Armenian Deployment In Afghanistan Set For February

Soldiers of the Armenian army's peacekeeping brigade practice violent crowd control on December 3, 2009.

Soldiers of the Armenian army's peacekeeping brigade practice violent crowd control on December 3, 2009.

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia will send a small contingent of troops to Afghanistan in February to help the United States and its NATO allies fight the Taliban insurgency, according to the Armenian military.

News reports quoted Colonel Artur Simonian, the commander of a special peacekeeping brigade of Armenia’s Armed Forces, as saying late Thursday that the contingent will include approximately 40 troops. He said they will fly to Germany next month to undergo special training with German soldiers that will last for up to three weeks.

“They will leave for Afghanistan with the German contingent later on,” Simonian said, according to News.am. He confirmed that they will serve there under German command.

The impending Armenian deployment was announced last month by Robert Simmons, NATO’s special representative to the South Caucasus. Neither Simmons, nor Colonel Simonian specified the type of Armenia military personnel that will join the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for Afghanistan.

Earlier reports said they will mostly consist of munitions experts and communication officers. However, a military official in Yerevan said recently that Armenia plans to send a full combat unit whose main mission will be to defend a military airport near the northern Afghan city of Kunduz.

Neighboring Azerbaijan and Georgia already have more than 100 soldiers each on the ground. The Georgian government has pledged to deploy another 900 soldier there by next spring.

Celeste Wallander, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Policy, discussed the Armenian participation in the ISAF with President Serzh Sarkisian and other Armenian leaders during a visit to Yerevan on Thursday. She also visited the Yerevan headquarters of the peacekeeping brigade, which provides troops for Armenian military missions abroad.

“The United States values its partnership with the Republic of Armenia, which has made contributions to NATO and coalition efforts in Kosovo, Iraq, and soon in Afghanistan,” Wallander said, ending the one-day trip.

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5 Comments

  1. Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD said:

    A more stupid desicion than deploying Armenian troops in Afghanistan, Armenia has never had in its very, very, very long history as it had never bloodier days than 10/27/99 and 03/01/08. In the world history, Mr. Kocharyan will remain as a symbol of bloodshed and Mr. Sarksyan will be a symbol of stupidity. It is high time to switch the lights on.
    jeshmarid@yahoo.com

  2. Gayane said:

    I say.. “NO WAY…””

    We have shed enough blood… who did we have  from US or Georgia or other places to help us out?  Where was US when we were in war with Azerbajian and Turkey? 

    I don’t give a rat’s u know what if US values the partnership with ARmenia in regards to sending Armenian troops to help out.. All I care about is my people who will be send to these dangerous lands when we have OUR OWN land to protect.. and i know for a fact US will not lift a finger to assist if we ever go to a war again…

    G

  3. gregmelkonyan said:

    Ask Serz Sargsyan and Eduard Nalbandyan to send their son to Afghanistan! Armenia has nothing to do in Afghanistan besides rendering humanitarian aid.

  4. Lusik said:

    First. Turkey took over the rotating command of the NATO peacekeeping operation in Afghanistan last month. They do not contribute a single combat soldier there, however. They will be providing logistics and training. So, Armenian youngs will be under Turkish command.
    Second, in February-March an escalation of military provocations against Artsakh is expected. Why Armenian young men are displaced from the region?

  5. Almast said:

    Astvats im…. Dle yaman mez, dle yaman!!!!!!!!
    I just wonder until when our Diaspora should be waiting??? WHERE ARE THE INTELLECTUAL RESOURCES OF THE DIASPORA ARMENIANS TO TAKE THE LEAD IN THE HOMELAND?? What are you waiting for, young graduates in political sciences, international relations, economics, etc.?? where are you??????? why dont you get united and form a strong government to lead your HOMELAND!! Inchu eq toghnum mer miak Haireniqy anter?? Um eq toghnum???
    Dont you see these people in the current government are going to ruin the country???
    I am a citizen of the Republic of Armenia and I am sure that THE FUTURE OF ARMENIA IS IN THE INTELLECTUAL CAPACITY OF THE DIASPORA!!! PLEASE HELP THIS COUNTRY TO GET OUT OF THE HELL!! ARMENIA DOES NOT NEED YOUR MONEY!!! ARMENIA NEEDS YOUR INTELLECTUAL CAPACITIES AND NETWORKING!!! PLEASE HELP!!!!

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