This is the only book since the fall of the Soviet Union to analyze the security of the newly emerged independent states in the strategically vital region of Central Asia and the Caucasus.From one perspective, Central Asia and the Caucasus are a powder keg. The struggling, unstable nations that once made up the Soviet Union are either already embroiled in conflict or sliding rapidly toward it. The region is oil-rich, dotted with U.S. military bases, and the countries are potentially important trading partners and allies for the United States. How will the future turn out?This insightful work maps out the possibilities and dangers that lie ahead for the nations of Central Asia and the Caucasus. The book analyzes the current security situation and clarifies its historical context, identifying the factors that have shaped the security of these young nations since their independence. It also examines the parameters - political, economic, ethnic, energy, and military - that will decide the security of the region in the future.The book's author, a senior independent consultant to the United Nations, tells the whole story behind the headlines when he discusses, for example, the real reason for the "wine war" of 2006, when Russia banned imports of Georgian wine for "health reasons," or when explaining the impact of the expanding American presence - both political and military - after September 11.
"Conflict and Security in Central Asia and the Caucasus" is a primer for those who want to know more about this strategic region and essential reading for all students of world affairs.It contains nearly 20 essays on vital topics such as the Islamic movement in Uzbekistan and NATO's Partnership for Peace program. It provides separate chronologies for Central Asia and the Caucasus. It features current maps of this turbulent, fast-changing region. It includes a four-part, comprehensive bibliography organized by region.It discusses the complicated issues that affect all the nations in the region, such as oil and superpower relations. It provides in-depth examinations of each nation, its historical conflicts with other groups or nations, and its relationship with both internal and transnational groups and peoples. It includes profiles of clout-wielding organizations in the region and their involvement in regional conflicts. It provides historical portraits of the peoples of the region, focusing on their history of conflict with each other and with national governments.