American policy evolution in the Caspian Sea region

Does the appointment of certain figures from the oil industry at key positions in the Bush Administration create a convergence between state and company strategies in the Caspian Sea region ? Even though many assumptions have been made in that regard, conflicts of interests are still dividing the US Administration and major oil companies over the construction of new pipelines in Central Asia and the Caucasus. If there has not been, for the moment, any basic shift in the US pipeline diplomacy, some changes are nonetheless noticeable. But these changes are more linked with the new regional and international context resulting from September 11th, than with the new domestic political conditions peculiar to the United States. The US Administration is particularly trying to redefine the economic factors and to consolidate the security environment of oil and gas pipeline projects in the Caspian Sea region. –Summary AFRI-2003