Azerbaijan has never thought of a one-to-one military aggression against Armenia, hoping for cooperation with some alliance when interested countries would express interest in blocking Armenia and bringing damage to its economy.
This idea occurred immediately after the occurrence of the Karabakh conflict. Of interest is that the first country which Azerbaijan saw as a possible partner in forcing Armenia into defeat and withdrawal of its claims was Russia.
Partnership or cooperation with Russia with an anti-Armenian bias seemed the right way to Azerbaijan, and in 1988-1992 it led to noticeable success when the armed forces of Russia twice acted on the side of Azerbaijan. Strangely, in Azerbaijan they have not forgotten and continue to hope for a “reasonable choice” by Russia which might be related to the vision of the historical and geopolitical perspective.
The political circles in Azerbaijan view Russia’s position on the South Caucasus as temporary and they think that the military and economic strengthening of Azerbaijan will change Russia’s position and, at least, Russia will not support the interests of Armenia as a meaningless political line.
One could assume that Azerbaijan’s attempts to work with the EU and NATO, close cooperation with the United States, including on the formation of GUAM, were mostly aimed at persuading Russia to change its political preferences and deny Armenia’s support.
This policy has been developed by Heidar Aliyev and is implemented by Ilham Aliyev now. Aside from some influential political parties acting as the lobby of the Turkish and British interests this policy is supported by the entire Azerbaijani society at different extents, depending on the intellectual and social level.
Azerbaijan understands that without the support of some alliance it is impossible to defeat Armenia altogether, and they are trying to find stakeholders in Eastern Europe, which remains a difficult and impossible mission but only under the current political international conditions.
At this historic stage the confrontation in the region is not escalated enough to have favorable expectations provided the current goals and available resources. An active dynamics is observed in the region but the cardinal geopolitical correction is taking place slowly, and Azerbaijan’s hope at each stage of development of the regional political situation is getting lower.
In the result of the lack of radical participation of the United States and NATO in the regional race of weapons it is possible to maintain the military balance which is a constant political component in the region though the level of confrontation is increasing.
The South Caucasus is actively involved in the processes of formation of regional global economic and political-military alliances, which is becoming a deciding characteristics in the visible future. For the time being, the controversies and confrontations in the region and the surrounding world are so high that it is impossible to stop the processes of creation of alliances (quite unexpected ones, by the way).
The “small” and “medium” countries are increasingly interested in “blocking” alliances. While earlier the United States tried to prevent the emergence of alliances in the region of the Greater Near East, fearing an increase of lack of manageability, now they are looking positively at the creation of a “core” alliance Israel-Turkey with different deviations, including Jordan, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
There have been expectations that the military actions of the United States and its allies against Iraq may lead to most unexpected results because the new regime in Iraq could open up opportunities for the establishment of a powerful alliance Iran-Iraq-Syria with their partnership with Georgia and other countries. There is no doubt that the balance of forces in the region will be maintained.
Turkey’s readiness to “repeat” their geostrategic jump into Central Asia will fail again, which will be the start of revision of some directions in the U.S. policy.
Despite the apparent global plans of the United States in Central Eurasia, their policy is still designed ad hoc. It should be noted that from 1999 until 9/11 the United States was trying to wrap up its presence in Central Asia and was ready to make similar decisions on the South Caucasus. However, and energy and political situation in the world, the fight among different political groups in the United States necessitated a revision of priorities and foreign policy.
At the same time, the United States does not intend to become involved in the solution of “additional” regional problems and gain new enemies. On the contrary, the United States, for example, is headed for normalization of relations with Iran and in this case the role of Turkey in the regional strategic “liaison” has decreased significantly.
The United States views Iran as an important “emplacement” for spreading the economic and political influence of the Anglo-Saxon bloc over a vast region of Asia Minor. In addition, it is hard to assume that the British policy allows for military actions against Iran.
Such political priorities and tactical tricks of the United States and the UK in this vast region both support and contradict security and stability in the South Caucasus.