According to the Pentagon's evaluation, as stated in Gen. J. James's report on the current and future US military-strategic interests in the world, the Caucasus is one of the most important region of the globe. Its importance lies first of all in the Caspian oil transported through the Caucasus reaching, within 5 years, 25 percent of the global increment of oil production. According to the US Department of Defense experts, the Caucasian hydrocarbons would make it possible to diversify the European energy resources.
The Pentagon's report also states that "the Caucasus is being torn apart by ethnic conflicts and infested with corruption and crime". However, last year "a remarkable progress toward democracy and stability of power has been made in some parts of the region".
No doubt, "some parts" refers to Saakashvili's Georgia, which was criticized recently by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe just for excessive authoritarianship and want of democracy.
As Gen. Jones says, the Caucasian region is a key geopolitical point in the process of the spread of democracy and market economy into the countries of Central and South-Western Asia. By all appearances, it is Georgia wherefrom the US is going to "export democracy" to neighboring countries.
As has been reported earlier, the Pentagon has already started setting up its military bases on territory of its Caucasian satellite. These bases may possibly be used for the proposed strikes against Syria and Iran – a possibility that have long been aired in the West.
Actually, this is what Gen. Jones implied when addressing Senators. According to him, the European command of the US armed forces together with the US task forces command are working now on a new plan reaching out for 2015. Under the plan the US would re-locate its "permanent and rotation" task forces to new bases "in the south of Europe".
The general said that "in addition to preserving our traditional lines of communication and access, we are looking for access to new facilities and free transit to the Black Sea, Caucasus, Middle East and Africa to promote US national interests ".
Gen. Jones's report is curious in that the Pentagon seems to have for the first time openly described its vision of the Caucasus and the degree of the US participating in the Caucasian politics. Using its vassal, Georgia, as a lever pin, Washington intends to cardinally change the correlation of forces in the region, which would directly affect Russia. And not only because a new player is elbowing his way into this traditional zone of vital Russian interests – a player who has declared that it is vital for him, too, to be present in the Caucasus.
The point is that the sort of crudeness noted recently in US actions leads one to assume that Washington is going "to promote democracy and market economy in the countries of Central and South-Western Asia" mostly by forceful methods. Which means that in this highly explosive region new foci of conflict may appear, including armed conflicts. As a result Russia may get a lot of new problems on its southern borders.
In the XIX century the standoff between the Russian and the British Empires in the Central and Southern Asia was termed "the Big Game". As a result, Russia barred the British access to Central Asia, but herself could not gain access to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. By all appearances, in the XXI century we may expect new such "games" in which, as experts believe, only toughness and consistency in the defense of Russian interests in the Caucasus may safeguard our country's southern borders.