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Transformation of US geostrategy in the Caspian region

photo: alborsaanews.com
14 November 2023

The commencement of the special military operation of the Armed Forces of Russia in Ukraine drew a line under the transitional period in the history of modern international relations which has lasted for 30 years from disintegration of the Soviet Union to the termination of the cold war. Today the development paradigm of the international political situation undergoes significant changes which caused aggravation of competition among the leading world powers on the issue of forming the world order of the XXI century.

Capitals of the world and regional powers understand perfectly that the 2020-s will become key years in forming the architecture of relations between the leading geopolitical actors for a long term. The USA which for thirty years had remained the main center of the unipolar world order is very well aware of the importance of the current developments.

New realities

At the end of the last year the US Administration published a new 48-page National Security Strategy. In the preamble to this document Joe Biden notes that from the first days of his presidency the world has been at the breaking point. In this connection, the way Washington will respond to the challenges and possibilities will determine the line of development and will influence the security of not only the American people, but of the whole world for many generations to come.

The US National Security Strategy notes that the world now is at the start of the decisive decade based on which conditions of geopolitical competition between the largest powers will be established. The document authors say that the main challenge Washington is facing is the fact that the post-cold war era is over for good and that the largest powers compete for what will happen further. However, Washington is certain that no other country in the world has better position to be successful in this struggle since the United States has the biggest number of allies which share its vision of the world and can work together with them. [1]

In the unfolding realities of international relations it seems possible to arrive at the understanding of how the growing geopolitical confrontation will affect the situation in various parts of Eurasia, for instance, in the Caspian Sea region, which, after disintegration of the USSR, turned into one of the most important and complicated geopolitical problems of international relations.

From the mid-XVIII up to the 90-s of the XX century Russia, and then the Soviet Union along with Persia (Iran) actually controlled the Caspian region, but after the appearance on the world map of new independent Caspian states, such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, the Caspian geopolitical space was transformed. At the same time, Caspian countries came across a number of complicated problems, in the first place, the absence of a juridical decision on the international legal status of the Caspian Sea, which is topical up till now. Besides, there arose the entire complex of national and regional problems of a political, economic, social, humanitarian and environmental nature.

The purpose is to oust Russia

Analysis of impact of unfolding geopolitical events on the situation in the Caspian region shows that the USA uses current world processes in order to increase its influence in the zone of Russias traditional interests by stepping up cooperation with the countries of the region in the trade-economic, political and humanitarian spheres, as well as on the security issues.

Getting back to the provisions of the new US National Security Strategy, Central Asia and the South Caucasus the heart of which rightfully is the Caspian Sea are mentioned in the document as important spheres of interest for Washington.

In the first place, this region is important to the United States as an effective means for resolving the task of «reducing Europes dependence on Russian fossil fuel» and «strengthening European energy security». In this connection, the USA is prepared to help the countries in Central Asia and Europe to «enhance resistance to the Russian tactics of conducting an energy war».

To achieve this goal the Strategy notes the need to build up relations with the European Union (EU) by extending intelligence data exchange, strategic harmonization and coordinated actions. Besides, the USA deems it important to strengthen integration between Central Asia, South Caucasus and Europe.

The fact that intentions of the American establishment are not at variance with the deeds is confirmed by the regional dynamics of 2022-2023 showing clearly that Washington chose the course towards radical reduction of dependence of Caspian countries on Russia.

Just several days after the Russian Armed Forces launched a special military operation in Ukraine, on February 28, 2022 the American side initiated a high level on-line meeting in the 5+1 format with participation of foreign ministers of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tleuberdi, of Kyrgyzstan Ruslan Kazakbayev, of Tajikistan Sirodjiddin Muhriddin, of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov and US State Secretary Antony Blinken. Ambassador Donald Lu, Assistant State Secretary for South and Central Asia Affairs, was also involved.

Details of the above discussion were not disclosed, but according to Kazakhstans Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the sides discussed topical issues of the international and regional agenda, including the situation in Ukraine and its impact on the region of Central Asia. [2]

It is possible to get an idea about the tonality of the afore-said talks based on the assessments that American experts on the Caspian region give to the events in Ukraine. In particular, Richard Hoagland, a former diplomat and now a board member of the Caspian Policy Center (CPC) a leading American think tank specializing in the Caspian affairs said in his article that it is vitally important for the US to undertake real actions as soon as possible in order to strengthen its political and economic positions in the Caspian region, otherwise these will be lost for Washington and will fall under full control of Russia. [3]

Washingtons current plans

A security sector should be one of the key areas of the USAs more active cooperation with the Caspian region countries. The analytical note prepared by two American military experts generals Michael Repass and Darsie Rogers said that the US Government should set up inter-departmental groups to engage the Caspian region states in alternative security provision programs and thus take them out of Russias control in the problems related to providing regional security.

American military experts suggested enhancing the potential of the National Guard State Partnership Program (SPP), sharing western experience with the Caspian region countries in providing maritime security, security of ports and other important facilities of critical infrastructure, emergency management, safe-guarding oil infrastructure, anti-smuggling operations as areas of more active contacts on security issues. [4]

The fact that the proposals of Michael Repass and Darsie Rogers are already being implemented in practice today is prompted by the latest trends in the development of military and political situation in the Caspian region.

For example, last year Ashgabat and Washington set up a joint working group for cooperation in security issues. To follow up understandings reached Major-General John P. Hronek, Commander of the Montana National Guard, paid a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan on September 25, 2022. The parties discussed intensification of cooperation between the defense departments of both the countries in such areas as response and disaster control and emergency management, cyber protection and security, engineering and construction activities etc.

In August 2023 the Caspian region countries took part in the exercise «Regional cooperation-2023» in the state of Montana in the US territory conducted within the framework of the above-mentioned SPP program and drilled in the issues of cooperation with the American side, including the Central Command (CENTCOM) of the US Armed Forces.

As to how the US implements its Caspian geostrategy in the political and economic sphere, one can pay attention to the statements made by a number of high-ranking officials of the US Administration.

On September 14, 2022 David DeFalco, Deputy Assistant State Secretary for Europe and Eurasia, Änjali Kaur, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development* (USAID), Donald Lu, Assistant State Secretary for South and Central Asia Affairs, gave an account  of the work in Central Asia countries at the US Congress House of Representatives. In their reports the officials outlined the results of work their respective organizations had made and the plans of development in the new geopolitical reality. [5]

For example, David DeFalco responsible for the development of trade with the Caspian region told the congressmen that the strategy of the US Administration consists in and will in the future consist in supporting American companies in the their competition and confrontation with the «growing non-market economic activity in Eurasia». That said, David DeFalco sees this non-market activity in Chinas initiative «One Belt, One Road» and in Russias initiative on the Eurasian Economic Union. The official also said that the USA plans to render support to the American business in the entry onto the markets of Central Asia, to organize a visit to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan by the US Deputy Secretary of Commerce, to implement the initiative «Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment» launched in cooperation with Washingtons G7 partners and aimed at meeting the requirements of the regions countries.

Deputy Assistant Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development Änjali Kaur said in her speech in the Congress that the USAIDs budget request for the fiscal year 2023 includes $198.3 m for Central Asia which is by 34% more than in the previous year. She directly explained the reason to increase the budget by the necessity to support Central Asia «because of negative impact of consequences of the events in Ukraine». In this connection, the main purpose of the USAID efforts in the region, according to Kaur, is to reduce dependence of the Central Asia countries on the Russian Federation and Peoples Republic of China. To this end, she deems necessary to facilitate regional connectivity, diversification of economy and development of close cooperation of the Central Asia countries with the USA, Europe and other global partners. To accomplish these tasks USAID will continue to hold an annual Central Asia Trade Forum (CATF), will support the creation of the regional energy market, will render assistance to Central Asia in fighting COVID-19 and in post-pandemic recovery, will support independent mass media «in the conditions of growing disinformation and propaganda sponsored by the Kremlin» etc.

Assistant State Secretary for South and Central Asia Affairs Donald Lu noted that the «aggressive war of Russia in Ukraine» caused concern over the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Central Asia countries. In his opinion, «critical time has come for the nations of the region which will determine the trajectory of their development for years to come». The main priority of the USA is to «support sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the Central Asia countries». As an example of «negative Russian influence on the region» he quoted the shutdown of the pipeline of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium for the purpose, in his opinion, of «putting pressure on the Kazakh people» because they did not support «Putins illegal and unprovoked war in Ukraine». To achieve the goal of reducing Russian influence on the Central Asia countries Donald Lu deems it necessary to support the alternative trading routes via the Caspian Sea, to provide safe corridors for the export of energy sources, to support programs on providing border security and on building up a potential for fighting terrorism throughout the whole region. Donald Lu voiced his views and proposals to the Central Asia countries in 2023 during the two working trips to the region when he visited Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

A vivid example of American political objectives with relation to the region is given in the latest edition of the Caspian Affairs Magazine in the which the experts of the Caspian Policy Center stated their position and Washingtons topical interests. [6]

According to their assessment, it is necessary to «nudge the regions countries towards the realization of futility of participation in the integration initiatives launched by Russia and China», such as Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). What proposed instead is to develop the potential of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the Organization of Turkic States (OTS), as well as to step up consultations of the Central Asia countries.

As a key uniting economic project for the Caspian region countries American experts name the Middle Corridor or Trans-Caspian International Transport Route intended to enhance economic independence and vitality of the regions post-Soviet countries.

Conclusion

In view of the above, it is possible to draw a conclusion that the events in Ukraine predetermined significant changes in the geopolitical situation in the Caspian region. The United States is aiming at breaking the recently formed vector of development of five-sided cooperation intended to build peace, cooperation and mutual understanding in the Caspian region. It is beyond doubt that such US approaches are highly likely to cause destabilization of the situation in the Caspian Sea the North and South of which wash the coasts of the USAs official adversaries embodied in Russia and Iran.

History indicates that participation of external forces in the regional geopolitical dynamics invariably caused an unbalanced situation in the Caspian region, led to conflicts and armed clashes. It is obvious that in the event of coordinated work and effective cooperation of all five countries of the region significant trade-economic potential of the region makes it possible receive mutual benefits. Only in this case will the Caspian region be the space of mutual understanding and security which provides sustainable socio-economic development of the littoral countries.

At the same time, hopes that the world geopolitical turbulence will not cause catastrophic changes in the Caspian region are pinned by a rather successful 30-year long experience of the Caspian dialogue that resulted in the signing of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea and more than 10 agreements adopted by the «Caspian five» countries pertaining to enhancing cooperation in the sphere of ecology, security, economy and many others.


* In compliance with the decision by the RF Government the activities of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the territory of Russia were terminated.

1. National Security Strategy USA. https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Biden-Harris-Administrations-National-Security-Strategy-10.2022.pdf

2. At the high level meeting C5+1 topical issues of the regional agenda were discussed. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan. https://www.gov.kz/memleket/entities/mfa/press/news/details/ 334008?lang=ru

3. Richard E. Hoagland. CPC commentary: Support the endangered Caspian-region independent nations now! 07.03.2022. https://www.caspianpolicy.org/research/security-and-politics-program-spp/cpc-commentary-support-the-endangered-caspian-region-independent-nations-now

4. Michael S. Repass, Darsie D. Rogers. Now is the time to increase U.S. security engagement in the Caspian. https://api.caspianpolicy.org/media/ckeditor_media/2022/06/14/now-is-the-time-to-increase-us-security-engagement-in-the-caspian.pdf

5. Strengthening U.S. Engagement in Central Asia. Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia and Nonproliferation (Committee on Foreign Affairs). 14.09.2022. https://docs.house.gov/Committee/Calendar/ByEvent.aspx?EventID =115121

6. CASPIAN AFFAIRS MAGAZINE. Changing tides in the Caspian Region. February 2023 Issue 7. EFGAN NIFTI, Chief Executive Officer. AMBASSADOR (RET.) RICHARD E. HOAGLAND, Editor-in-Chief. https://www.caspianpolicy.org/magazine/changing-tides-in-the-caspian-region

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Caspian Institute for Strategic Studies
Publications

Transformation of US geostrategy in the Caspian region

photo: alborsaanews.com
14 2023

The commencement of the special military operation of the Armed Forces of Russia in Ukraine drew a line under the transitional period in the history of modern international relations which has lasted for 30 years from disintegration of the Soviet Union to the termination of the cold war. Today the development paradigm of the international political situation undergoes significant changes which caused aggravation of competition among the leading world powers on the issue of forming the world order of the XXI century.

Capitals of the world and regional powers understand perfectly that the 2020-s will become key years in forming the architecture of relations between the leading geopolitical actors for a long term. The USA which for thirty years had remained the main center of the unipolar world order is very well aware of the importance of the current developments.

New realities

At the end of the last year the US Administration published a new 48-page National Security Strategy. In the preamble to this document Joe Biden notes that from the first days of his presidency the world has been at the breaking point. In this connection, the way Washington will respond to the challenges and possibilities will determine the line of development and will influence the security of not only the American people, but of the whole world for many generations to come.

The US National Security Strategy notes that the world now is at the start of the decisive decade based on which conditions of geopolitical competition between the largest powers will be established. The document authors say that the main challenge Washington is facing is the fact that the post-cold war era is over for good and that the largest powers compete for what will happen further. However, Washington is certain that no other country in the world has better position to be successful in this struggle since the United States has the biggest number of allies which share its vision of the world and can work together with them. [1]

In the unfolding realities of international relations it seems possible to arrive at the understanding of how the growing geopolitical confrontation will affect the situation in various parts of Eurasia, for instance, in the Caspian Sea region, which, after disintegration of the USSR, turned into one of the most important and complicated geopolitical problems of international relations.

From the mid-XVIII up to the 90-s of the XX century Russia, and then the Soviet Union along with Persia (Iran) actually controlled the Caspian region, but after the appearance on the world map of new independent Caspian states, such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, the Caspian geopolitical space was transformed. At the same time, Caspian countries came across a number of complicated problems, in the first place, the absence of a juridical decision on the international legal status of the Caspian Sea, which is topical up till now. Besides, there arose the entire complex of national and regional problems of a political, economic, social, humanitarian and environmental nature.

The purpose is to oust Russia

Analysis of impact of unfolding geopolitical events on the situation in the Caspian region shows that the USA uses current world processes in order to increase its influence in the zone of Russias traditional interests by stepping up cooperation with the countries of the region in the trade-economic, political and humanitarian spheres, as well as on the security issues.

Getting back to the provisions of the new US National Security Strategy, Central Asia and the South Caucasus the heart of which rightfully is the Caspian Sea are mentioned in the document as important spheres of interest for Washington.

In the first place, this region is important to the United States as an effective means for resolving the task of «reducing Europes dependence on Russian fossil fuel» and «strengthening European energy security». In this connection, the USA is prepared to help the countries in Central Asia and Europe to «enhance resistance to the Russian tactics of conducting an energy war».

To achieve this goal the Strategy notes the need to build up relations with the European Union (EU) by extending intelligence data exchange, strategic harmonization and coordinated actions. Besides, the USA deems it important to strengthen integration between Central Asia, South Caucasus and Europe.

The fact that intentions of the American establishment are not at variance with the deeds is confirmed by the regional dynamics of 2022-2023 showing clearly that Washington chose the course towards radical reduction of dependence of Caspian countries on Russia.

Just several days after the Russian Armed Forces launched a special military operation in Ukraine, on February 28, 2022 the American side initiated a high level on-line meeting in the 5+1 format with participation of foreign ministers of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tleuberdi, of Kyrgyzstan Ruslan Kazakbayev, of Tajikistan Sirodjiddin Muhriddin, of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov and US State Secretary Antony Blinken. Ambassador Donald Lu, Assistant State Secretary for South and Central Asia Affairs, was also involved.

Details of the above discussion were not disclosed, but according to Kazakhstans Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the sides discussed topical issues of the international and regional agenda, including the situation in Ukraine and its impact on the region of Central Asia. [2]

It is possible to get an idea about the tonality of the afore-said talks based on the assessments that American experts on the Caspian region give to the events in Ukraine. In particular, Richard Hoagland, a former diplomat and now a board member of the Caspian Policy Center (CPC) a leading American think tank specializing in the Caspian affairs said in his article that it is vitally important for the US to undertake real actions as soon as possible in order to strengthen its political and economic positions in the Caspian region, otherwise these will be lost for Washington and will fall under full control of Russia. [3]

Washingtons current plans

A security sector should be one of the key areas of the USAs more active cooperation with the Caspian region countries. The analytical note prepared by two American military experts generals Michael Repass and Darsie Rogers said that the US Government should set up inter-departmental groups to engage the Caspian region states in alternative security provision programs and thus take them out of Russias control in the problems related to providing regional security.

American military experts suggested enhancing the potential of the National Guard State Partnership Program (SPP), sharing western experience with the Caspian region countries in providing maritime security, security of ports and other important facilities of critical infrastructure, emergency management, safe-guarding oil infrastructure, anti-smuggling operations as areas of more active contacts on security issues. [4]

The fact that the proposals of Michael Repass and Darsie Rogers are already being implemented in practice today is prompted by the latest trends in the development of military and political situation in the Caspian region.

For example, last year Ashgabat and Washington set up a joint working group for cooperation in security issues. To follow up understandings reached Major-General John P. Hronek, Commander of the Montana National Guard, paid a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan on September 25, 2022. The parties discussed intensification of cooperation between the defense departments of both the countries in such areas as response and disaster control and emergency management, cyber protection and security, engineering and construction activities etc.

In August 2023 the Caspian region countries took part in the exercise «Regional cooperation-2023» in the state of Montana in the US territory conducted within the framework of the above-mentioned SPP program and drilled in the issues of cooperation with the American side, including the Central Command (CENTCOM) of the US Armed Forces.

As to how the US implements its Caspian geostrategy in the political and economic sphere, one can pay attention to the statements made by a number of high-ranking officials of the US Administration.

On September 14, 2022 David DeFalco, Deputy Assistant State Secretary for Europe and Eurasia, Änjali Kaur, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development* (USAID), Donald Lu, Assistant State Secretary for South and Central Asia Affairs, gave an account  of the work in Central Asia countries at the US Congress House of Representatives. In their reports the officials outlined the results of work their respective organizations had made and the plans of development in the new geopolitical reality. [5]

For example, David DeFalco responsible for the development of trade with the Caspian region told the congressmen that the strategy of the US Administration consists in and will in the future consist in supporting American companies in the their competition and confrontation with the «growing non-market economic activity in Eurasia». That said, David DeFalco sees this non-market activity in Chinas initiative «One Belt, One Road» and in Russias initiative on the Eurasian Economic Union. The official also said that the USA plans to render support to the American business in the entry onto the markets of Central Asia, to organize a visit to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan by the US Deputy Secretary of Commerce, to implement the initiative «Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment» launched in cooperation with Washingtons G7 partners and aimed at meeting the requirements of the regions countries.

Deputy Assistant Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development Änjali Kaur said in her speech in the Congress that the USAIDs budget request for the fiscal year 2023 includes $198.3 m for Central Asia which is by 34% more than in the previous year. She directly explained the reason to increase the budget by the necessity to support Central Asia «because of negative impact of consequences of the events in Ukraine». In this connection, the main purpose of the USAID efforts in the region, according to Kaur, is to reduce dependence of the Central Asia countries on the Russian Federation and Peoples Republic of China. To this end, she deems necessary to facilitate regional connectivity, diversification of economy and development of close cooperation of the Central Asia countries with the USA, Europe and other global partners. To accomplish these tasks USAID will continue to hold an annual Central Asia Trade Forum (CATF), will support the creation of the regional energy market, will render assistance to Central Asia in fighting COVID-19 and in post-pandemic recovery, will support independent mass media «in the conditions of growing disinformation and propaganda sponsored by the Kremlin» etc.

Assistant State Secretary for South and Central Asia Affairs Donald Lu noted that the «aggressive war of Russia in Ukraine» caused concern over the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Central Asia countries. In his opinion, «critical time has come for the nations of the region which will determine the trajectory of their development for years to come». The main priority of the USA is to «support sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the Central Asia countries». As an example of «negative Russian influence on the region» he quoted the shutdown of the pipeline of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium for the purpose, in his opinion, of «putting pressure on the Kazakh people» because they did not support «Putins illegal and unprovoked war in Ukraine». To achieve the goal of reducing Russian influence on the Central Asia countries Donald Lu deems it necessary to support the alternative trading routes via the Caspian Sea, to provide safe corridors for the export of energy sources, to support programs on providing border security and on building up a potential for fighting terrorism throughout the whole region. Donald Lu voiced his views and proposals to the Central Asia countries in 2023 during the two working trips to the region when he visited Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

A vivid example of American political objectives with relation to the region is given in the latest edition of the Caspian Affairs Magazine in the which the experts of the Caspian Policy Center stated their position and Washingtons topical interests. [6]

According to their assessment, it is necessary to «nudge the regions countries towards the realization of futility of participation in the integration initiatives launched by Russia and China», such as Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). What proposed instead is to develop the potential of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the Organization of Turkic States (OTS), as well as to step up consultations of the Central Asia countries.

As a key uniting economic project for the Caspian region countries American experts name the Middle Corridor or Trans-Caspian International Transport Route intended to enhance economic independence and vitality of the regions post-Soviet countries.

Conclusion

In view of the above, it is possible to draw a conclusion that the events in Ukraine predetermined significant changes in the geopolitical situation in the Caspian region. The United States is aiming at breaking the recently formed vector of development of five-sided cooperation intended to build peace, cooperation and mutual understanding in the Caspian region. It is beyond doubt that such US approaches are highly likely to cause destabilization of the situation in the Caspian Sea the North and South of which wash the coasts of the USAs official adversaries embodied in Russia and Iran.

History indicates that participation of external forces in the regional geopolitical dynamics invariably caused an unbalanced situation in the Caspian region, led to conflicts and armed clashes. It is obvious that in the event of coordinated work and effective cooperation of all five countries of the region significant trade-economic potential of the region makes it possible receive mutual benefits. Only in this case will the Caspian region be the space of mutual understanding and security which provides sustainable socio-economic development of the littoral countries.

At the same time, hopes that the world geopolitical turbulence will not cause catastrophic changes in the Caspian region are pinned by a rather successful 30-year long experience of the Caspian dialogue that resulted in the signing of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea and more than 10 agreements adopted by the «Caspian five» countries pertaining to enhancing cooperation in the sphere of ecology, security, economy and many others.


* In compliance with the decision by the RF Government the activities of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the territory of Russia were terminated.

1. National Security Strategy USA. https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Biden-Harris-Administrations-National-Security-Strategy-10.2022.pdf

2. At the high level meeting C5+1 topical issues of the regional agenda were discussed. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan. https://www.gov.kz/memleket/entities/mfa/press/news/details/ 334008?lang=ru

3. Richard E. Hoagland. CPC commentary: Support the endangered Caspian-region independent nations now! 07.03.2022. https://www.caspianpolicy.org/research/security-and-politics-program-spp/cpc-commentary-support-the-endangered-caspian-region-independent-nations-now

4. Michael S. Repass, Darsie D. Rogers. Now is the time to increase U.S. security engagement in the Caspian. https://api.caspianpolicy.org/media/ckeditor_media/2022/06/14/now-is-the-time-to-increase-us-security-engagement-in-the-caspian.pdf

5. Strengthening U.S. Engagement in Central Asia. Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia and Nonproliferation (Committee on Foreign Affairs). 14.09.2022. https://docs.house.gov/Committee/Calendar/ByEvent.aspx?EventID =115121

6. CASPIAN AFFAIRS MAGAZINE. Changing tides in the Caspian Region. February 2023 Issue 7. EFGAN NIFTI, Chief Executive Officer. AMBASSADOR (RET.) RICHARD E. HOAGLAND, Editor-in-Chief. https://www.caspianpolicy.org/magazine/changing-tides-in-the-caspian-region