Caucasus Region The potential political struggle for dominance and insurgent activity in the Caucasus Region jeopardizes the infrastructure and economic resources of the countries within the region and the global economy. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline is the major economic structure between the balances of power for the World.
With Russia’s and Iran’s inability to corner the energy market, these key players are fueling dissention and unrest together with each countries internal disputes the region requires careful analysis and courses of action to promote regional stability; counter terrorism and advance the United States (US) interest within the area. Current Status quo and operational strategies and policies would be the applicable course of action for this region to meet the desired end state. Mission
The mission of US forces in the Caucasus Region is to provide stability and security while protecting the economic interest of coalition partners, and civilians within the region. The ability to provide security rest with protecting US forces from direct attack; maintaining strategic access to key locations; strengthening alliances and partnerships and establishing favorable security conditions Issues Currently in the region, the inception of the newly formed Republic of Ahurastan threatens the transportation network and access routes of US and coalition partners.
The most likely avenue of destruction is at common ports and in southern Azerbaijan. The country does not possess the military forces to engage in an open conflict but have at their disposal means to disrupt the range of operations, and communications through bribery, propaganda and decentralized operations. The South Azeri People’s Army (SAPA) formerly of Iran together with Ahurastan continues to engage in small scrimmages and illegal activity to gain territorial property.
Their efforts involve sabotage and artillery attacks with the intent to create a region without western influence while exercising total control over the region. Should Ahurastan gain control of the eastern Azeri oilfields and the capital of Baku then the BTC Pipeline would also be in there control. Termination Criteria In order to meet the standards approved by the President or Secretary of Defense, US forces must; ensure energy resources from the region are available for friendly states without corruption.
Secondly transportation and key infrastructure must be maintained and/or expanded without external assistance. Lastly the threat from Ahurastan and SAPA must be isolated or defeated. Recommended Course of Action Maintaining a status quo with priorities on diplomacy will ensure the lines of communication remain open with the region. This action would also serve to promote peace negotiations with Abkhazia, Southern Ossetia and Nagorno-Karbakh. The status quo will continue to provide intelligence support to counter mind Ahurastan propaganda.
A large increase in heavy military would only confirm that US Forces are attempting to gain control. In addition to diplomacy, current military trainers through a partnership effort can maintain the transportation and other key economic infrastructures. Turkey, a NATO member with a stable environment rotates F-16 fighter planes through the region on a regular basis. This show of support and force is sufficient as Ahurastan does not have the military capability to engage. A unity of effort among key players can effectively manage stability and security.
Iran and Russia will not engage because of their own limited relationship and Russia will not oppose any United Nations sanctioned act. The underlying issues within this region are moral and social and a large show of force without diplomacy would hinder the process. The US needs just enough force to maintain security while training regional leaders to protect themselves. The status quo course of action effectively maintains diplomacy while supporting economic and democratic reforms.