Nagorno-Karabakh is Tragic but Not America’s Problem, by Doug Bandow

The search continues for the one square inch of real estate on the planet on which no Washington war monger cannot detect an American “interest.” Unfortunately, it’s not Nagorno-Karabakh. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

In Washington foreign conflicts are to policymakers what lights are to moths. The desire to take the U.S. into every political dispute, social collapse, civil war, foreign conflict, and full-scale war seems to only get stronger as America’s failures accumulate.

There may be no better example than the battle between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the latter’s claim to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, contained within Azerbaijan but largely populated by ethnic Armenians. Distant from the US and Europe, the struggle matters most to nearby Georgia, Turkey, Iran, and Russia.

The impact on Americans is minor and indirect at best. Yet there is wailing and gnashing of teeth in Washington that the US is “absent” from this fight. Send in the bombers! Or at least the diplomats! Candidate Joe Biden predictably insisted that America should be leading a peace effort “together with our European partners,” without indicating what that would mean in practice.

The roots of the conflict, like so many others, go back centuries. Control of largely Muslim Azerbaijan and Christian Armenia passed among Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and Russian Empire. After the Russian Revolution the two were independent and fought over N-K’s status, before both were absorbed by the Soviet Union. Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian population began pressing for transfer to Armenia during the U.S.S.R.’s waning days. After the latter collapsed in 1992 the two newly independent nations again fought, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of refugees, and Armenia grabbed the disputed land as well as even larger adjacent territory filled with ethnic Azerbaijanis.

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