US Wages Geopolitical Warfare against Russia in Central Asia and Caucasus
By Steven MacMillan/New Eastern Outlook: 8 April, 2015
The US is waging geopolitical warfare against the Russian Federation in Eurasia through preparing colour revolutions, coups, destabilisation operations and strategically-motivated alliances in an attempt to weaken Moscow’s position and isolate the nation.
This complex strategy involves destabilising countries in Russia’s sphere of influence which creates numerous security problems for Moscow simultaneously, stretching the Kremlin’s ability to stabilise the chaos that has been deliberately contrived. Coupled with the attempt to build strategic partnerships with states close to Russia’s borders, this geopolitical strategy is a potent one that threatens the survival of the current Russian regime and is the logical next step in the West’s war against Moscow. After staging a colour revolution on Russia’s Western frontier in Ukraine which severely weakened relations between Moscow and Kiev, the West is aiming at replicating this model in numerous Eurasian countries including in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan.
Washington Targets Eurasian Alliances
Fragmenting the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is a key objective of Washington. Composed of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, the security alliance serves to enhance cooperation in strategic issues amongst the member states. In a meeting in November of last year, the CSTO Chief Nikolay Bordyuzha accused the West of attempting to destabilise CSTO countries and asserted that the activities of “NGO’s financed by Western Agents” has increased. As a CSTO press release states on Bordyuzha’s comments during the meeting:
“Bordyuzha said that the West is guilty of destabilising the situation in the CSTO countries. He said that evidence of this was a “disproportionate increase in the number of officials in Western embassies, especially those of the U.S.” as well as “the activization of the work of the many NGOs financed by Western grants.” Bordyuzha said that several years before the change of government in Ukraine the staff of the American embassy in Kiev grew to almost 1,500 workers.”The emergence and development of hotbeds of conflict in the CSTO space in most cases is connected with the activization of external influences,” Bordyuzha said. “The West crudely interferes in the internal affairs of other governments, trying to manipulate public opinion, economically and financially affecting the government and population.”
Weakening the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is also part of the grand agenda, in addition to attempting to break the growing alliance between Russia and China through creating wedges between the two states in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is set to join the EEU in a matter of months in addition to the nation being a member of the SCO and the CSTO, meaning destabilising the Central Asian state is a key objective of the US. A colour revolution in Kyrgyzstan is on the horizon in the near future with the appointment of Ambassador Richard M. Miles as the interim Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek by no means coincidental, as Miles served as the US Ambassador to Georgia from 2002 to 2005 where he engineered the Rose Revolution in 2003.
In combination with destabilising Kyrgyzstan, the US is attempting to form a strategic partnership with Uzbekistan and break any ties between Moscow and Tashkent. In an article by political analyst and journalistAndrew Korybko featured in the Oriental Review titled: The coming Color Revolution chaos and ‘Media Crimea’ in Kyrgyzstan, Korybko details Washington’s strategy in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan:
“Richard Miles return from retirement in order to staff the US Embassy in Bishkek is more than just a random event. The Color Revolution specialist was ordered to Kyrgyzstan not to gently shuffle papers, but to forcibly shuffle the composition of the government. This is in accordance with the 21st-century Reagan Doctrine that Hillary Clinton publicly unveiled in December 2012, whereby it was decreed that the US will do whatever it can to roll back Russian influence in the Near Abroad.”
“In conjunction with the US-inspired destabilisation that is projected to hit the country around the October Parliamentary elections, Washington also envisions pulling Tashkent away from its flirtation with Moscow through coaxing it into a ‘media Crimea’ in the Kyrgyz Fergana Valley. Dividing Uzbekistan from Russia in the same manner that Ukraine was separated from it a year prior is the ultimate strategic goal of the US in the region, since it would create a long-term Lead From Behind proxy to challenge Russian influence in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan’s role, or more precisely, that of Southern Kyrgyzstan, is intended as nothing more than a permanently failed state abutting the Eurasian Union, Uzbekistan, and China, in order to continuously inflict destabilizing pressure on them.”
Creating chaos in Kyrgyzstan is a multi-faceted geopolitical weapon as it presents a security crisis for Kazakhstan, Russia and China, given Kyrgyzstan’s geographical position. If Uzbekistan is unable to be enticed into a strategic alliance with Washington and opts instead to move closer to Moscow, the US could unleash chaos in Uzbekistan also – a sufficient plan B for Washington. Triggering instability in this region is certainly feasible as “every one of the new Central Asia states is potentially vulnerable to internal violence, each of them is insecure,” as Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote in his book Strategic Vision.
Colour Revolutions in the Caucasian States?
In February, the US assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland travelled to the Southern Caucasus to visit the governments of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, stoking fears by many in the region as to the nature of her visit considering her role in the Ukrainian coup. Nuland’s trip was intended on the one hand to pressure certain Caucasian states into compliance with US interests, and on the other to prepare the groundwork for colour revolutions and destabilisation operations if allegiance is not purchased.
Nuland reportedly meet with representatives of Armenian NGO’s behind closed doors on her trip to Yerevan, a country that is a member of the CSTO and the EEU. There is no doubt that destabilising Armenia is a goal of the US and if a pro-Western regime is installed in Yerevan, it would weaken two important Eurasian alliances. Russia and Armenia are well aware of Washington’s desires however, and are working to stave off attacks. Armenia is moving closer to enacting more stringent NGO laws that would enable the Azeri government to monitor their activities more closely, an essential step in inhibiting foreign nations from agitating and fostering animosity in the nation.
Unnerved by the chaos they have witnessed in Ukraine, many individuals in the Azeri government fear a Western-sponsored colour revolution could be on the horizon in their country in the near future. Colour revolution kingpin George Soros criticised the Azeri government in January of this year after meeting with Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev, with a Baku-based branch of his Open Society Foundation increasingly coming under pressure by government authorities. Richard D. Kauzlarich outlines the deteriorating relationship between Washington and Baku in an article for the Brookings Institution titled: The Heydar Aliyev Era Ends in Azerbaijan Not with a Bang but a Whisper, in addition to detailing the fears officials have of a Ukrainian-style coup in Azerbaijan:
“On December 3, 2014 the Heydar Aliyev era in Azerbaijan ended. With it went the previously close political relationship between the United States and Azerbaijan. Heydar Aliyev, who was President of Azerbaijan from 1993 until his death in 2003, presided over a foreign policy that emphasized energy relations with the West, and political and security engagement with the United States and a range of transatlantic institutions… His son and successor, Azerbaijan’s current president Ilham Aliyev, has increasingly moved away from his father’s path and now seems to have approved a final rupture with the past…. U.S.-Azerbaijan relations are clearly now in serious crisis, and indeed have been for some time.”
“The end came in a little noticed Russian-language polemic by the long-serving head of Azerbaijan’s Presidential Apparatus, Ramiz Mehdiyev. In his article, Mehdiyev asserts that from the beginning of Heydar Aliyev’s presidency, the U.S. was plotting with domestic opposition elements to create a “fifth column” to promote “color revolutions” while pursing a policy of “double standards” to interfere in the internal affairs of states around the world and Azerbaijan in particular…. Now, Mehdiyev, declares, Azerbaijan must move away from the dominant world power, and choose a new path of national consolidation built around “strong presidential power and stability in society”… From Baku’s perspective, Washington backed the overthrow of the Ukrainian president and, left unchecked, the United States and the local individuals and NGOs engaged in democracy and human rights promotion in Azerbaijan would likely attempt to do the same”.
An article that appeared in Open Democracy – an organisation whose supporters include the George Soros Open Society Foundation, the Rockefellers Brothers Fund and the Ford Foundation –titled: The crackdown in Azerbaijan, calls for the “West to urge Azerbaijan to initiate democratic reforms” in the country:
“The regime in Azerbaijan still favours Putin’s authoritarianism, and considers democracy a threat to the regime’s own hold on power. That is why the West, associated with democracy, came under the fiercest attack by Azerbaijani officials. The U.S. and its institutions were chosen as a primary target…. It is imperative for Azerbaijan to maintain good relations with the West; and for the West in turn to urge Azerbaijan to initiate democratic reforms, in order to protect its own interests and allies in the region.”
As any informed reader understands, the US and the wider West have no real interest in democratising countries and merely use slogans such as “undemocratic” or “human rights violators” as pretexts to meddle in nations for Western geopolitical interests.
A coup could also take place in Georgia in the coming months following the Rose Revolution in 2003, a topic that Henry Kamens has written about for New Eastern Outlook. Despite signing a partnership agreement with the European Union (EU) last year in addition to moving closer to NATO membership, the Tbilisi authorities have disobeyed Washington by still pursuing the former president and US puppet Mikhail Saakashvili for corruption charges.
With geopolitical warfare being launched by Washington in Russia’s sphere of influence, Moscow will be working overtime to check Western moves and encourage stability in Eurasia. One possible reason for Putin advocating the creation of a currency union between EEU countries is to secure and cement the alliance, as Ukraine serves as an example of how Western coups can disrupt the strategic orientation of a nation that was in Moscow’s orbit.