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“NATO should carefully review its strategic purpose in working with the militaries of Caucasus states, particularly with respect to unresolved conflicts. It should focus its military cooperation with Azerbaijan strictly on efforts to improve democratic, civilian control of the armed forces and not move beyond the IPAP while Nagorno-Karabakh remains unresolved.”, International Crisis Group have said in their latest report entitled: “Azerbaijan’s Defence Sector Management and Reform”
The think tank have also noted that the U.S. and the EU should move resolution of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict much higher up their agendas and “seek, in cooperation with Russia, to put pressure on both Azerbaijan and Armenia to compromise in line with the principles proposed by the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).”
The report also notes, that although Azerbaijan wants to create a strong army to regain Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts, either by improving its negotiating leverage with Armenia or going back to war.
According to the ICG, although Azerbaijan has exponentially increased its military budget, it has not so far gained clear superiority over Armenian forces.
“If the new military is to be not only stronger but also better governed, however, it needs deep reforms to make it less corrupt and personality driven, more transparent and better directed. So far there has been insufficient political will either to do the part that should involve increasing democratic and civilian control or to break the habit of treating the army as above all an instrument with which to protect elite interests.”,-the report has concluded.