Flashpoint: the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict and Its Implications For Regional States

Date of Graduation

Summer 1995


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is not only one of the bloodiest and most intractable clashes to emerge from the breakup of the U.S.S.R., but it is also the only post-Soviet conflict that poses a potentially explosive threat to peace and security on a regional scale. Ostensibly an armed dispute over the administrative status of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-inhabited enclave residing within the borders of Azerbaijan, the seven-year clash in the southern Transcaucasus has also posed significant opportunities and risks for Russia, Turkey, and Iran. Driven by the dual desire to expand their leverage in the region while preventing the rise of potential threats to their own security, the three external powers each attempted to influence the course of Armenian-Azerbaijani hostilities according to their respective geopolitical agendas. Although this process has been carried out peacefully thus far, the possibility remains that one or more of the major outside actors will become involved openly in the Karabakh conflict, with potentially grave implications for regional--and perhaps global--security.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Michael P Croissant