Nagorno-Karabakh?

Does that sound like Greek?

It is not some secret code….it is a region in the South Caucasus…a region in dispute….and yes I know where it is….

Location and extent of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (lighter color).

How much vodka did the cartographer drink before designing this region?

That’s not much help….

Could you zero down a bit?

Geopolitical Future of the South Caucasus – OTH

 

I cannot  think of a better way to keep a conflict in motion than breaking up a population and spreading it out.

I wrote about he newest conflict brewing back in 2016….https://lobotero.com/2016/05/16/regional-conflict-brewing-in-azerbaijan-armenia/

And today the region is teetering on the brink once again….https://lobotero.com/2020/09/29/conflict-in-the-caucasus/

Azerbaijani and Armenian authorities called on their local populations to prepare for war after major clashes along the front line in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone left dozens of military personnel killed on both sides in late September. The fighting, which constitutes the severest military escalation since the 1994 ceasefire, could worsen in coming weeks.

Journalists and geo-strategists call it a “frozen conflict” – one of several such deadlocked disputes under tenuous ceasefire in the post-Soviet states. Only now, the long-standing battle between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) is anything but. For the third time since the Russian-brokered 22-year armed-truce – ending a bloody 1988-94 war that claimed some 30,000 lives – broke down in 2016, the antagonists are at it again. Yet this outbreak feels different, far bigger, with an ambitious Azerbaijan seemingly intent on cracking the whole stalemate wide open. Indeed, Baku’s bellicose rhetoric has drifted towards that ever-disturbing language of “final settlements,” “Karabakh is ours,” and of a “life-and-death war” – befitting the “blitzkrieg” intensity of the Azeri strike.

Those of us in the nerdy-niche tribe of NK-watchers would argue this latest bloodshed shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Still, almost everyone was. Thus far, through five full days of intense fighting, scores of soldiers and civilians have been killed and neither side wants to back down. Worse yet, one generic – and perceptibly inexpert – mainstream press report after another has emphasized that the recent violence could “draw in” outside powers like Russia and Turkey. Some have postulated a “worst case scenario” of “all-out war” between the two.

No Dog in the Fight: Nagorno-Karabakh’s Conflict Isn’t About Us (or Russia)

This is a new conflict with Turkey and Israel feeding weapons to one side and the Russians the other…..this could well turn really ugly for the region with the most war like countries feeding the flames of war.

There is so much developing in the region and we are not paying attention….why?

Our State Department is just a Trumpian tool for his version of the game of Risk.

The situation needs to be de-escalated and soon….

After a bitter three-decades-long standoff marked by sporadic violence and deadlocked negotiations, Azerbaijan and Armenia have returned to war over the breakaway territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Clashes on the front lines followed by an Azerbaijani dawn offensive on September 27 have spilled into days of fighting that have left dozens of soldiers and civilians dead on both sides. Despite international calls for restraint, the mood among both Armenians and Azerbaijanis is bellicose. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has made his own hawkish statements in support of Baku. Absent urgent international action, fighting looks set to escalate further, at terrible cost.

Russia, potentially with European support, probably stands the best chance of brokering a ceasefire. Moscow is formally an ally of Armenia but has ties to both sides. Together with France and the U.S., Russia chairs the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group that has spearheaded peace efforts in Nagorno-Karabakh for decades. Moscow helped end the last major bout of violence over Nagorno-Karabakh in April 2016. Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to mediate again, though striking a similar deal will be harder this time around, given that both countries, but especially Baku, have lost all faith in OSCE Minsk Group-led talks, which have largely petered out. While fighting continues, the Minsk Group co-chairs and other European leaders should press both sides to respect international humanitarian law and avoid civilian suffering.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/europe-central-asia/caucasus/nagorno-karabakh-conflict/containing-violence-south-caucasus

The US is not blameless in this conflict……

Home/Articles/World/How America Helped Create the Conflict in the South Caucasus

How America Helped Create the Conflict in the South Caucasus

Hostilities have resumed between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the United States is more to blame than you think.

Armenian people demonstrate in front of the European Council in Brussels, Belgium on 01 October 2020. (Photo by Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

On September 27, almost certainly as a result of an offensive by the Azerbaijani army, hostilities resumed between two old foes in South Caucasus, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Both sides are at loggerheads over a mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh—internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but under de facto Armenian control since the early 1990s, as are a number of adjacent Azerbaijani territories. In the dying days of the Soviet Union, both sides engaged in a bloody war. The conflict was suspended after a precarious, Moscow-mediated ceasefire in 1994, but it’s festered ever since. It was only a matter of time as to when it would erupt again.

The conflict has local drivers, and the primary responsibility for its endurance, without any doubt, lies with local political elites. However, the United States, in the heyday of its post-Cold War unipolar moment, when it felt empowered to engage just about every conflict around the world, made a number of choices that rendered the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict more difficult.

When the South Caucasus nations emerged as independent states following the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, Washington’s policy priorities included their swift integration into the U.S.-led liberal world order, bringing their energy riches to global markets, promoting Turkey as a regional model of a secular and pro-Western state, and excluding post-Soviet Russia, and especially Iran, from the regional integration projects. These choices ignored the historical and cultural realities of the region and failed to take into account their possible impact on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Exhibit A of such ignorance was the decision to marginalize Iran, despite its longstanding ties with both Armenians and Azerbaijanis. This reflected a feature of U.S. foreign policy: single-minded fixation on excluding and isolating Iran in all possible scenarios. While there is a case for containing Iran in the Levant, where it threatens Israel, South Caucasus represents a completely different strategic landscape.

How America Helped Create the Conflict in the South Caucasus

While the US spends most its resources and time doing the bidding of Israel with Iran…..it should be watching what China is doing in the South Caucasus……

In the age of attention deficit disorder politics, this week’s flare-up of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan has ensured that great powers have turned their attention to the South Caucasus. Once hostilities subside, however, this attention will inevitably turn to newer, shinier objects. Not all great power leaders will do so, however. As the emerging great power rivalry keeps the U.S. preoccupied with competing with China in Southeast Asia, the Middle Kingdom has been making inroads into the South Caucasus, which can impact U.S. energy security and other important interests. I expect this process to continue.

Over the past few years, China’s economic presence has grown in all three South Caucasus states (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia), paving the way for an increase in Beijing’s geopolitical influence in the region. U.S. policymakers should watch Beijing’s moves in the South Caucasus to ensure they do not undermine the fragile political, security and economic stability in this strategically sensitive region, which is also contested by Russia, Turkey and Iran.

https://russiamatters.org/analysis/us-should-keep-eye-rising-chinese-investment-south-caucasus

Instead the State Department will want to sanction somebody….that seems to be the answer to all international conflicts…..sanctions.

Diplomacy should be the starting point….not the end point.

Over the weekend word has come out that Armenia is ready for a “ceasefire”…..

Armenia said on Friday that it is ready to work towards a ceasefire in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, where the country has been battling with Azerbaijan since Sunday.

Armenia’s foreign ministry said it “stands ready” to work with the US, France, and Russia “to re-establish a ceasefire regime.” The US, France, and Russia co-chair the Minsk Group, which was set up in 1992 by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to promote negotiations and peace talks over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Turkey has been accused of intervening in the conflict on behalf of Azerbaijan. On Friday, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said he has evidence of Turkish support. “We have proof,” Pashinyan said. “They are using drones and Turkish F-16 to bomb civilian areas in Nagorno Karabakh.”

Pashinyan also accused Turkey of “once again advancing on a genocidal path,” referencing the Armenian genocide carried out by the Ottoman’s in the early 20th century.

(antiwar.com)

This could very well be one of those linch pin situations that I talk about in the lectures of the past.

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