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U.S. Army Europe commander discusses current challenges and defense issues in the region with Azerbaijan’s Minister of Defense, Safar Abiyev (left). (Photo: Kelly Schloesser, U.S. Army Europe)

From Tom Rick’s blog The Best Defense, August 20, 2012:

By Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, US Army, Best Defense guest columnist

The Caucasus — that historical causeway of conflict between Europe and the Middle East — remains a complicated tangle of security concerns. Ethnic tensions still affect long standing territorial disputes, internally displaced indigenous people align with or oppose powerful diasporas, and an increasing nouveau riche — an oil-fueled minority upper class — is growing in an area once known only for desperate poverty… (more) http://ow.ly/d8K0x