Caspian states join the great game
The Caspian region has begun to boom because of its oil potential. Now the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the US will transform the politics of the region. Bad news for the Afghans could in the long-run be good news for the countries around the Caspian if it gives them more bargaining power.
Only a month ago these countries were as far away from the rest of the world as it is possible to be, now they are at the centre of the geopolitical world. With US-led reprisals imminent, the Caspian littoral states are vying for advantage, playing Russia off against the US in an oil-driven great game that has been bubbling up over the past decade.
Kazakhstan is the furthest along the road to cashing in on Caspian oil deposits, followed by Azerbaijan.