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The Three Colors of War: Russian, Turkish, and Iranian Military Threat to the South Caucasus

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Author(s): Lasha Tchantouridze

Journal: Caucasian Review of International Affairs
ISSN 1865-6773

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 2;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: South Caucasus | Invasion | Russia | Turkey | Iran | Defence | Security

ABSTRACT
The South Caucasus once again became a ground for major regional power competition after the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Russia, Iran, and Turkey vie for power and influence, as well as for the access to strategic resources and transportation routes. These three major regional powers have used or threatened to use their armed forces against the region. Russia has invaded and threatened Georgia, Turkey has planned an invasion of Armenia and Georgia, and Iran has threatened Azerbaijan. Ankara, Moscow, and Tehran will remain willing to use force in the South Caucasus if they feel that their vital interests are at stake. The governments of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia have to rely mainly on themselves, and strengthen the weakest areas of their national defences. Georgia's Black Sea, and Azerbaijan's Caspian Sea coasts remain examples of poorly defended lines, weaknesses of which could be easily exploited by the main opponents of the states in question.
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