George Friedman Lecture

When: December 13, 2010

From: 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM

Subject:  The Strategic Significance of the Caucasus

Speaker:  George Friedman, Founder, CEO, and Chief Intelligence Officer of STRATFOR, a Global Intelligence Corporation

Location:  The Forum, Santa Fe University of Art and Design (formerly College of Santa Fe), 1600 St. Michael’s Drive

Cost:  $10 CIR Members

           $15 Non-members & Guests

On the occasion of the opening of the Honorary Consulate of Azerbaijan in Santa Fe, the Santa Fe Council on International Relations with support from the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles has organized this presentation by George Friedman.

The Caucasus is the point where Russia, Iran, and Turkey meet.  For most of the 19th century, the three powers dueled for dominance of the region.  This dispute froze during the Soviet period but is certainly in motion again.  With none of these primary powers directly controlling the region, there are secondary competitions involving Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, both among these secondary powers and between the secondary powers and the major powers.  And given that the region involves the Russians, Iranians, and Turks, it is inevitable that the global power would have an interest as well—hence, Hillary Clinton’s visit in July 2010.

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Of all the regions of the world, this one is among the most potentially explosive.  It is the most likely to draw in major powers and the most likely to involve the United States.  It is quiet now—but like the Balkans in 1990, quiet does not necessarily reassure any of the players.  Therefore, seven players are involved in a very small space.  Think of it as a cauldron framed by Russia, Iran, and Turkey, occasionally stirred by Washington, for whom each of the other three major powers poses special challenges of varying degrees.

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What is likely to happen in this strategic and historically volatile region?   Come hear one of America’s leading political analysts of potential international conflicts share his insights.   There will be an opportunity for questions and answers immediately after the lecture. 

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