Azerbaijani army's future already in sight
    Task is to become even stronger

    ANALYTICS  26 June 2023 - 12:25

    Timur Rzayev
    Caliber.Az

    Another holiday, Azerbaijani Armed Forces Day, which the entire country celebrates today, June 26, has become another good cause to discuss how Azerbaijan's Armed Forces are evolving, and, more significantly, how they will evolve in the current environment. And it is very interesting. Because the Armed Forces’ successes are apparent, and the Azerbaijani army is currently deservedly the strongest in the South Caucasus. Moreover, these are not some artificial indicators, but military achievements, clearly demonstrated to the whole world in the fall of 2020…

    Speaking about the Azerbaijani army, its present and future, we will always refer to the 44-day war, as a result of which Karabakh and East Zangazur were liberated from the Armenian occupiers. They became the apotheosis of everyday military construction, care and attention to the army, which was provided first by national leader Heydar Aliyev, and then by President, Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev to the Armed Forces from the very beginning of his state leadership. Now we can openly say that the modern Azerbaijani army fully lived up to our nation’s hopes by liberating the lands during the [2020] Patriotic War. And the point here is not only and not so much in the invested funds, but in an integrated approach to such an important issue. A strong economy made it possible to choose the best models of weapons and the right personnel policy is to train officers and soldiers well, to improve the entire structure of the Armed Forces. The vector of development of not only quantitative, but also equally important qualitative potential was taken, so that we would be stronger than the enemy in each separate sector of the Armed Forces. Step by step, thoughtfully and purposefully, this progressive development went on, and already the April battles of 2016, the Gunnut operation showed the loyalty of the chosen path. Well, the Patriotic War was the pinnacle of many years of efforts. Then, when we monitored reports from the front every day, waiting for joyful news, when Ilham Aliyev informed the people about the liberation of his native land, we saw the dazzling tip of the iceberg, but the iceberg of military victory itself was formed not in one day, but for many years…

    Now, of course, the question arises – what will be the vector of further development? Basically, all these past almost three years we have been based on the experience of the Patriotic War. It has served as a huge source of advanced knowledge about modern warfare, practical and theoretical experience, an indicator of success and inevitable, albeit minor, shortcomings. And this experience, especially in terms of breaking through echeloned defence, counter-battery artillery warfare, maneuver actions in the mountains, coordination of actions of various Armed Forces branches, the use of drones, the use of special forces and commandos, allows us to go further.

    There is a well–known expression of Winston Churchill - "generals are always preparing for the last war", which has a rather negative connotation. It was strengthened after the first years of World War II, when the German blitzkrieg strategy with deep breakthroughs of tank wedges in Poland and France, and in the USSR in 1941 overturned all ideas of a Great War–style confrontation - with endless rows of barbed wire, trenches and machine guns, with omnipotent artillery, with a stubborn fruitless struggle for a few kilometres… In relation to our conditions, it is necessary to emphasise – despite the victory in the Patriotic War, the Azerbaijani army has not rested on its well-deserved laurels for all these three years and is not going to do so in the future. On the contrary, based on the 44-day war experince, we are developing further.

    Where to? President Ilham Aliyev said this directly: "Today we are developing our Armed Forces on the basis of a single program, and I am sure that in the near future our army will rise to a new, high level. Today, the Azerbaijani army is stronger than the Azerbaijani army that showed heroism and professionalism during the war. There is a process of improving the Defence Ministry structure and this process continues. I am sure that the decisions taken in the field of military education will bear fruit in the near future."

    What do Supreme Commander-in-Chief Aliyev’s remarks mean? [They mean] that our Armed Forces face an ambitious, but feasible task – to become even stronger than themselves. If there are no questions about the heroism and professionalism of the personnel, then technical equipment and new tactical techniques are simply necessary. Because they are interconnected – new equipment will provide new tactical opportunities, and those, in turn, will bring new victories. The Azerbaijani army is carefully studying the experience of the development of two strong armies of the world – Türkiye and Israel, which are constantly involved in hostilities and clashes. The experience of the war in Ukraine, which became the second "drone war" after the Patriotic War, is also being studied. It is not for nothing that the Supreme Commander–in-Chief noted that many contracts have already been signed - both for the supply of new unmanned aerial vehicles to our country and long-range missiles with impressive striking power and high accuracy. And here we see the symbiotic influence of the use of Bayraktars (in Azerbaijan) and Haimars (in Ukraine) on the development of modern military ideas, as well as Baku's quick adoption of new trends. Drones and long-range missiles will allow Azerbaijan to attack any potential enemy on the distant borders of any hostile acts and inflict devastating damage.

    Thus, the fusion of quantitative and qualitative growth of our Armed Forces will continue to go hand in hand for progressive development. For example, it is not for nothing that the number of special forces and marines of the Defence Ministry, the State Border Service, the Internal Troops, the State Security Service and the Foreign Intelligence Service is increasing. Also, the development of commando forces, amphibious assault units, forces with mountain rifle training is another vector of the future of the Armed Forces. We all remember the heroism and professionalism of the Azerbaijani soldiers during the liberation of Shusha city. And modern combat missions require exactly this – heroism coupled with professionalism, the highest training. So, the trend for even greater professional development in the army will only increase, and it is quite possible that the future Azerbaijani army will become almost completely professional (contract), and the term of military service in the Armed Forces will decrease…

    ... Even Napoleon, with his famous phrase – "Those reluctant to feed their army will soon be forced to feed someone else's" clearly showed where oblivion of military interests leads. The revanchist sentiments in Armenia, the refusal to fulfill the obligation to open the Zangazur corridor, the presence of Armenian troops in Karabakh and Yerevan's support for separatists, the aggressive behavior and rhetoric of some forces in Iran – all these are dangerous challenges to the calm, stability, security and development of Azerbaijan. Therefore, further improvement of the Azerbaijani army is a requirement of the day. There is no strong Azerbaijan without a strong army! The ambitious task of becoming stronger than yourself is feasible, but there is still a lot to do. That is why the Azerbaijani army, rethinking the results of the Patriotic War, analysng the course of military operations in Ukraine, builds its future on a new foundation of best practices.

    Caliber.Az

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