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Azerbaijan and the Southern Gas Corridor to Europe: Implications for U.S. and European Energy Security
On Friday, September 13, The Jamestown Foundation hosted an event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace entitled, “Azerbaijan and the Southern Gas Corridor to Europe: Implications for U.S. and European Energy Security.” The event consisted of three panels, which discussed the game-changing nature of the opening of a new energy transit route into Europe, implications for Southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as U.S. and EU policy regarding the Southern Gas Corridor and European energy security. Jamestown’s successful event
attracted about 100 attendees from the policymaking community, government, the corporate sector as well as academia.
The first panel focused on Azerbaijan’s efforts to open a separate transit route for Caspian energy exports to Europe. Discussants included Jamestown Senior Fellow Vladimir Socor, who presented an in-depth analysis of Azerbaijan’s Trans-Anatolian Pipeline project, which will traverse Turkey and connect with EU member Bulgaria; Azerbaijani state energy company SOCAR representative Rauf Mammadov, who described his company’s business strategy related to the Southern Corridor and entering the market in Southeastern Europe; as well as Gulmira Rzayeva of the Azerbaijani think tank Center for Strategic Studies, who spoke on the
commercial and political implications of the selection of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to direct Caspian basin gas to the Italian market.
The second panel included focused on the implications of the Southern Corridor to Southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean region. Greg Saunders, a senior director for BP, provided a detailed overview of the actual sources of Caspian energy resources, the proposed transit routes to Europe as well as those already constructed, and the breakdown of the European markets that these resources will reach. European energy consultant Anthony
Livanios described how the discovery of large offshore natural gas fields around Cyprus and Israel can feed into European markets. He also explored the implications for Azerbaijan’s purchase of Greece’s pipeline network. Margarita Assenova, Jamestown’s Director of Programs for the Balkans, Caucasus & Central Asia, detailed the energy security situation in Bulgaria and the Balkans, including Russian efforts to dominate these markets through means such as the South Stream Pipeline.
The final panel featured current and former government officials from Europe and the United States, who discussed U.S. and EU interests in the Southern Corridor’s launch. Christian Burgsmuller, a representative of the EU delegation to the U.S., gave Brussels stance on how TAP would fit into plans for ensuring greater European energy security. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Amos Hochstein provided the U.S. perspective and gave a background on Washington’s behind-the-scenes efforts at diversifying Europe’s energy sources and transit routes. Finally, Ambassador Matthew Bryza concluded the discussion by noting that the selection of TAP to
transit Azerbaijani gas to Europe was not the end of the story, but only the beginning of the opening of a new energy transit route to America’s European allies. He predicted that once the first gas began to flow westward from the Caspian basin, other players, including Turkmenistan and perhaps Iraqi Kurdistan, would see the Southern Corridor as a viable direction for their own energy exports, thus helping to diversify the markets of those European countries still dominated by Gazprom.
*To watch the full video of the event, as well as read the speaker biographies, please click here.
Save the Date!
The Jamestown Foundation’s Seventh Annual Terrorism Conference
The Jamestown Foundation will hold its Seventh Annual Terrorism Conference at the Cargegie Endowment for International Peace on Thursday, December 12, 2013. Speakers at the conference will focus their discussion on al-Qaeda and its offshoots in North Africa and the Middle East. See below for a preliminary agenda:
Thursday, December 12, 2013
8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW The Root Room Washington, DC
Kenote Speaker: General James N. Mattis (Retired)
Former Commander, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM)
General Michael V. Hayden(Retired), Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Board Member, The Jamestown Foundation
Bruce Hoffman, Director, Center for Security Studies, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University & Board Member, The Jamestown Foundation
Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow, The Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution & Board Member, Jamestown Foundation
David Kilcullen (Invited), President, Caerus and Associates, Former Counter-Terrorism Coordinator at U.S. State Department
**More details and registration information to follow**
Key Themes and Trends in September
China’s “New Type of Urbanization” – Boosting Social Services and Consumption
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has been advancing economic reform initiatives to boost consumption by getting local governments to invest in environmental protection and social services and to control the price of housing. If successful, the reforms will help the Chinese economy grow and to unwind China’s enormous local government debts, thereby reducing the risk of a major financial crisis in the world’s second largest economy. Whether the reforms succeed or fail will also be indicative of the success of a larger package of reforms being tested in the pilot
Shanghai Free Trade Zone, which if rolled out nationwide will greatly reduce barriers to foreign investment in China and may create more competitive markets.
The reforms will involve considerable spending on urban infrastructure, including transportation, waste management, utilities pipelines, and “ecological” parks and gardens, which will create opportunities for companies to sell these to China. The reforms are designed to maintain economic growth in China via three mechanisms: by moving a sizeable portion of the national income from large state-owned companies and governments to households; by creating new consumers out of migrant workers through providing them with social services, thus freeing up their savings initially set aside for medical emergencies and education; as well as by encouraging the existing
Unintended Consequences of the Russia-U.S. Accord on Disarming Syria of Its Chemical Weapons
A resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council on Friday, September 27, required that Syria eradicate its chemical weapons program. However, it did not establish automatic punitive actions in the event that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad does not comply. The Security Council resolution was the result of frenzied diplomacy, spearheaded by Russia and encouraged by the U.S. government as a last-minute alternative to the cruise missile strikes. The White House has threatened strikes in response to Assad’s August 21 use of poison gas against a rebel-controlled Damascus suburb. The U.S.-Russian accord on dealing with Syria’s chemical weapons
saves President Barack Obama’s administration from having to carry out its threat of military strikes against al-Assad’s forces, as military involvement in the Syrian conflict is acutely unpopular with Congress and the American public. But the alternate solution appears to have unintended consequences, which may go against U.S. interests. A recent series of articles by analyst Pavel Felgenhauer, writing in the Eurasia Daily Monitor, point out some of these implications.
As the lengthy process of chemical disarmament drags on, the U.S. and the international community will have a stake in keeping al-Assad in power as a guarantee that the disarmament agreement is honored. The Syrian opposition is fragmented and not keen to underwrite the Russian initiative. Moscow believes that only an outside U.S.-led military intervention may turn the tide and destroy al-Assad; therefore, its main strategic objective was to prevent at all costs any outside punitive action. Moscow managed to persuade al-Assad to agree to declare his chemical arsenal and promise to eventually destroy it to give Obama a pretext to do nothing. This smart tactical move, a
diplomatic victory for Putin, will surely embolden al-Assad and his allies. The Russian Ministry of Defense, meanwhile, is preparing to send to Syria a contingent of military personnel trained to deal with chemical/biological hazards and spetsnaz forces to guard the specialists and the perimeter of chemical storage facilities. But Russia believes some 10,000 foreign military personnel, including contingents from the U.S. and its NATO allies, must be deployed to safely guard and process the Syrian chemical arsenal. Obama may, therefore, be forced into a humiliating position of either having to put U.S. Army boots on Syrian soil together with al-Assad’s Russian allies, likely under international command, risking the lives and safety of the American troops (all this after refusing to
remotely use cruise missiles to punish al-Assad), or be left out in the cold without any firsthand knowledge about what is happening with al-Assad’s arsenal. The deployment of a limited contingent of Western troops in Syria would imply a tacit understanding that al-Assad must stay in power to guarantee their safety and a smooth disarmament process. This appears to be the main long-term strategic objective of Moscow and Damascus in the Syrian chemical weapons destruction process.
Militant Leadership Monitor is in its fourth year of publication. Over the past three years, subscribers to MLM have been receiving unique biographies and insightful analyses about key members and leaders of militant groups in countries around the world. The August 2013 Issue of Militant Leadership Monitor is available for purchase.The issue contains profiles of Syrian Opposition Farouq Brigade Commander Osama
Juneidi, Indonesia’s Most Prominent Militant Shaykh Abu Wardah Santoso, Ansar al-Sharia leader Abu Iyad al-Tunisi, and a montage of past and current Houthi leaders in Yemen.
You can purchase the annual subscription at $200.00 (individual rate) or $300 (corporate rate). An annual subscription will give you full access to the mlm.jamestown.org website, past archives of MLM, and new issues automatically delivered monthly to your inbox for a full year as well as issues of the Quarterly Special Report.
The September Issue of Militant Leadership Monitor focus on militant leaders in Africa and the Middle East. In the first brief, Nicholas A. Heras analyzes an Iraqi Shiite militia leader who has vowed vengeance if the United States and its Allies launch a strike on Syria. The second brief looks at Syrian opposition organization Liwa al-Tawhid’s leader Abd al-Qadr al-Salah who recently tweeted the formation of a new rebel Islamist coalition. Wladimir van Wilgenburg provides snapshots of Kurdish leaders Abd al-Hamid Hajj Darwish and Abdulhakim Bashar. Jason Warner assesses the implications of Michel Djotodia’s transition from leader of the Seleka Coalition to
presidential leader of the Central African Republic. Animesh Roul comes next with a sketch of Jihadi Demagogue Maulana Masood Azhar of Pakistan. Andrew McGregor concludes the issue with an in-depth look at al-Gama’a al-Islamiya’s Aboud al-Zomor of Egypt.
The most recent Quarterly Special Reports are available for purchase.
In the most recent Special Report “The North Caucasus Trail of the Boston Bombers” we examine the events leading up to the horrible tragedy in Boston on April 15, which refocused Western attention on Russia’s troubled North Caucasus. We focus on the connections between the North Caucasus and the Tsarnaev brothers, Dzokhar and Tamerlan. Challenges abound in seeking to understand the
“who,” “what,” “when” and “why” of the April 15 attacks as we examine the possible aims and motives of the Boston bombers. Trying to understand the Boston bombings is further complicated not only by the Tsarnaevs’ experience living in America, but also by Tamerlan’s six-month sojourn in Dagestan from January to July 2012. In this QSR, we delve into the alleged connections that Tamerlan Tsarnaev reportedly made on his last trip to the North Caucasus.
dimensions. Tribal militant groups covered in this report include Tehrik-e-Taliban, the Haqqani Network and the Balochistan Liberation Front. The Special Report does not include profiles of leaders of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT); profiles of LeT leaders will appear in a separate, future Special Report that will deal with the LeT exclusively.
Pakistan has the world’s second largest Muslim population but is rife with sectarian divisions, which present challenges to Islamabad’s authority. In addition to internal and geopolitical security challenges, Pakistan is burdened with issues such as an increased cost of living, a stagnant economy, a fuel crisis, deficient public infrastructure and widespread political corruption, while the country is debating the appropriate balance of power between federal and local government bodies and the authority of Shari’a.
This Special Report is broken into two parts, the first part covers tribal militant leaders in the FATA and the NWFP, and the second part focuses on the lesser known conflict in Balochistan. The Special Report concludes with an article that includes a few prognostications concerning the future directions of the FATA, NWFP and Baloch insurgencies.
Jacob Zenn was quoted by Voice of America in an article about Boko Haram.
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