The Caspii-Antiterror-2005 exercise recently ended on Kazakhstan’s shelf of the Caspian Sea. Russian FSB Director Nikolai Patrushev appreciated the results of the exercise. To all appearances, the tasks solved by representatives of the Kazakh, Russian and Ukrainian special services, are topical. It’s not ruled out that terrorists will try to organize terrorist acts against the oil and energy complex because the region is located close to Dagestan and Chechnya.
The US-Turkmen program aimed at ensuring the security of the Turkmenbashi port began on parallel tracks. The Pentagon noted in Stars and Stripes that it intends to provide military aid to the countries located in the Caspian region. In particular, the US is now creating the Caspian Guard unit, which will have to counter terrorists and ensure global stability in the world. The US intends to invest $130 million in establishing the Caspian Guard within six years.
It should be noted that Russia also proposed such initiative. Moscow proposed to create the joint rapid response force, which would ensure security in the Caspian region. The main task of this group is to counter terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking. It should be noted that Russia opposes the idea of deploying military groups of the countries, which do not have access to the Caspian Sea.
As is known, originally the Pentagon planned to create Caspian Guard in order to protect the reserves of Caspian oil and the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. There were plans that the group would consist of Azerbaijanian, Georgian and Turkish servicemen. At present the Pentagon intends to create command posts and other military infrastructure needed for monitoring the situation in the region. The command posts will be equipped with radio-electronic surveillance and intelligence systems. The US will also finance their deployment on the Caspian shore and training of servicemen.
The US will factually strengthen the Navies and other military structures of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Why do these countries need strong Navies? Richard Pearl, former US Deputy Defense Secretary, thinks that Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are not independent in the security sector. This is why it’s very important to establish defense institutions. Mr. Pearl commented on the negative reaction of the commander of the Caspian flotilla as follows: “It’s possible that he misses the time when only one Navy operated in the Caspian Sea. This time has gone.”
In other words, the US plans to militarize the region. From time to time the Pentagon discusses the prospects of deploying military bases in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. The US ambassador to Azerbaijan denied such reports. He said that the US did not intend to deploy military bases or organize velvet revolutions in Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, it seems that his statements are not at all true. US President George W. Bush has repeatedly hinted that military operations against Iran are not out of the question. This is why the US needs military bases in the Caspian region. In addition, the US has to withdraw its airbase of Uzbekistan. It’s evident that the US wants to seize rich oil fields in the Caspian Sea and on Iranian territory in the Persian Gulf. Azerbaijan opposes such plans yet. The US does not like this, and it seems that Washington is preparing the scenario of an orange revolution, which could break out during the parliamentary election in November 2005. The US ambassador stated that the US allocates $7 million for developing democracy in Azerbaijan. Isa Gambar, leader of the Musavat party (a representative of the opposition), has repeatedly visited Western nongovernmental organizations and met with Georgian and Ukrainian activists who organized orange revolutions in their countries.
Academician Vladimir Popov said: “If the opposition wins the US will deploy military bases in Azerbaijan.”
The same concerns Kazakhstan. The US has allocated tidy sums for supporting democracy in this republic. In addition, the US provides military aid. US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice said that the decision to continue military aid to Kazakhstan was made in May 2005 despite many violations of human rights in the republic. She noted that the US strengthens democracy and will continue to cooperate with Kazakhstan.
In other words, the US cherishes and realizes plans of supporting the political opposition in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, increasing the probability of strengthening its military might in the region. Russia does not react yet. The threat of orange revolutions in these countries increases as elections draw near. It’s not ruled out that Russia will face Washington’s military expansion to the Caspian Sea if the opposition succeeds in these countries.