Future and Consequences of US Strategic Interest in the South Caucasus

One of the unexpected outcomes of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a reconsideration of the strategic importance of the South Caucasus to the United States’ effort to protect its global interests and responsibilities. Although the region does not represent a vital interest for the US, stability, prosperity, and regional integration in the South Caucasus are now becoming increasingly important to it, given the current military crisis in another part of the European neighbourhood. Therefore, there is a need for greater engagement from the US, in concert with its European and Middle East allies, in promoting a broader range of security, economic, and energy partnerships. Most notably, Washington is expected to look more favourably on accelerating regional integration along the “middle corridor” – the sea and land route from Southern Europe via the Black Sea to Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Caspian Sea, and the Central Asian states. This process will likely be supported by Türkiye and accepted with growing accommodation by Russia, China, and Iran.

Authors: James Carafano