TODAY.AZ / Analytics

Armenia's 'second army' like 'a grand piano in the bushes'

04 February 2010 [15:00] - TODAY.AZ
The Armenian army held another series of military exercises in the occupied Azerbaijani territories a few days ago. Unfortunately, these exercises have already become a regular happening. The international community stubbornly keeps silent as if this is natural and as if Armenia is not a member of international organizations and a party to international agreements. The international community is dancing under Armenia’s tune even more enthusiastically, droningly playing a mythical melody about Azerbaijan’s militarism and Armenia's good nature.

They say Azerbaijan has raised the military budget and purchases weapons in large numbers, develops its defense industry, and constantly announces the possibility of a renewed war (what a nightmare for all Armenians!). In fact, Azerbaijan is engaged in all of the above-said. There is nothing surprising or reprehensible about this fact. What should a country, part of whose territory is occupied amid the full tolerance of the international community and a state, which has lived in a "frozen conflict" for 16 years, do? What to do if this "icing" is more imaginary than real? And what do to if Azerbaijan, reforming and equipping its army, complies with quotas of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CEF Treaty) while Armenia has an opportunity to keep its armed forces in the occupied territories controlled neither by Azerbaijan nor international community?

The situation is too simple. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan are parties to the CFE Treaty, which  allocates certain quotas for each country. Azerbaijan is in compliance with its quotas. Armenia is also in compliance, but geographically. However, there is a so-called separatist Nagorno-Karabakh, whose weapons are not registered by the CFE Treaty because the "Nagorno Karabakh Republic" is not a party to the agreement or any other international treaties. Armenia constantly stores heavy military equipment in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories. Azerbaijan, of course, clearly sees what kinds of weapons they are and is aware of where they are produced.

Thus, a situation which is incredible for the 21st century, but also obvious, appears in this case: Azerbaijan is opposed to Armenia which possesses "a grand piano in the bushes,” in fact, an army not controlled by anyone except the Armenians themselves and perhaps by countries that maintain much a closer relationship with it in the military sphere.

Of course, the military junta which seized power in Armenia profits from coming up with militarist ideas among the population. "Azerbaijan is threatening us!", "Azerbaijan is buying new tanks!", "Azerbaijan conducts a parade!", "We must answer!".

One more awkward thing about this "second army" is that they will have to withdraw it soon. Initially, the purchase and deployment of so many heavy weapons in Karabakh looks pretty silly. In the case of a blitzkrieg (even though it is less probable at the moment because of Azerbaijan’s determination to follow peaceful means), these weapons will be transformed into trophies. It seems impossible to display one’s abilities in mountainous areas. The eternal threat of Armenian utopians to attack lowland areas of Azerbaijan is nothing but hot air. However, we do not need to worry about the safety of the Armenian arms: in case of a war it would be in a more convenient place to be destroyed or seized.

The international community has no accurate data on the number, type or quality of weapons in the “Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.” But Azerbaijan sees everything very well.

What is surprising is that Armenia ignores the West and East by holding military parades in Azerbaijan’s occupied Khankandi town and the president of Armenia, a country recognized by the international community, reviews illegal armed formations on the territory of Azerbaijan, another internationally recognized country. The issue at hand is that these armed formations are an integral part of the army, the commander-in-chief of which is the president. The international community looks either blind or mentally handicapped in this case.

Given the situation, I think it would make sense to raise the question of an international inspection in the occupied territories. If the OSCE is able to measure the length and width of the Lachin corridor in the event of the signing of the peace treaty, then it should not ignore the presence of the uncontrolled armed forces of another country in the territory of its member state. It would be better also to monitor cultivation and drug production, nuclear waste disposal, environmental orgy and others of that ilk in these areas.

I can imagine how the Armenian junta will resist the inspection. It is quite possible that the huge theft which benefited Serzh Sargsyan, Robert Kocharian, Seyran Ohanyan and "other officials" will be revealed.

K. Guluzade

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