Six Global Hotspots to Watch

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Caspian Sea

Long considered to be little more than a Russian "lake," the Caspian Sea -- with the collapse of the Soviet Union and a rising Iranian presence -- has become a contentious geopolitical hotspot. Russia -- irked by the proposed trans-Caspian gas pipeline and competing claims by other Caspian countries to sea turf -- has, in recent months, pushed to bulk up its already superior military capabilities. Adding to the tensions are the ex-Soviet states Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, which have gone on a weapons spending spree in recent years in order to improve their own modest navies and defend sea claims. Back to the beginning of the list. (AP Photo)

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