Sunday, February 01, 2009

Indian analysis: "USA might have benefited a great deal from its [lost] war in Afghanistan"

What hits Russian interests most is that if the Caucasian route materialises, the US would have consolidated its military presence in South Caucasus on a long-term basis. Ever since the conflict in the Caucasus in August, the US has maintained a continuous naval presence in the Black Sea, with regular port calls in Georgia. The indications are that the US is planning a carefully calibrated ground presence in Georgia as well. Talks are in the final stages for a US-Georgia Security and Military Agreement. US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matt Bryza visited Tbilisi for consultations in this regard.

Another dramatic fallout is that the proposed land route covering Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan can also be easily converted into an energy corridor and become a Caspian oil and gas corridor bypassing Russia. Such a corridor has been a long-cherished dream for Washington. Furthermore, European countries will feel the imperative to agree to the US demand that the transit countries for the energy corridor are granted NATO protection in one form or the other. That, in turn, leads to NATO's expansion into the Caucasus and Central Asia.

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