10 փետրվար, 2016 16:21

US National Intelligence Considers the Karabakh Conflict a Threat to American Interests

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 15.59.43In his February 9 report, Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community, Director of US National Intelligence, James R. Clapper predicts that 2016 will see an escalation of tensions on the Nagorno Karabakh Contact Line and classifies this as a “nuanced, multidisciplinary intelligence that policymakers, warfighters, and domestic law enforcement personnel need to protect American lives and America’s interests anywhere in the world”. 

Under Regional threats, the segment referring to Nagorno Karabakh reads, “Tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh remained high in 2015. Baku’s sustained military buildup coupled with declining economic conditions in Azerbaijan are raising the potential that the conflict will escalate in 2016. Azerbaijan’s aversion to publicly relinquishing its claim to Nagorno-Karabakh proper and Armenia’s reluctance to give up territory it controls will continue to complicate a peaceful resolution”.

James Clapper reports that Russia, in particular, but also China seek greater influence over their respective neighboring regions and want the United States to refrain from actions they perceive as interfering with their interests.  “They will almost certainly eschew direct military conflict with the United States in favor of contests at lower levels of competition—to include the use of diplomatic and economic coercion, propaganda, cyber intrusions, proxies, and other indirect applications of military power—that intentionally blur the distinction between peace and wartime operations”, writes the Director of US National Intelligence.

Clapper also says Ankara will continue to maintain military and political pressure on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its affiliates, seeing them as a threat to its territorial security and its efforts to control Kurdish separatism within its borders. “Turkey is also wary of increased Russian cooperation with the Kurds and greater Russian influence in the region that could counter Turkey’s leadership role. The Russian-Iranian partnership and Iran’s attempts to expand Shiite influence in the region are also security concerns for Turkey”, says the report.