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USA in Caucasus: mission impossible2011-02-22 13:24
"U.S. Strategy in Southern Caucasus and the Caspian" conference was held in Washington recently. As it turns out, America is lost in the jungle of its own policies inside this precarious region. Now the States are forced to look for new ways to maintain their influence. However, Georgian minister of foreign affairs Grigol Vashadze was left dissatisfied with plans of US colleagues. He remarked that as long as the White House is concerned over internal issues, Caucasus risks facing a new armed confrontation.
Mr. Vashadze complained that small Georgia has to bear the burden of "a stronghold of democracy" in South Caucasus on its own. The Georgian government was equipped with binoculars so that all ministers could monitor the situation in North Caucasus under Russia's protectorate. What they see is a real war going on on the other side of Roksky tunnel with Moscow increasing its military contingent thus aggravating already existing tensions. Still, official Tbilisi is not in a hurry to intervene: memories of the 2008 events are much too fresh.
The head of Georgia's foreign office thanked the Russian side for a motivation to seek friends overseas. Russia's refusal to be on good terms with Georgia was a reason to take pains in search of friends in Africa, Asia and primarily the USA. America is probably the only country that has been supporting Georgia's democratic ambition solving financial problems and pulling strings to control Mikheil Saakashvili - until recently.
Now the situation is different. US politologists admit: Washington is dallying off resolution of problems in South Caucasus let alone policies in North Caucasus. And it's clear why. Raising the flag of democracy in the country of "a wild bear" looks like an impossible mission, unlike poverty-stricken Georgia, content to receive green bills from time to time and regularly give tongue in the international arena defending interests of its master. Seizing the occasion, Vashadze reminded the States of US-Georgian relations.
"Like it or not but Russia is part of entire Caucasus. Naturally, it has its national interests there. We would like to see respect for our own national interests, for our sovereignty, independence and the right of all South Caucasian states to choose their future without external intervention on the part of Russia," - was Vashadze's enthusiastic speech for Americans. Obviously, Georgia considers US presence in Caucasus as the highest good, not an intervention, ready to turn a blind eye on the fact that the States have not decided about Georgia's sovereign borders yet.
Strange enough, Georgian officials refuse to believe that Washington might have serious problems at home. But nothing changes: presently the States are greatly concerned over the situation in Afghanistan. US authorities are failing to extricate themselves out of the losing operation, and sorting out relations with anyone is the last thing on their mind. Out of public view it is rumored that Abkhazia and South Ossetia will never return to Georgia's fold in terms of territorial integrity. Now everyone hopes that Geneva talks will help to break Saakashvili's obstinacy in the face of an inevitable defeat, now a matter of time.
Naturally, the White House won't leave South and North Caucasus to the mercy of fate. When the anti-terrorist campaign in Afghanistan is over, Barack Obama's administration (provided it stays on for the second term) will enhance their activities in the region because of confrontation with Turkey the States have been given hostage to.