory to a geographic region that led previous generations to formulate theories such as the "Great Game" and the "New Great Game."

Excerpt

In August 2008, the Russian invasion of Georgia shocked the world and captured the headlines for days. Watching the CNN videos, people witnessed the tragedy of war in yet another region. Soon, “the Caucasus,” “the Caucasus States,” and “Georgia” became household terms. People were caught by surprise, since their attention was originally focused on the Beijing Olympic Games and the swimming phenomenon Michael Phelps. Some criticized President George Bush for not leaving the games immediately to focus on the unfolding crisis, as Prime Minster Vladimir Putin did soon after the invasion began.

The crisis was certainly significant for the region and the globe. Nearly 20 years after establishment, it was the first time that the new Russia had invaded a sovereign state. For those who remembered the earlier days, it was a reminder of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Still, there were others who even recalled the Soviet invasions of Hungry in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.

What does the Georgian invasion imply about the new Russia? Is there a difference between the new Russian and the old Soviet policies? Why must Georgia suffer while protecting its territorial integrity? What does the invasion mean for other Caucasus States and former Soviet republics? How would it affect the growth of democracy and Western-style development among the Newly Independent States (NIS)? How would this invasion impact the new trans-Caucasus pipelines that bring fossil fuel to Turkey and Western Europe? Was the invasion the sign of a new Cold War?

The last question is especially important for scholars, policymakers, and even ordinary people. At the end of the Bush administration, the neoconservatives were particularly concerned about the implication of such blunt Russian actions and the inability of the United States to make a difference despite supplying . . .

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