Stratfor Chairman: Working with Azerbaijan is in the American interest
Azerbaijan, Baku, 12 June / Trend E.Tariverdiyeva, A.Badalova
There is a point where three great powers -- Russia, Turkey and Persia -- meet: the Caucasus. At the moment they converge in a country called Azerbaijan, American political scientist, founder and chairman of the private geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor, George Friedman writes in an article in Forbes magazine.
According to him he has visited Azerbaijan several times since 2008, when he published a book called The Next 100 Years, which identified Azerbaijan as geopolitically critical in the emerging global system.
I continue to regard Azerbaijan as critical both in the struggle emerging in the Caucasus and to the United States. I never forget one thing: Hitler risked everything to get to Baku and its oil," he writes.
According to Friedman, his latest trip had to do with a conference on U.S.-Azerbaijani relations.
There are a small number of people in the United States who care about Azerbaijan and most of them were there, along with some congressmen, state representatives and a large numbers of Azeris.
Compared with my first encounter with Azerbaijan, the number of people interested in the country has risen dramatically, the author says.
According to Friedman, working with Azerbaijan is in the American interest and holding back is taking unnecessary risks.
"In The Next 100 Years I forecast a number of events, beginning with the serious weakening of the European Union and the increase in relative power of Russia. This brings us back to Azerbaijan. It is a country that borders both Russia and Iran," the author writes.
Azerbaijan has another strategic virtue: energy. The Russian strategy has been to maintain and deepen European dependence on Russian energy, on the theory that this would both increase Russian influence and decrease the risk to Russian national security, Friedman says.
The United States can afford to support only countries that take primary responsibility for their national security on themselves. The United States cannot be the primary source of that security, the author writes.
Azerbaijan has all the characteristics of a full American ally, Friedman says. However, the strong Armenian-American community is hostile to Azerbaijan because of the dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, the author writes.