COA: Caucasus Region The Caucasus is a little-understood region that has been embroiled in almost constant warfare for three centuries, ever since Russia began asserting its imperial ambitions in Central Asia at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Now, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, the Caucasus is defined by a number of priority issues that must be resolved to meet what American interests would accept as a desired end state: 1. The vast influence of Russia in the region. 2. The growing influence of Iran in the region. 3. The internecine conflicts (particularly those in which radical Islam is implicated) latent in this area, which can threaten the stability of entire countries and lead to genocide. As far as the first...The end:
..... Turkic peoples and the long-term benefit of scaring Russia away from its ambition of re-annexation of the Caucasus. The Caucasus sits at the nexus of oil and gas reserves, the Baku to Ceyhan pipeline, and water deposits. Its strategic value is just below that of the Persian Gulf and, just as the U.S. has not been blasé about asserting itself in the Gulf, it cannot be blasé about the Caucasus. Like it or not, the Great Game once played between Russia and England in this region has not come to an end, and will not until a more stable pattern of alliances and resource management is mapped on to what is now a Wild West environment of warring tribes and one imperial power. Hence, NATO and its nuclear umbrella must come into play here, and soon.