Politics War in the Caucasus: What happens without US leadership — but a chance to get it right

02:45  21 october  2020
02:45  21 october  2020 Source:   thehill.com

Conflicting parties violate ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh

 Conflicting parties violate ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh Shelling, sirens, deaths: Just a few hours after the announcement of a ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, multiple violations of the agreement were reported from the Caucasus region. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of fighting on Sunday night. According to the Baku government, nine people were killed in a bomb attack on the Azerbaijani city of Ganja. Pope Francis regretted that the ceasefire was "too fragile".

Without direct US support, the existence of an independent Jewish state would be impossible in the Additionally, Moscow would get grounds for shifting its diplomatic rhetoric over the Nagorno A new US military base in Armenia would not change the balance of power in the South Caucasus and the

Forgot your password? Get help. Create an account. The instability in South Caucasus , close to the borders of Russia and Iran, also contributes to the geopolitical interests of the United States . If the regional war between Azerbaijan and Armenia develops further in the current direction, Armenia

After the Cold War, this author and other experts argued that security in the Caucasus was indivisible from European security. Subsequent events have validated this contention: Russia's invasion of Georgia in 2008 was a prelude to its 2014 invasion of Ukraine.

Mike Pompeo wearing a suit and tie: War in the Caucasus: What happens without US leadership — but a chance to get it right © Getty Images War in the Caucasus: What happens without US leadership — but a chance to get it right

Similarly, today's war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh already reverberates beyond the Caucasus. Indeed, it shows exactly what happens when Washington abdicates its diplomatic authority and capability, as it has done in the Caucasus. In fact, our unwillingness to use our standing in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe-chartered Minsk Group to bring about a genuine mediation has helped precipitate this war.

Crises in the former USSR: the limits of Russian influence

 Crises in the former USSR: the limits of Russian influence © Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP Vladimir Poutine and his Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu on September 25, 2020. Belarus, Nagorno-Karabakh and Kyrgyzstan: the last few weeks have seen an increase in crises in the post-Soviet space. These repeated crises cause concern in Moscow, but also a recognition of helplessness, because the Kremlin has failed to play the role of arbiter that has been due to it since the end of the Soviet era.

The Armenian-Azerbaijani war, which started on September 27, continues in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region despite international diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the conflict. Oil is a big one in this but the Caucasus has some interesting farming products as well as mining can improve.

The United States is more occupied with the impact of an excessive, elephantine and paternalistic government and a radically self-absorbed, nearly The logic and dynamics of Turkey’s current foreign policy continue to place Erdogan in the middle of a minefield, where any step could prove fatal for his

Trump administration policy urging everyone to stop fighting, and Secretary of State Pompeo's unfortunate statement that, "We're hopeful that the Armenians will be able to defend against what the Azerbaijanis are doing," while criticizing Turkey's assistance to Azerbaijan, has evidently only antagonized both sides. Given Western abandonment of the Caucasus, Russia happily sold arms to both sides to preserve the status quo, while Armenia's new democratic government refused to negotiate and even hardened its position, saying that Nagorno-Karabakh was Armenia, period. Whether it did so because of domestic opposition to talks or for other reasons, this unwise decision gradually fueled Azerbaijan's determination to go to war.

How the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been shaped by past empires

  How the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been shaped by past empires A fateful decision by Stalin, and divisions drawn by the Soviet Union, still reverberate in a historic conflict that has recently re-erupted on the battlefields of the Caucasus.Residents of Stepanakert, the capital of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, enter a building damaged by a missile attack on October 3, 2020. While the majority population of the territory is ethnic Armenian, it is considered part of Azerbaijan by most of the international community.

The US , France and Russia jointly condemned the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, in the southern Caucasus . But Turkey - an ally of Azerbaijan - also dismissed demands for a ceasefire. Nagorno-Karabakh is officially part of Azerbaijan but governed by separatist ethnic Armenians.

“ We have a situation where we have trench warfare going on in Europe more than 100 years after the first world war,” he said. The major one is that regional powers including Russia, Turkey and Iran are invested in the South Caucasus to varying degrees.

This conflict is not a civilizational war of Muslims against Christians, as some analysts contend, or a prelude to another Armenian genocide, as Armenia and its supporters proclaim. Rather, it is an old-fashioned ethnic war over land that most of the world recognizes as Azerbaijani territory. Not surprisingly, as America and Europe walked away from the issue, Azerbaijan sought new allies. That search offered President Erdogan of Turkey a market for Turkey's defense industry and a cheap way to cement his domestic standing while Turkey's economy heads ever further into crisis.

Erdogan's "neo-Ottomanism" and proclamation of Turkey as a great regional power in the Middle East, Mediterranean and, now, the Caucasus grow directly out of the retreat of U.S. power in those areas, a retreat as unwise as it is unnecessary. U.S. power was badly used in Iraq and Syria - but when that power is intelligently applied, it produces dividends for Washington and its partners, such as the recent "Abraham accords" between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Had the U.S. recognized the importance of the Caucasus, it could have applied that power to help the parties there mediate a settlement, either alone or with Europe and Russia. Instead, we walked away, unhinged regional power balances and led Azerbaijan to seek Turkish support.

Op-Ed: Why Armenians everywhere stand with those in Nagorno-Karabakh

  Op-Ed: Why Armenians everywhere stand with those in Nagorno-Karabakh Our grandfathers were part of the Armenian diaspora that came to America in the wake of a genocide. They taught us that we must defend our heritage.They raised the grapes they had raised in the old country, brewed their raisin moonshine in the same copper stills, sang as they mourned, and taught us that their embrace of America did not mean they had severed their souls from the homeland.

Casualties mount in the southern Caucasus as France, Russia and the US call for a halt to fighting. Casualties have mounted in the southern Caucasus with both sides accusing each other of launching deadly attacks. The conflict around the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh erupted on Sunday.

This forum is for a look into footage and photos from historical and ongoing wars and for discussion of the topics that surround it . Please share your insight and educated opinion in the comment section.

Video: Turkish Cypriots vote for new leader amid east Mediterranean tensions (AFP)

Turkey's support for Azerbaijan, its sale of drones, alleged provision of Syrian militants to fight and, now, its demands for a role in any peace - i.e., a sphere of influence in the Caucasus - will either exacerbate Turco-Russian tensions or lead to a deal that further estranges Turkey from its NATO allies. It will aggravate tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and within the NATO alliance, particularly around the Black Sea, as Turkey also has just agreed to provide Ukraine with advanced military equipment and training.

Thus, this war and the risks to peace connected to it also show that many critics of U.S. policy have gotten things wrong. Admittedly, we need better, more coherent policies - and we certainly should invest more in diplomacy and economics than in further militarizing our foreign policy. But the demand for more intelligent policies does not justify a retreat from key strategic areas or, as some now argue, for ending U.S. military superiority.

New attempt for ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh

 New attempt for ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh In the conflict over the South Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed on a new "humanitarian ceasefire". This should apply from midnight. It remains to be seen whether the agreement will hold. © Aris Messinis / AFP / Getty Images Provided by Deutsche Welle Doubts are in any case appropriate. After all, a ceasefire has actually been in place since last week, but the fighting continued.

We know what injustice is happening , we work together. We ’re doing different auction activities and working together on many fronts. The Armenian nation is united , whether you voted for Republican, Democrat or neither.

" We are very concerned," he said in a televised interview. " We hope that this conflict will end in the very near future. People are dying [and] there are heavy Russia is part of a military alliance with Armenia and has a military base in the country. However, it also has close ties to the government of Azerbaijan.

The war in Nagorno-Karabakh need not have occurred. Many experts warned that this stalemate and Western abdication were provocative, and they have been proven right. Moscow is now angling to send in "observers" and "peacemakers" - i.e., Russian troops, a long-standing fear of both belligerents - while Turkey demands a role in any peace accord. But the West - to whom Azerbaijan and Armenia would prefer to look, if anyone offered them reasons for doing so - will be frozen out. Turkey's blockade of Armenia probably will not be lifted, and a genuine peace rather than another armistice or truce is equally unlikely. The West has already excluded itself from this escalating war by its own incomprehension of the stakes.

However it ends, tensions in the Caucasus, Black Sea, Middle East and Mediterranean probably will increase, showing the connection between the Caucasus and European security. This is not an occasion for walking away but for seizing the opportunity to help mediate a lasting peace and advance not only the genuine interests of Baku and Yerevan but of Washington and European capitals, too. Unfortunately, the prevailing Western incomprehension of the Caucasus and its ongoing retreat, based on a fundamental misreading of this conflict, continue.

The real issue here is the Azeri-Armenian rivalry that both Moscow and Ankara are now exploiting for their own benefits. We must grasp this fact, and quickly, or the next crisis will exact even more costs from the U.S. and Europe, as well as the people on the ground who will pay the costs of this and the next war.

Stephen Blank, Ph.D., is a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He is a former professor of Russian National Security Studies and National Security Affairs at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College. He is also a former MacArthur fellow at the U.S. Army War College. Blank is an independent consultant focused on the geopolitics and geostrategy of the former Soviet Union, Russia and Eurasia.

Jerry Jones snaps at radio host over ‘leadership void’ question .
Jones cooled down later in the interview and apologized. He admitted he is extremely frustrated and disappointed with the current state of the Cowboys. after things got a little testy with @1053SS & @rjchoppy, Jerry Jones signed off with this. pic.twitter.com/NNrMoUmFtf — David Helman (@HelmanDC) October 27, 2020 Jones also threw support behind Mike McCarthy, saying the Cowboys wanted a coach who could had credibility when the “you-know-what hit the fan.” He feels McCarthy is doing an excellent job of handling adversity.The Cowboys are still very much in the hunt in the NFC East even at 2-5.

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This is interesting!