Key Actors

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Key Actors by Mind Map: Key Actors

1. Close ties (defense, economic, religious, cultural) with Russia, particularly through the Collective Security Treaty Organization (Russia's answer to NATO). Reliant on Russia militarily and economically. At standoff with AZE over N-K region. Long history of conflict with Turkish peoples, but also oppressed by Russians during USSR period. Seeks closer ties with US and Europe, but not at the risk of a loss of Russia as a protector state.

2. USA

2.1. Relevant History

2.1.1. Two primary interests in the Caucus and Caspian Sea region and

2.1.1.1. (1) exploitation of energy sources (oil and gas) which contributes to the stability of the world energy markets

2.1.1.2. (2) To ensure social, political and economic progress and stability in the region IOT mitigate Russian influence and minimize conditions for the development of Islamic extremism.

2.2. COG

2.2.1. Coalition ground forces

2.3. Desired End State

2.3.1. AHA deterred, and if not, defeated and its forces withdrawn.

2.3.2. AHA military capabilities degraded and no longer a regional threat.

2.3.3. AZE territorial integrity and sovereignty restore and a stable environment exists.

3. Georgia

3.1. Relevant History

3.1.1. Has not regained control of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after the war with Russia. Russia forces have remained in those regions. While the US supports Georgia, Russia uses its military presence to prevent achievement of Georgia’s goal. Russia has no issues allowing US and NATO operations in Georgia, if it doesn’t interfere with South Ossetia and Abkhazia. US Army Reserves units have been in Georgia assisting with infrastructure reconstruction (i.e. rail systems).

3.2. COG

3.2.1. Cooperation and presence of the United States military in Georgia’s territory.

3.3. Desired End State

3.3.1. Regained control of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

3.3.2. Georgia continues to pursue integration into the Euro-Atlantic institutions, specifically NATO

4. Azerbaijan

4.1. Relevant History

4.1.1. Continuing economic inequality between northern and southern AZE remains an obstacle to the participation of opposition political groups such as SAPP and its branch SAPA. In 2021, SAPA (South Azeri People’s Army) was formed to overthrow the AZE govt, via insurgency, which created a political unstable situation. The government of AHA supports SAPA. The Southern population has become susceptible to extreme Shite Islamic agitation. Territorial dispute with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh region. The FKM (Free Karabakh Military) continues to interfere with AZE police to maintain order, and in 2024 attacked the nuclear power plant at Metsanor, Armenia.

4.2. COG

4.2.1. AZE government leaders

4.3. Desired End State

4.3.1. AHA deterred and its borders with Armenia and AHA secured.

4.3.2. Resolution to the claim of the Araz-Alov-Sharg oil field in the Caspian Sea between AZE, AHA and Iran.

5. Ahurastan

5.1. Relevant History

5.1.1. Ahurastan challenges Azerbaijan’s territorial claims in the Caspian Sea, to include confronting Western, Azerbaijani, and Turkish oil exploration vessels in the Caspian Sea (SRB1 pg. 17).

5.1.2. Declared independence from Iran in February 2024 (SRB1 pg. 17).

5.1.3. Iran’s former Western Area Command becomes the new Ahurastan Army (SRB1 pg. 17).

5.1.4. The new Ahurastan government overtly supports SAPA with sanctuary, cross-border fires, and possible cyber attacks (SRB1 pg. 17).

5.2. COG

5.2.1. Strategic center of gravity is the government of the Ahurastan republic (SRB3 pg. 28).

5.2.2. Operational center of gravity is Ahurastan’s Operational Strategic Command – East (OSC-E) (SRB3 pg. 29).

5.3. Desired End State

5.3.1. Strategic: An economically self-sufficient country that is recognized by the international community (SRB3 pg. 29).

5.3.2. Operational: Control of key areas (resources) with sufficient combat power to force favorable diplomatic solution resulting in negotiated partition of Azerbaijan (SRB3 pg. 30).

6. Iran

6.1. Relevant History

6.1.1. In 2023, an autonomous republic by the name of Ahurastan (AHA) broke away and claimed its independence in 2024. Iran maintains limited ties with AHA but has not resigned its efforts. In the south, the provinces of Bakhtiaris and Lurs have also lost Iran’s control and have formed the Republic of Luristan. Iran has limited its nuclear program since 2016, adhering to the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iran claims 20% share of the Caspian oil and gas reserves and it’s seeking markets for its oil as reward for JCPOA adherence.

6.2. COG

6.2.1. Iran’s economy

6.3. Desired End State

6.3.1. Economic growth via the world market.

6.3.2. Reconciliation with the separated Republics of Ahurastan and Luristan.

7. Armenia

7.1. Relevant History

7.2. COG

7.2.1. Strategic: Armenia wants to annex (at best) and preserve the independence (acceptable) of the N-K region. It will act to protect the status of that region and Armenians living there.

7.2.2. Operational : Armenian Army, specifically its armor brigades. These brigades allow them to maintain their stalemate with AZE over the N-K region. The neutralization or destruction of these brigades would destroy Armenia's ability to militarily protect its strategic COG.

7.3. Desired End State

7.3.1. US desires that Armenia remain neutral in both military action against AZE/ in support of AHU, and provide no economic or other assistance to AHU that would support counter-AZE operations (military, terrorist, or otherwise)

8. Nagorno-Karabakh

8.1. Relevant History

8.1.1. Region inside Azerbaijan disputed by Azerbaijan and Armenia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

8.1.2. Population is now 95% Armenian.

8.1.3. This has resulted in 250,000 refugees in Ahurastan and 750,000 displaced persons in Azerbaijan.

8.1.4. Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) coordinated ceasefire in effect.

8.1.5. OSCE mediated efforts since 1992 have yet to produce a negotiated settlement.

8.1.6. The Joint Operational Area (JOA) for this plan is defined as the airspace, land areas of friendly nations, international airspace, waters of the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Seas minus Cypress and the UN Peacekeeping sector established in Nagorno-Karabakh. (SRB3 pg. 25)

8.2. COG

8.2.1. United Nations Interim Administration Mission, Nagorno-Karabakh (UNINK)

8.3. Desired End State

8.3.1. Maintenance of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace agreement in with the hope of eventually relocating the thousands of IDPs back into that region

9. Turkey

9.1. Relevant History

9.1.1. Erdogan government maintaining relative stability

9.1.2. Continued threats from Islamist terrorists and PKK

9.1.3. Overt military support to Azerbaijan against Ahurastan

9.1.4. Views itself as a key regional power in the Black Sea and Caucasus

9.1.5. Beneficiary of energy flows via existing pipelines (BTC, BakuTbilisi-Erzerum) and future ones

9.1.6. Close ties with Azerbaijan preclude rapprochement with Armenia and relaxation of economic blockade

9.1.7. Vital for access to and from the Black Sea (Bosporous and Dardanelles; Montreux Convention restrictions)

9.2. COG

9.2.1. Strategic: Turkish government

9.2.2. Operational: 17th Mechanized Brigade supporting the Coalition effort

9.3. Desired End State

9.3.1. Gain further influence in the region by supporting Azerbaijan.

10. Russia

10.1. Relevant History

10.1.1. Russia’s assertion of power in the “near abroad”

10.1.1.1. Pressure against Georgia through occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

10.1.1.2. Pressure against Armenia through Eurasian Economic Union and Collective Security Treaty Organization

10.1.2. Islamist extremism remains a threat in the region; Moscow fears the spread of Islamism from its south

10.1.3. Russia is pursuing a less belligerent foreign policy and has shifted its focus to economic and domestic issues

10.1.4. Moscow amenable to coalition operations vs. Ahurastan with stipulations

10.1.5. Significant A2/AD capabilities in occupied Crimea could affect air and sea movements/operations in and around the Black Sea

10.2. COG

10.2.1. Russian Federation Government

10.3. Desired End State

10.3.1. Current AHA regime is preserved and dominance in the energy market is maintained

11. Non-state Actor 1: SAPP (South Azeri People's Party)

11.1. Relevant History

11.1.1. Originated in 2021 among the extended Azeri families that straddle the Azerbaijan-Iran Border. The Party’s failure to provide tangible results gave birth to its military arm (SAPA) later in 2021.

11.1.2. SAPA initially trained and equipped by Iran; now supported by Ahurastan.

11.1.3. SAPA continues to challenge and destabilize the Azerbaijan government.

11.1.4. A "reformist" insurgency that resorts to the use of violence to gain change through the overthrow of current government.

11.1.5. Involved in the narcotics trade as a source of financial support

11.2. COG

11.2.1. SAPA (South Azeri People’s Army)

11.3. Desired End State

11.3.1. Control of Government of Azerbaijan

12. Non-state Actor 2 FKM (Free Karabakh Movement)

12.1. Relevant History

12.1.1. Insurgent Group composed of Azeri refugees driven from Nagorno-Karabakh by the Armenians

12.1.1.1. trained and equipped by Azerbaijani militia

12.1.1.2. FKM has conducted direct action missions against Armenia.

12.1.1.3. FKM has also interfered with Azerbaijani police trying to maintain order in the region and is a growing problem.

12.1.2. In 2021, FKM increased anti-Armenian strikes in the Nagorno-Karabakh region

12.1.3. November 2024, FKM attacks the Armenian nuclear power plant at Metsamor in November. Radiation leaks are detected in neighboring countries. Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of covertly supporting the FKM attack.

12.2. COG

12.2.1. FKM derive their power from the Khojaly clan

12.3. Desired End State

12.3.1. Force Armenian withdraal from NK