This is continuing with yesterday’s post “Great Game Revisited (again) and the Green Revolution“.
On the Caucasus
Any attention the U.S. press pays attention to the southern Russia is only limited to Afghanistan and more to Central Asia, with Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgystan. But not enough attention is paid to the deteriorating situation in the Caucasus and the dangerous consequences that it may represent.
As I’ve written in a recent post, the scale (over 200+), composition (local) and targets (security installations) of the Nalchik Raid in southern Russia represents a huge blow to Russia’s control over its troubled Caucasus region, which includes Chechnya. Indeed, while Putin and the Russian elites fret over the Color Revolution (Orange, Tulip, Rose) that has reverberated throughout the former Soviet Space, a Green Revolution is increasingly destabilize southern Russia thanks partly to Russia’s own ineptness:
Accepting that post-Soviet revolutions are not organized from outside but driven by public anger against corrupt authoritarian regimes is all but impossible for Putin and his courtiers. It would inevitably lead to the conclusion that the street battles in Nalchik were not a terrorist attack but an outburst of accumulated rage caused by police brutality and officially sanctioned persecution of Muslims (Vremya novostei, October 14). (Jamestown Foundation, emphasis mine)
Drawing from the Nalchik Raid, Andrei Smirnov at Jamestown gravely stated regarding the state of security in the Caucasus:
The Nalchik attack showed that the rebels in the North Caucasus maintain sufficient military capabilities to attack and temporarily hold one of the largest cities in the North Caucasus and could have enough capability to seize control of a whole region in the near future. The attack on Nalchik sent a clear warning to Putin and his team that they are outgunned in the Caucasus. (Jamestown Foundation, empahsis mine)
To add to that, the Nalchik Raid demonstrates that the Islamofacist have the intiative. They can choose when and where to attack, putting the Russian security forces on the defensive.
The Kremlin and the local governments inaptness in the Caucasus combined with the situation in Chechnya Conflict risk spilling an arc of fire across the region – where the vacuum of Russian power and legitimacy would lead to the raise and spread of radical Islam, as a significant movement.
Once reaching a sizable movement any turn to suppress them violent by Russian forces would be seen, not only as harsh and repressive, but also taking on the same tinge of apartheid and ethnic cleansing. That would be the tipping point, where the Caucasus would be lost to everything, but the radical extremist.
It would lead to the creation of a region far worse than Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, closer to Russia (obviously), closer to Europe and closer to the enormous energy resources and pipeline infrastructure in the region and in close-by Central Asia.