Although Georgia is still a success story in an authoritarian neighborhood, three recent trends are a reminder that elements of that story are reversible.
Geopolitical conditions in the South Caucasus have experienced a substantial shift in recent years. Washington needs to adjust assumptions in advancing U.S. interests in the region to make the most of its capabilities.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has become the organizing foreign policy concept of the Xi Jinping era.
The United States has important but not vital interests in the South Caucasus, which include preserving regional stability; preventing the resumption of frozen conflicts; and supporting democratic change and better governance as well as the international integration of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.
Georgia has made steady progress since independence, but ongoing challenges call for further integration with the West, improved relations with Russia, and deeper ties with other partners.
Awakening the middle class is the key to effectively reforming the U.S. justice system.
Twenty-five years after Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia became independent states, the South Caucasus remains a strategically sensitive region.
Territorial conflicts in Southeastern Europe have hampered the implementation of international agreements on arms control and confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs) in disputed territories under the effective control of de facto regimes.
The EU’s policy of non-recognition and engagement in the South Caucasus has been modestly successful and may offer useful lessons for other parts of Eastern Europe.
Despite their appealing promises, oligarchs do not offer a viable form of governance in countries such as Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.