Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept.20
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
Given the unstable political landscape in the Middle East, the United States must once again return to the offense in the war on terror and begin to forge stronger coalitions with trusted regional allies, director of the Center for Constitutional Studies at Tbilisi State University named after Ilia Chavchavadze George Meladze stated in his article on the "The Hill" website.
Indeed, the U.S. administration would reap tremendous benefits from revisiting its military relations with the South Caucasus, and particularly with Georgia and Azerbaijan, which have traditionally supported the U.S. counterterrorist efforts, the author said.
In close proximity to Iraq and Syria, yet stable politically and economically, both countries remain progressive in foreign policy and Western-oriented in character.
While former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, a close friend of U.S. leader George W. Bush, earned world-renown for eradicating corruption and facilitating democratic development, Azerbaijan has become a poster child for macroeconomic stability thanks to its role in international energy projects, despite a ravaging war in the 1990s resulting in the loss of 20 percent of its territory, the author noted.
By advancing its historical partnerships with Georgia and Azerbaijan, the United States should seek to grow its regional security infrastructure and gain operational assistance from these allies at a time when ISIS has expanded nearer to the South Caucasus with its recent conquest of Mosul in northwestern Iraq, the author writes.
The urgency of Washington's need to bolster military cooperation with Georgia and Azerbaijan is chiefly due to the weak postwar security capacity of Iraq's armed forces, which have proved unable to counter ISIS despite having significantly more resources, the article says.
These partners would also help to reduce the economic costs of U.S. military efforts, which are bound to incur the scrutiny of a war-weary U.S. public, Meladze stressed.
At the same time, Azerbaijan has built its past, present and future on a balanced foreign policy with a determinedly Western orientation, he noted.
Having taken enormous risks to ensure stability, neutrality and EU energy security against all odds, Azerbaijan signed a contract with an international energy consortium in 1994 that resulted in the launch of two mammoth pipelines, Meladze noted.
A secular state open to global partnerships, Azerbaijan is well positioned to assist in defending U.S. interests in the Middle East, the article stresses.
On this backdrop, the support of Georgia and Azerbaijan might once more prove essential to establishing a more robust global security system, Meladze writes.
The terrorist organization calling itself the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL or ISIS) was created in 2003 in Iraq. In 2004-2006, the organization was led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and consisted of 11 radical Islamic groups, which had close ties to the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda.
In late June, the IS announced about the creation of the "Islamic Caliphate" on the territories under its control in Iraq and Syria. Iraqi authorities appealed to international community for help in combating the IS.
President Barack Obama authorized strikes against militants of "Islamic state" in Iraq August, 8. Initially, the United States Air Force attacked the terrorists in the city of Erbil and near the mountainous Sinjar. Later the area of operations was expanded, Air Force supported the Iraqi and Kurdish militias in the fighting at the dam near the city of Mosul (Ninevah province). And recently, a number of air strikes were applied in the metropolitan area of Iraq - Baghdad.