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The war in the Georgian province of South Ossetia is a classic superpower proxy war, pitting an aggressively US-backed regime, a member of NATO’s regional GUUAM (Georgia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldava) military alliance, against Russia. It is being waged over control of the Caspian Sea, the region in which the third largest oil reserves can be found. The control over this region holds one of the most important keys to world power.
While incendiary propaganda, coded rhetoric (claims over South Ossetia, genocide, “democracy,” etc.) fly back and forth, the actual geostrategic agenda, the energy stakes over which the world powers have engaged in mortal superpower combat (as usual, with millions of innocent civilians used as cannon fodder) remain largely unreported and unaddressed.
A look at the map tells the story. It is taking place in the resource-rich and strategically critical Caucasus/Black Sea region, the same region of the 1990s US/NATO war on the Balkans, led by the Clinton administration.
The stakes involved with the current conflict are identical to those of the previous war: control over the oil of the Caspian Sea/Black Sea/Caucasus basin, and the control of multiple key oil pipelines criss-crossing the region, including the Baku-Supsa and Baku-Ceyhan-Tblisi routes through Georgia, the Baku-Novorossiyk pipeline (through Chechnya and Dagestan), and others.
The most critical pipeline, the infamous Baku-Ceyhan pipeline supported by the US government and a consortium of US-allied transnational oil interests (including Royal Dutch Shell, Unocal, and BP) takes oil from the Caspian Sea across Azerbaijan (another US-supported regime), whereby it crosses Georgia (bypassing Iran and Russia), then on to the Black Sea, where the oil is carried to Western Europe, and the rest of the world.
The Baku-Ceyhan pipeline has been viewed by the Bush/Cheney administration as one of its brightest geostrategic successes. All of the Anglo-American empire’s pipelines and oil facilities, including Baku-Ceyhan, are threatened, if the conflict escalates.