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This report attempts to put the Caspian Basin and Central Asia into a comprehensive strategic perspective at a time when NATO is increasingly concerned with challenges on its periphery. The authors examine NATO's interests, capabilities, and constraints as well as the salient trends and factors shaping the regional security environment. In spite of the region's potential energy riches and the jockeying for influence among major powers and oil interests, the authors suggest that NATO should see the region as a potential quagmire rather than as a vacuum waiting to be filled. The report discusses Western objectives and interests in the Caspian, internal and intraregional threats to Western interests, the competition for influence among outside powers, transnational threats, Caspian oil and energy security, and implications for NATO and Western policy and planning. The authors conclude that the West has limited interests and leverage in the Caspian Basin, and the Alliance should focus on promoting the restructuring and professionalization of indigenous armed forces, while resisting new commitments and security responsibilities in the region.

Table of Contents

  • Preface PDF

  • Figures PDF

  • Summary PDF

  • Acknowledgements

    Acknowledgments PDF

  • Chapter One

    Introduction PDF

  • Chapter Two

    Western Objectives and Interests in the Caspian Region PDF

  • Chapter Three

    Internal and Regional Threats to NATO Interests PDF

  • Chapter Four

    The Threat of Regional Hegemony PDF

  • Chapter Five

    Transnational Threats PDF

  • Chapter Six

    Caspian Oil and Energy Security PDF

  • Chapter Seven

    Implications for NATO and Western Policy and Planning PDF

  • Bibliography PDF

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This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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