Foreign Policy Diary ‘Instability Zone Caucasus’

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ISIS has been raising presence in the Caucasus. On June 23, 2015 ISIS announced the creation of a new governorate, called Wilayat Qawqaz in the Russias North Caucasus, after several senior militants in the area pledged allegiance to ISIS. ISIS has been setting conditions to establish this governorate in support of its regional expansion campaign since at least January 2015. Declaration of Wilayat Qawqaz followed the circulation of a Russian-language audio statement on Twitter on June 21, in which supporters of ISIS in the regions of Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Kabarda, Balkaria and Karachay pledged allegiance to ISISs leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. These areas represent four of the six subdivisions that constitute the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus terrorist network. Militants in these four most frequently conducted domestic attacks in support of the IECs stated goals of establishing a Caucasus emirate under sharia law and waging global jihad. The two IEC subdivisions where supporters have not formally pledged to ISIS are Cherkessia and Nogay steppe.

Rising of IS presence in the Russian Caucasus clashes with weakening of the IEC. Russian security forces killed the IECs leader, Aliaskhab Kebekov, in April 2015. The failures of IEC give ISIS new opportunities to gain the control on IEC vestiges in the region. Probably, in the near feature, the majority of the IECs active force will be loyal to ISIS. The Russian leadership fully comprehends the threat, and is seeking to carry out pre-emptive strikes against ISIS fighters. The government has already accelerated its domestic security efforts in the region following a gun battle that Islamic militants initiated against government forces in the Chechen capital of Grozny in December 2014. IEC had been a serious threat to Russian security for several years before the major crackdown on it was launched in 2011. Since the start of the campaign, which remains ongoing, attacks inside Russia have declined by 30%. On account of massive surge of counter-terror operations many terrorists either being killed. Also, the developments in the Caucasus can push Russia to increase its involvement in Syria and Iraq anti-IS frontlines, where it has recently equipped the Iraqi Security Forces with new supplies of Russian anti-tank rockets.

ISISs creation of Wilayat Qawqaz may be a publicity effort meant to boost morale rather than a statement of intent to initiate military operations. However, ISIS has repeatedly voiced its interest in the Caucasus over the past year. The organization maintains a large base of Chechen fighters within Iraq and Syria, and frequently releases Russian-language propaganda encouraging individuals to pledge allegiance to ISIS. At all counts, both the pledge of allegiance and the declaration of Wilayat Qawqaz will enable IS to assert its continued expansion and vitality at the expense of al-Qaeda, the Russian state, and the international anti-ISIS coalition. The purposes of Islamic State and its sponsors are to establish instability zone in Eurasia and involve Russia into the growing conflict in the Middle East. In this case the main directions of attack will be Central Asia from Afghanistan and Caucasus from Iraq. The aims are to take control of productive oilfields in the South Caspian region, destabilize Iran and reach the Caucasus Mountains. Islamic State groups in the Caucasus will be used to contain Russian forces while ISIS will advance toward North through Caucasus and Caspian Sea regions.

Another point of the becoming crisis in the Caucasus is Armenia. The massive protests have been striking the country since June 23. The public reason of the crisis is energy prices raised by the government. Nonetheless, the main internal voices of protest is television channel Gala TV, sponsored by the US foundation National Endowment for Democracy and local unit of Radio Liberty, organization founded as part of a large-scale Psychological Operation of CIA during the Cold War. The raise of the US-backed nongovernmental organizations activity and western diplomacy over the region is also observed. The bluntly exercising of well-known social, political and internet technologies used for color revolutions in other post-Soviet countries creates an opportunity of further disruption. In case of success of color revolution or chaos in Armenia, the South Caucasus will be hit with heavy conflagration because of Nagorno-Karabakh. The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic or NKR is a de facto independent state established as result of Nagorno-Karabakh War between the majority ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh backed by the Republic of Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan. The war ended with a ceasefire in 1994. Today, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict remains one of several frozen conflicts in the former Soviet Union. The escalation on the situation has been observed since the autumn of 2014. Only on March 20, 2015, from 10 to 20 Armenian soldiers were killed in clash against Armed Forces of Azerbaijan. On account of color revolution in Armenia the conflict over NKR will be defrosted and Armenia-Azerbaijan war will be restarted.

Also, we cannot ignore the USAs attempts to encourage Georgia in ideas of aggressive militarist policy in the region. The main directions of military escalation in this case are Republic of South Ossetia and Republic of Abkhazia. Furthermore, Georgia already has an experience of military aggression against Republic of South Ossetia on 2008. Under the pressure of the USA Georiga can increase the support of terrorist groups in the North Caucasus as it already did during the governance of Mikhail Saakashvili. The USA doesnt concern over the fact that Georgia will become one of the terror-hit on account of this strategy.

Thus, we observe the well-known US policy to set up chaos throughout the world. The so-called West, leaded by US regime, points ISIS aggression toward the US-convenient direction, at the same time the region is groomed for political deconstruction. In the case being examined ISIS is only a key to start the US-preplanned process. The large-scale net of western NPOs was created in Georgia and Armenia. A number of western influence moles were planted in the government bodies. Local elites mostly depend on the US, their funds allocate in the West. So, they dont care grass-roots interests. The situation at hand is a part of a deconstruction strategic plan aimed to Eurasia. The current goal is to set up chaos zone in the Caspian-Caucasian-BlackSea strategic region. ISIS is a kind of bickford fuze to detonate preload blast.

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  • Tim

    Another well done video. One suggestion: All your narrators need to speak slower. I always have to read the text after watching the video and I’m usually short on time. The guy in this video is easier to understand than the other guy with the really thick Russian accent though, who I can barely understand even when he isn’t talking too fast. Anyway, you guys do good work, but I figured the constructive criticism could help improve your ability to reach more people.