Education Resource

Joshua Kucera: Military Build-Up in the Caspian

The Caspian Sea once knew Russia as the sole dominant power with substantial naval might. Now there are five countries, each secretly regarding the others as potential foes. Beneath the "sea of peace" demilitarization rhetoric used by the governments of Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan is an unprecedented level of naval force build-up. While the threat of terrorism is often the explanation for the build-up, there's been no known terrorist intent to attack the Caspian region. And, more importantly, the arms they buy are too powerful for a counterterrorism operation. Pulitzer Center grantee Joshua Kucera is traveling to Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan to look at the real reasons behind this militarization.