FP Virtual Dialogue: Great-Power Plays in the South Caucasus
How U.S. policy can promote stability among shifting borders and simmering tensions
For a Biden administration eager to reassert U.S. global leadership and repair its fractured diplomatic ties around the world, the South Caucasus is proving to be a critical—and complicated—battleground. U.S. economic interests in the region were declining even before its withdrawal from Afghanistan, and a sudden departure of both troops and diplomats produced political, humanitarian, and economic ripple effects across a region where stability has long been in short order. As increased investments from strategic competitors like China and Russia grow not only their economic but also political capital in the region, the U.S. risks losing influence in a vital lynchpin for Eurasian security and investment. China’s Free Trade Agreement with Georgia, coupled with Russian boots on the ground in Nagorno-Karabakh as well as in the Russian-backed breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, are clear evidence of both superpowers’ military and economic interests in the region.
Against a backdrop of growing great power competition, shifting borders, simmering ethnic tensions, and ongoing economic challenges in the South Caucasus, how can U.S. policy towards the region best reinforce ties and shore up stability? FP and AGECF hosted an important conversation about the latest developments in the South Caucasus, the security risks of losing ground, and how U.S. policies can best support effective strategic and economic engagement with the region.
Join the conversation online using #CaucasusPowerPlay