Does US support Armenia's revanchist fantasies?
    Expert opinions on Caliber.Az

    INTERVIEWS  12 November 2023 - 11:30

    Samir Ibrahimov

    According to the website of the Armenian Defence Ministry, the Pentagon will begin to help Armenia in the professional and combat training of the military.

    The agreements were reached at a Stuttgart meeting between Armenian First Deputy Defence Minister, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Edward Asryan, and Deputy Commander of the US European Command Stephen Basham.

    “Basham expressed the US readiness to initiate new spheres of cooperation, namely, professionalisation of the armed forces, military education and combat training, exercises, etc.,” the Armenian Defence Ministry said.

    Among the spheres of cooperation, there is also the modernisation of the command and control system, peacekeeping and military medicine, besides the existing programmes.

    “The issues of development of the Armenian-US military cooperation were discussed during the meeting,” the statement said.

    Moreover, the generals discussed regional security issues.

    Besides the EUCOM headquarters, Asryan also visited the US Army Europe Joint Multinational Readiness Centre and the Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) located in Hohenfels, Germany.

    What goals is the US pursuing by intensifying military cooperation with Armenia? The US knows that Armenia, which possessed numerous weapons due to external support, has recently waged a war against neighbouring Azerbaijan, and territorial claims against its neighbouring countries were outlined in its official documents.

    Proceeding from such a sad experience, Baku and Ankara are wary of foreign countries’ attempts to support Armenia in the military sphere. France, India, and Iran can be mentioned. Now the US is also among these countries.

    Such steps are unlikely to facilitate the conclusion of a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the restoration of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Türkiye, are not they? So why does the US use this way?

    Foreign experts expressed their opinions on this issue on Caliber.Az.

    Turkish political analyst, Doctor of Political Sciences, Professor Haydar Cakmak thinks that US military assistance to Armenia and the training of its military personnel is Washington’s attempt to keep the regional countries “on their toes” through Yerevan.

    “No matter how well the Armenian armed forces are trained, they will never be able to succeed against Russia, Azerbaijan or Türkiye. I think that the purpose of the abovementioned actions of the Americans is to disturb and distract the regional countries through Armenia,” the political analyst said.

    “I think the Armenian leadership is aware of this, but their goal is to get rid of Russian influence and live like a Western country. For this purpose, it is necessary to get along well with Türkiye and Azerbaijan, by the way, both the Armenian people and Western countries want this,” the professor added.

    In turn, US political analyst Andrew Korybko said that the US goal is to “lure” Armenia away from Russia and the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), and for this purpose, Washington is now focusing on the military dimension of this plan through the issues that have been recently agreed upon.

    “The US policymakers seem to have concluded that Armenia's defeat in Karabakh created an opportunity for them to expand their influence in that country through Russia, using Moscow’s widespread but misplaced resentment after that conflict,” he noted.

    “Many Armenians have been influenced by the propaganda of their diaspora saying that Russia is responsible for Armenia’s defeat and this justifies Armenia’s distancing from Russia, but the reality is that the CSTO's mutual defence obligations do not extend to the internationally recognised territory of Azerbaijan,” Korybko said.

    “However, this misconception is widespread in Armenian society and was used by the US for its latest military activity in Armenia,” he added.

    He added that the US has several strategic goals here.

    “Firstly, the US wants to worsen the Armenia-Russia relations in general, and the second goal is related to the military cooperation,” he said.

    “The third goal is based on the previous two and concerns the newly agreed upon US-Armenian cooperation, which may create problems for Russian-Armenian cooperation due to the planned US interference in that country's command and control systems. The US can spy on Russia through Armenia,” Korybko said.

    “This is not a conspiracy theory, as some critics may instinctively claim, these fears are based on the experience of American concerns themselves, when they noticed the facts of military cooperation of some partners with Russia,” the political analyst noted.

    “The US has previously said that such countries as India and Türkiye, which are purchasing S-400 air defence systems from Moscow, could be used for Russia to secretly collect intelligence on their military cooperation with the US. Under this pretext the US imposed sanctions against Türkiye and stopped some spheres of cooperation with it,” he said. 

    He noted that whether these specific concerns are justified or not, the fact is that they were publicly expressed by the US politicians and are relevant when it comes to Russian interests concerning the newly established US military cooperation with Armenia.

    “Taking this into account, the fourth strategic goal that the US seeks to achieve is to transform Armenia into its bastion of regional influence. One of the biggest US embassies in the world is in Yerevan, so this is the next stage of this plan,” he said.

    “Finally, if the US successfully deteriorates the Armenia-Russia relations in general and with respect to their military cooperation in particular, to gradually turn this country into its bastion of regional influence, then it will eventually have to restore its influence over Georgia to complete this geopolitical project,” he said.

    “The current Georgian government is very pragmatic and refuses to impose sanctions on Russia despite US demands, which has caused some problems in bilateral relations over the past year,” the political analyst added.

    “While Georgia is proudly maintaining its strategic autonomy, called a new Cold War by many people, the US cannot fully use Armenia as its bastion of regional influence. Therefore, it is necessary to either force Tbilisi to fulfil its orders or change the regime,” he said.

    “Only then the US can be confident in unrestricted military access to Armenia and the strategic leverage towards Iran, Russia, Türkiye, and even Azerbaijan. It will be difficult for these four countries to counter the US geopolitical project in Armenia, but closer military-strategic coordination among them could help mitigate some danger. If the US continues gradually expanding its influence over Armenia in all spheres, especially in the military sphere, then regional stability may be at risk if one day the US decides to support Armenia’s revanchist fantasies,” the US analyst added.

    Caliber.Az

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