US analysts urge Obama Administration to pay more attention to Caucasus in 2012

US analysts urge Obama Administration to pay more attention to Caucasus in 2012
# 11 January 2012 09:12 (UTC +04:00)
“The White House must not neglect the opportunity to develop closer ties with Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia in the year of 2012”, Janusz Bugajski, Director of New European Democracies Project at the CSIS said.

He believes, the US also need to promote the independence of Belarus and Ukraine, and to be better prepared for political turbulence in both those countries

According to the analyst, Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin could presage new conflicts with Russia’s neighbors if he seeks to mobilize nationalist and imperialist sentiments to undermine public protests and justify his authoritarian methods.

He says, in Central-Eastern Europe, Washington must remain steadfast in pursuit of the missile shield program and closer U.S. military ties with each NATO member, regardless of threats from Moscow.

Another analyst Heather Conley, Director of Europe Program, mentions that 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the end of the Soviet Union. For the past two decades, Russia attempted to stabilize and reunify internally based on the construct of the Soviet Union, with the use of traditional tools of coercion, trade, and military cooperation. In the meanwhile, he adds, Russia becomes less unified and less influential with each passing year.

However, the analyst is concerned that although Europe adopted a common currency and common defense and security, these efforts, like Russia’s, have largely failed.

“Looking to the past for strategic guidance, Europe and Eurasia are ill-prepared for the future.
If the United States abandons its role as a European power and does not reassert its leadership, we will be watching an unfolding set of crises and new relationships across Europe and Eurasia that the US will be unable to affect”, he says.