The South Caucasus, sometimes overlooked, is a region where ‘low-level’ conflicts have the possibility of becoming regional or even potentially global if the geopolitical quagmires are left unchecked. Ongoing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan correlate to a once low-level conflict that can now go regional as significant world players are fully invested in the current tensions.

One such player now growingly invested and concerned with a potential regional conflict is the United States, which, for years, relatively stood idly while playing cavalier between Yerevan and Baku.

Armenian-Azerbaijani Tensions

Expecting that longtime Azerbaijani autocrat Ilham Aliyev would obey international law and come to a peaceful settlement after his 2020 victory, the dictator instead has constantly provoked war. First in 2022 in Armenia proper and then in 2023 with a globally condemned blockade and military and military operation that resulted in the ethnic cleansing of the Karabakh Armenians.

Initially thinking Aliyev would be a rational actor and an “alternative” Russian energy, the West effectively left Armenia out to dry and placated another dictator with territorial ambitions akin to Vladimir Putin. Instead, Aliyev revealed his true intentions of wanting to force Armenians to live under his regime’s submission—the same government repressing their citizens.

The State Department has expressed concerns about another potential war as Azerbaijan, even though regaining the Karabakh region, still eyes territory in Southern Armenia.

An anti-war protest in the US via FirstPost

Minimal but Increasing Support for Armenia

Despite the American bureaucracy that led to lukewarm policies in the South Caucasus, other countries have started supporting Armenia.

Despite being relatively small, Lithuania is giving a significant diplomatic and technological boost to Armenia in the European Union, which is going through internal problems at a time when the bloc should be united. Vilnius recommended that “all options” should be on the table if further aggression occurs against Armenia, and they were one of the first Western countries to immediately condemn Azerbaijan’s blockade of the Lachin Corridor in December 2022.