Azerbaijan—the oil-rich dynasty that borders Iran and Russia, abuses human rights, and peddles influence throughout the West—has shifted from being an essential U.S. energy partner to a competitor. The former U.S. ambassador speaks out on the energy diplomacy he witnessed—and why we need a new approach to Baku today.
As the West has turned its attention to the Islamic State and the Ukraine crisis, the government of President Ilham Aliyev has expanded its crackdown on dissenting voices in Azerbaijan with harassment, threats, beatings, and arrests. Even American citizens and international NGOs have bet caught up in the widening net of repression. These actions demand a response.
Weakened by ethnic conflict and poor governance, the South Caucasus countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) are losing international significance. Moreover, the West is preoccupied elsewhere with economic challenges and crises in the Middle and Far East. To sustain the Western support the three countries expect and need, they must implement reforms and lessen regional tensions.Two decades ago, war between […]