Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Can the Caucasus flames be controlled?


ossetia.jpgThe Caucasus tinderbox is alight again. How far will the flames spread this time and what can the outside world – the United States, the European Union, NATO – do to extinguish them?

The strategic significance of this mountainous region stretches back through history.

To the west lies the Black Sea, to the east the Caspian, to the south the Mediterranean, Iran and Turkey.

In the past Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and the Russian tsars struggled to control its trade routes. Today Russia and the West are competing for influence over its energy pipelines carrying Caspian oil to world markets.