Monthly Archives: February 2010

Renewed War Over Nagorno-Karabakh?

I just read the following report on RFE/RL about the escalation of chances for war breaking out again between Azerbaijan and Armenia/Nagorno-Karabagh over control of the self-declared republic. Here’s a segment of the article:

Renewed War Over Nagorno-Karabagh?The likelihood of another Armenian-Azerbaijani war for Nagorno-Karabakh has increased as a result of the U.S.-backed rapprochement between Armenia and Turkey, according to America’s top intelligence official.

“Although there has been progress in the past year toward Turkey-Armenia rapprochement, this has affected the delicate relationship between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and increases the risk of a renewed conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh,” Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair warned late Tuesday in written testimony to a U.S. Senate committee.

Blair also warned of broader security and stability threats persisting in the South Caucasus. “The unresolved conflicts of the Caucasus provide the most likely flashpoints in the Eurasia region,” he said. “Moscow’s expanded military presence in and political-economic ties to Georgia’s separatist regions of South Ossetia and sporadic low-level violence increase the risk of miscalculation or overreaction leading to renewed fighting.”

The United States has strongly supported and at times mediated in the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement that began nearly two years ago and led to the signing last October of two “protocols” envisaging the normalization of relations between the two historical foes.

I don’t know if this is something to worry about. Sure, Ilham Aliyev likes to spew war rhetoric ever now and then, threatening to pummel Armenian forces and take back control over Nagorno-Karabakh, but no one ever took it seriously–at least not Moscow, Paris or Washington. But Dennis Blair begs to differ. He must know information that no one else does–perhaps not even Yerevan–even something that hasn’t been revealed in his written testimony.

Is this for real?