NATO and South Caucasus’ post-Cold War riddle

This article provides a brief analysis of NATO’s post-Cold War cooperation with the South Caucasus countries, arguing that when it comes to the South Caucasus, NATO has been pursuing a limited role, mainly confined to the goals defined in the Individual Partnership Action Plans (IPAPs) and the involvement of the South Caucasus countries in related activities. According to the author, NATO’s strategy in the South Caucasus has its roots not only in the political and security dynamics of the regional states, but also in Russia’s substantial role in the region, and the ways in which NATO-Russian relations have been shaped and enacted as a result. At the same time, the crises in the Middle East and the role of Western countries there together with the withdrawal of NATO and the U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, require major revisions of NATO’s approaches. The current global security complex calls for the organization to step up its foreign policy efforts. In conclusion, the author emphasizes that as NATO continues to face a range of global challenges it cannot tackle alone, its relations with the states of the South Caucasus should serve as a reminder that its choice of partners in the currently fluid situation may determine the future of the region.

Authors: Reshad Karimov