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Some aspects of the development of the military-political situation around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Material posted: Publication date: 05-08-2012

In a situation when the modern world is in the process of accumulation of experience of the new independent States (East Timor and Kosovo to Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Eritrea and South Sudan) with different degree of recognition of the Armenian side of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not only convinced that Azerbaijan will not be able to practice their individual benefits but also that the factor of time objectively is not on Baku.

Currently, the military-political situation around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (NCC) is determined mainly by the combined effects of the following factors:

- combat readiness and fighting capacity of the armed forces of the warring parties; maintaining between them an acceptable balance of offensive/defensive weapons;

- the existence of Armenia, NKR and Azerbaijan a sufficient level of mobilization resources and reserves, including their Diaspora potential;

- military-technical, military-political cooperation of Armenia and Azerbaijan with the Federal States; direct participation in selected military-political blocks;

- trends of development and the presence/absence of threats to the stability of the political situation in all three States;

the level of interest and conflict of regional and extraregional forces.

- dynamics and productivity of the negotiation process;

- condition and dynamics of economic development of Armenia, NKR and Azerbaijan;

the development of the military-political situation in the black sea-Caspian and middle East regions in General.

In a situation when the modern world is in the process of accumulation of experience of the new independent States (East Timor and Kosovo to Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Eritrea and South Sudan) with different degree of recognition of the Armenian side of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not only convinced that Azerbaijan will not be able to practice their individual benefits but also that the factor of time objectively is not on Baku.

This is also evidenced dramatically compared to the mid-90's and even early 2000's – the changed attitude to the NCC a wide range of international organizations, to give absolute preference to the principle of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and does not vavasis while in the legal nuances of the emergence of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in the period of the collapse of the Soviet Union, in compliance with all of the force at the period of laws and regulations.

This trend is not least due to the dynamics of the political situation in Azerbaijan is characterized, on the one hand, rising public discontent with authoritarian methods of governance, and the strengthening of the process of Islamization of the society.

The last factor makes Azerbaijan more influenced by the "wave of revolutions" from Muslim countries in Africa and the Middle East, because all these States, under certain historical, cultural, ethnic, socio-economic and socio-political differences, unites the practice of leveraging the potential of mobilization of the so-called "Muslim street" – the most vulnerable part of the population more susceptible to the perception of the Islamic and Islamist propaganda as an alternative to the ideology of the ruling regime.

Current interests of the key actors in world politics, largely discordant or even opposite, for a number of reasons objectively work to prevent the launch of Azerbaijan's military scenario of resolving the conflict.

For the EU, Azerbaijan is of interest primarily as an alternative to the Russian source of energy and as a transit corridor for oil and gas supplies from Central Asian States to bypass Russian territory. His role has increased on the background of increasing instability in the North African States, the Middle East, especially around Iran – in the form of administration and consistent gain in relation to it economic and political sanctions, not to mention the possibility of carrying out anti-Iranian military operation.

The interest of the United States of America (and Israel) supplemented to the same abstraction he can, and subsidiary, but important role in the case of a military operation against Iran.

Russia is interested in close partner relations with Azerbaijan, primarily in the context of mutually beneficial cooperation in the Caspian sea, prevent it in the waters of warships ncapisa States, as well as on the issue of prolongation of the lease of information-analytical center "Daryal" radar system of missile warning), located near the settlement of Gabala. The term of this contract, representing a more political-military than military-technical interest, expires in 2012.

However, the prospects for such economic cooperation with the EU and military – with the United States and Russia, are directly dependent on the preservation of at least relative stability in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the OSCE negotiation process, as repeatedly declared and claimed at different levels and with different political sites. That is, in fact, from the absolute exclusion of military-political risks associated with the escalation of hostilities in the zone of the NCC.

As a consequence, the resumption of hostilities by Azerbaijan can be initiated almost exclusively under the influence of the rise of threatening tendencies of development of political situation in the country, the prospects of losing power elite AR control of it and fears for its political, if not eliminated, and physical survival.

It should be noted here that the scenario of escalation of tensions in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can only be started by the Azerbaijani side, since the resumption of hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic:

- first, will lead to the loss of all political and diplomatic developments and achievements of the Armenian diplomacy over the past 20 years to clarify their position, prospects and historical background of the NCC;

- secondly, is irrational from the military and political points of view. There is no practical sense in changing existing and well-established configuration of the line of confrontation between the Armenian parties there – it is now optimal to minimize the cost of defense mobilization and technical. The balance of power is currently largely provided by the presence of the Armenian side and intensive engineering infrastructure of defense in depth. The output for this line will cause undesirable and may be catastrophic for Armenia and NKR rebalancing in favour of Azerbaijan;

- third, completely at odds with the installation of Yerevan and Stepanakert on achieving the recognition of the NKR through a wide democratization of authorities and society, what separates Nagorno-Karabakh from the tendency to strengthen authoritarian methods of rule in Azerbaijan;

- fourthly, resumption of military actions by Armenian parties will lead to a large voltage of the economies of the RA and the NKR, a sharp deterioration of the socio-economic and moral-psychological situation and status of the population. This situation resulted in the uncontrolled political process, society should be represented in a very compelling motivation for the resumption of the war set and explained goals and objectives, which is an objective and real – time.

The real balance of political forces in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, the free functioning of opposition parties and movements, democratic procedure of transfer of power by election results, not for dynastic reasons, does not generate, in contrast to Azerbaijan, the risk of violation of domestic stability, not to provoke the need for artificial transfer of attention of Armenian society to the situation in the conflict zone and does not require a reason for the stricter control of social and political life in the country in the form of "being at war".

In addition, the Azerbaijani authorities need to mitigate criticism of its activities by resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by any means – both diplomatic and military – for the failure of earlier promises and virtually useless waste of budget funds for strengthening the power structures of the state, the outgoing and increasingly by the current nominally secular opposition and actually gaining weight Islamic and Islamist.

The lack of tangible results from holding for many years the policy of an arms race in the region, scoring numerous threats of use of armed forces to return the "occupied 20 percent without the backing of their actual intensification of militant activity in the conflict zone – is regarded by the opposition as a direct indicator of the ineffectiveness of the current leadership of large-scale embezzlement in the military budget at the state level and strengthening the power structures of AR only for self-preservation of the ruling elite.

However, the escalation of tensions in the conflict zone on the background of the arms race, supplemented by the policy promises of a military revenge, and planting the image of an Armenian enemy is dangerous because very soon it may enter a mode in weakly controlled by the authorities of Azerbaijan for acceleration and samarangana.

According to the statement of defense Minister of Nagorno Karabakh Movses Hakobian, the Azerbaijani side from year to year increases the tension on the front line in the first half of this year, the number of cases of violation of ceasefire regime by Azerbaijan compared to the same period last year has doubled, and the number of diversions – four. In the first half of last year, the enemy made two subversive acts, and this year recorded four1.

Such provocations are aimed at achieving military and political goals for both domestic and foreign usage, such in particular as:

- identification

  • the level of combat readiness of the armed forces of the NKR and RA;
  • defense system of the ALC mode of protection of the state border of RA, the saturation lines of engineering structures firepower;
  • tactics and responsiveness of units of the Karabakh defense Army and the RA armed forces;

- write-off on sporadic clashes and skirmishes, sniper fire and non-combat losses among the personnel of the armed forces of AR;

- presentation of the Azerbaijan society of such hostilities as an indicator of increasing military power and to justify alleged inconsistencies in the growth rate of the economy of Azerbaijan with the real improvement of the socio-economic status of broad segments of the population;

- keeping with the art of psychological "state of war", to reduce the level which, especially in modern Azerbaijani youth, declare configured revanchist organizations and individual activists;

- justification of authoritarianism in domestic policy, the existing limitations of the socio-political, human rights organizations, freedom of expression citizens of Azerbaijan and their possible tightening in the future;

- attracting/retaining the attention of the international community on the issue of the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

However, the power elite art should realize that the escalation of the military situation in the zone of the NCC objectively works on the arm of an organized Islamic and Islamist opposition because, firstly, almost any scenario of military actions, with the exception that the "blitzkrieg", will have a pronounced negative impact on the stability of the ruling regime, and secondly, will serve as the reason for the appeal for help to the Islamic countries, receiving financial support, in particular, bypassing official state structures, and also to attract to the country to participate in the fighting of human resources, for the most part, adhering to the Islamist ideology and demonstrated his mobility during the Libyan and Syrian events 2011-12гг.2

That in the last few years, the Islamic opposition AR intensified in this direction, according to the calls of the Islamic party of Azerbaijan to declare martial law and Jihad3; August 2010. it was created "of the Karabakh Organization of the Islamic resistance"4, operating in parallel with "secular" organizations of this kind, the most active and notorious of which is probably the "Karabakh liberation Organization".

The growth of revanchist statements by representatives of the whole vertical of power in Azerbaijan, the threats to withdraw from the negotiation process, conducted under the mediation of the OSCE Minsk group, and to resolve the conflict by force led to the correction of the implementation of military-technical cooperation not only with Azerbaijan but also with Armenia. Despite the declared Baku's concern at the escalation of tensions in Azerbaijani-Iranian relations, and use it as a pretext for increasing its shock of heavy weapons, from the global players, there is a clear trend of tightening control over the range of supplies of weapons and military equipment in Azerbaijan. The latest example is the decision of the US state Department to exclude Azerbaijan from the list of countries that in the near future will be sold American military equipment, adopted on the basis of well-founded fear of its use against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh5.

Conversely, the possible negative consequences in case of the emergence and rise of substantial military-technical imbalance between the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides of the conflict led to a revision of Russia restrictions on the range of supplies to Armenia of heavy offensive weapons within the MTC member countries of the CSTO and improve both sides of the level of military-political cooperation.

The formation of the deceptive feeling of military superiority in the atmosphere of military-holiday euphoria, but in isolation from the realities and trends in regional and global politics should not enter the leadership of Azerbaijan to the lure of the practical application of force in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. At least taking into account the sad experience of leadership in neighboring Georgia, which has experienced such a emotional state on the eve of war in August of 2008.

1 9, 2012.

2 the Chairman of the Islamic party of Azerbaijan: In case of war in Karabakh a Jihad obligatory for every Muslim. news/ read/8421/eksklyuziv-predsedatel-islamskoy-partii-azerbaydana-v-sluchae-voyni-v-karabaxe-dixad-obyazatelen-dlya-kajdogo-musulmanina/on may 20, 2010.

3 "to Declare in the country state of war", calls for the Islamic party of Azerbaijan. 17, 2009.

4Azeri Press Agency, August 02, 2010

5, 29 June 2012.

Sergey Sargsyan

"Globus" analytical journal, # 8, 2012


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