The Nagorno–Karabakh Conflict: U.S. Vigilance Required

The recent outbreak of fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenian military and Armenian-backed militia forces in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno–Karabakh region threatens to destabilize an already fragile region even further. According to media reports, dozens of soldiers from both sides have been killed, and Azerbaijani forces have recaptured some of the territory lost to Armenia in the early 1990s.

Despite its physical distance from the United States, events in the South Caucasus can affect regional security and, by extension, transatlantic security. It is in America’s national interest to monitor developments in the region and ensure that the conflict is resolved peacefully.

What happens in the South Caucasus can have regional, transatlantic, and global implications. While the U.S. has no direct military role in the conflict, it is in America’s interest that the conflict does not spiral out of control. The U.S. should therefore: monitor the situation in Nagorno–Karabakh, recognize that the conflict is part of a larger Russian strategy, show a more visible presence in the region, and encourage countries in the region to stay away from Russian-dominated organizations.

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