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JSPES, Vol. 34, No. 2 (Summer 2009)

The Geopolitics of Energy in Central Asia and the Caucasus

Gawdat Bahgat

National Defense University, Washington D.C

Since the demise of the Soviet Union, Central Asia has emerged as a major player in the global energy market. The region holds substantial oil and gas reserves. The development of these resources and the choosing of transit routes have been subject to intense competition among external powers, particularly Europe, Russia and China. This essay examines the conflicting strategies pursued by Brussels, Moscow and Beijing. It argues that these global powers would benefit more by promoting political stability and economic prosperity in Central Asia and the Caucasus.