The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict may yet provide America an opening for an indirect approach to Turkey, while also pushing back against Russian expansionism.
The Russian brokered agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia concerning Nagorno-Karabakh has put a temporary end to the round of fighting that erupted on Sept. 27. One can only welcome a cessation of violence and the immediate threat to civilians. However, reports of a wave of ethnic Armenians fleeing the disputed region and heading toward Yerevan indicate that the underlying causes of the conflict have hardly been resolved. This may prove to be a fragile peace that depends on the presence of 1,950 Russian peace-keeping forces whose role, as per the agreement, is subject to a five-year time limit. That calendar overlaps with the time frame of the incoming administration. The United States may soon find itself under pressure to become involved, so it is important to evaluate the situation by determining the advantages and disadvantages of the agreement in order to identify opportunities for American foreign policy.