U.S. and Nagorno-Karabakh
"Another dispute tangled by history and geography concerns Armenia, Azerbaijan and the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. The good news here is that the cease-fire has now held for more than two years. The bad news is that progress under the OSCE's Minsk process has been agonizingly slow. We have very substantial economic, political and humanitarian interests in this region, and are prepared to play a more visible role in Helping to arrange a settlement. One step that Congress could take to increase our influence would be to lift restrictions on nonmilitary assistance to Azerbaijan."
Madeleine Albright, newly appointed Secretary of State, commenting on Nagorno-Karabakh before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 8, 1997.
it is true that 2 to 3 million barrels, perhaps more, could flow
daily from the Caspian region in the near future, then the development
of the region compels the highest levels of attention of this
city [Washington, D.C.] on a sustained basis. the most important
war we have fought since Korea from a geo-strategic perspective
was the defense of Kuwait in 1991.
U.S. Policy Toward
Iran is Contradictory
Paul B. Heinze and S. Enders
Wimbush in "A New Policy for a New Middle East," published
in the Wall Street Journal on January 31, 1997. Heinze formerly
served in the National Security Council, and Wimbush, former
Director of Radio Liberty, now works for Science Applications
International Corporation (SAIC).
do not want to. . .suggest that Baku is the hub of the universe
or that Azerbaijan is central to the defense and well-being of
the United States. Yet, I reject the proposition that Azerbaijan
is marginal to American interests and that domestic political
considerations in this country dictate an arm's-length relationship.
We should recognize that Azerbaijan's emergence as a regional
economic power will have a major positive impact on both Armenia
and Georgia, a fact not lost on the leaders of both countries."
Weakening of Russian Dominance?
efforts that Azerbaijan and Georgia are making to cooperate will
contribute to their own independence even as it lessens Russian
dominance in the region. Every time two or more countries within
the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] decide to cooperate
with each other more than with other CIS states, the importance
of that institution declines not only for them but for all other
states as well. And as a result, the cooperation accord that
Shevardnadze and Aliyev signed in Baku this week may prove more
strategic in its implications than either intends--even if not
one drop of Azerbaijani oil, in fact, flows across Georgia anytime