The ten countries that have the highest levels of militarization are Israel, Singapore, Armenia, Jordan, Russia, South Korea, Cyprus, Greece, Azerbaijan and Brunei in the Global Militarization Index.
Scores of troops, tanks, artillery systems and other military hardware paraded across Stepanakert on May 9 in one of the largest ever displays of Nagorno-Karabakh’s military power.
Watch the full slide-show here.
Armenian Army’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) “Kroonk-25” took part in artillery trainings held on Arpil 12.
This impressive demonstration of skills and might took place at an event organized at the Ministry of Defense on November 5th, as Armenian Military celebrated the 19th anniversary of the establishment of Military Intelligence Agency.
Iranian Tehran Times daily published a strange story on Sunday about an Iranian governor telling an Armenian governor about Iran’s readiness to supply nuclear fuel to Armenia. As a colleague rightfully noted today, they could as well publish a story about an Iranian village mayor promising to sell long-range missiles to an Armenian village mayor. I mean – these things just don’t happen on the village mayor, governor or even prime-minister levels.
Strangely, the story was picked up by a range of Armenian and Azerbaijani media, ‘experts’ started commenting on what this meant, and so on and so forth… (examples: 1, 2, 3, 4). Is there something I don’t understand? Is this story really actually IMPORTANT?
Armenia ranks 68th in rating of armies of the world according to the Press.ge news portal. According to the same source Georgia ranks 94th, Azerbaijan 83-rd.
The Georgian news source has extracted the data using the Strategypage. I tried quite hard to find this information at the source, but was unable to. However, the information is interesting, although – not very reliable.
If this is too, it would be just incredible, that Armenia is so far ahead from both its Caucasian ex-Soviet neighbors, despite the fact, that last year its military budget – around $400 million, was half that of Georgia and 6 times less than that of it’s main rival – Azerbaijan, which announced $ 2 billion in defense spending for 2008.
Coming back to the Georgian news report cited above, it says the rating is based on data of land troops and air forces. The rating contains two basic indicators: COMBAT POWER LAND and Total Quality Index. The Combat Power Land includes such parameters as number of soldiers and weaponry, technical characteristics and so on.
The Total Quality Index includes the quality of commandment, effectiveness of weapon and the level of weapon adequacy, battle experience, the level of logistics and communications, as well as historic military-culture traditions.
Top 20 mighty armies are as follows – the USA (9300), Israel (1280), China (882), the UK (819), India (801), Russia (714), Germany (393), Japan (382), South Korea (359), France (351), Taiwan (184), Pakistan (168), Saudi Arabia (140), Egypt (138), Italy (134), North Korea (131), Iran (113), Switzerland (108) and Spain (108).
Below are links to a couple of other information sources on defense budgets and armies of the region: Moscow Defense briefing, The Armenian Economist, Wikipedia.
On January 8, MediaForum.az uploaded what looks like a two-page secret unsigned undated attachment on the letterhead of a Russian general – Viacheslav Golovchenko, deputy commander of the Russian forces in the Caucasus – that lists the types of weapons allegedly transferred from Russian base in Armenia to Armenian defense ministry.
The document, which contains at least two typos and looks more like forgery than real, lists as transferred: 21 tanks; 61 armored combat vehicles; 50 units of self-propelled and towed artillery; 9 MLRS systems; various air defense systems; light weapons; ammunition stockpiles; and equipment.
Azerbaijani sources claimed, that the documents proves $800 million worth of ‘illegal’ arms transfer from Russian military base stationed in Gyumri, Armenia.
The Azerbaijan ministry of foreign affairs has issued a statement yesterday, which says: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan expresses deep concern over this fact because transferred ammunition will considerably strengthen military potential of the country, which occupied a part of Azerbaijan’s territory. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan considers that the arms transfer will make the occupation to develop and to strengthen.“
Furthermore, the report says: ” The arms transfer is a direct violation of UN Security Council resolutions on Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and UN General Assembly resolution on the situation on occupied territories of Azerbaijan adopted on March 14, 2008. The question is about that Russia violates its obligations not to support any measures taken for developing and strengthening the occupation of Azerbaijani territories.”
There has so far been no response from either Russian or Armenian sides asserting or rejecting the allegations. It would have been excellent news if proved true, but I’m skeptical.
Furthermore, as Yandunts has noted, earlier in 2008, Russia reported to the United Nations that it transferred dozens of tanks and armored vehicles to Azerbaijan, but the Armenian side made no fuss about it. Now, watching the Azerbaijani reaction, one can’t help but wonder, why on earth didn’t the Armenian Foreign Ministry grab the opportunity on Russian-Azerbaijani arms deal? There’s clearly a lot that our foreign policy makers could learn from Azerbaijan.
Resolution of Karabakh conflict is possible, the president of Armenia Serge Sargsyan said in an interview to Armenian Public TV, at the site of Military manoeuvres held in Artsakh by the Karabakh Self-Defense Army.
“Karabakh resolution is possible”,-president Sargsyan said in the interview,”if Azerbaijan recognizes the right of Karabakh people for self-determination; if Mountainous Karabakh has land border with Armenia and if the International Community and the leading states guarantee the security of Karabakh people”.
Serge Sargsyan’s words come days after the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev stated in his inaugural address, that Azerbaijan will never accept Karabakh independence.
President Sargsyan also said he found the recent active discussions and public debates in Armenia on the subject of Karabakh resolution “useful” and predicted an even more active phase of discussions on the subject in the future.