On the Possibility of War in Karabakh

BY ARA PAPIAN

I agree with the opinion expressed many times that, when it comes to Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), the policies which Ilham Aliyev follows are based largely on domestic factors. Ilham, as his father, belongs to that school of politicians for which only power is sacrosanct, bringing about possibilities of pocketing immense sums with such status. Accordingly, it is from this perspective that one must examine the possibility of Aliev unleashing war on the Artsakh front.

Any war comprises of serious and unpredictable consequences for the authorities in power. Ilham Aliyev, I believe, has not forgotten that power has changed hands in Azerbaijan as a result of military defeat in Artsakh. Does Aliyev currently have any guarantees of bringing the Armenian side to its knees through a war? I am convinced that that is not the case. What is more, the probability that Azerbaijan would have more territorial losses in a war is much greater.

Let us also try to understand at what cost Azerbaijan would gain a hypothetical victory over Artsakh. If we go so far as to imagine the impossible, say, that the Azerbaijani armed forces manage to destroy the Armenian army (something which cannot occur with regards to an army entrenched in defensive positions) and get rid of all the Armenians of Artsakh (it is a reality that this war is not just between two armies, but also between two peoples), what would be the situation in Azerbaijan then? Adding to the tens of thousands of those killed in the war, Azerbaijan would find itself at the edge of utter economic collapse.

As a state, Azerbaijan survives today solely due to the export of oil and natural gas. It is through their sale that Azerbaijan arms itself now and regu­larly swaggers against Artsakh and Armenia. That is, oil wells, oil and gas pipelines and other such infrastruc­ture are objects of strategic importance and consequently legitimate targets. Is it not evident that, at the very first hours of the war, there shall remain but smoking metal scrap where they used to be?

It is also important to emphasise that Azerbaijan cannot carry out similar counter-measures, as the Armenian economy, even with all its shortcomings, is incomparably less vulnerable, since we do not have two or three structures whose destruction would result in the cessation of our exports, and thus 90% of our actual income.

Besides which, Aliyev has to answer not just to his own people, but to all the foreign companies that have made immense investments in this sphere and of which many have not yet broken even. What does Aliyev need a war for? The Emir of Baku is quite content by himself, milking the mineral wealth of an entire country and keeping the majority of the people of that country, the legal owners of the vast wealth of that country, in extreme poverty. Aliyev uses fanatic anti-Armenianism in order to sustain his stolen power and to maintain his stolen wealth.

Aliyev is a straight-up thief – those who rob power are robbers still – and so his heart is always in straits. Consequentially, although I find war highly improbable, it still cannot be completely ruled out. In tense situations, wars may also arise by themselves. However, as a planned political move, I believe that Aliyev would go for such an adventure (there would be no other word for it) in one case alone, that is, when Aliyev’s own standing in Azerbaijan be so weakened, that it would be difficult to ensure the possibility for Aliyev to yet again acquire power through cheating and falsifications. That is to say, one must view all political developments of the Emirate of Baku through the perspective of maintaining the Aliyevs’ wealth and position. When war remains the sole path for Ilham Aliyev to maintain his hold on power, he will go for it.

However, as there is almost no real opposition currently in Azerbaijan, I do not think that the Emir feels directly threatened by anyone. Ilham Aliyev is not himself interested in either the victory or even the defeat of the Azerbaijani army today. People are unforgiving towards defeated emirs in the Orient; at the same time, nothing is as dangerous for a tyrant of the Orient as the soldiers and general of a victorious army.

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21 Comments

  1. F.Munoz CL said:

    Good idea!… It’s better for Artsakh to prepare missiles or rokets targeting Aliyev’s wallet sources of money!, and keeping the pipelines under sight, as a way to force Aliyev (and his undercover Euro-supporters, like the ‘oil-capitalists’) to avoid an invasion of NKR soil. i don’t believe that Europe would be so happy seeing the BTC totally destroyed, or to see the South Caucasus becoming a hell. I suppose that if a war breaks-out in the region, Georgia would do the same with Abkhazia and South Ossetia; just as a way to force the ‘international community’ to focus their attention on the severe reality of the Caucasus, and to try to settle those conflicts ‘once for all’.

    • Minas Minasian said:

      I think that war inievitable, the sooner the better for Armenia and Artsagh, but I fee that we are neglecting the other border. Azerbaijan will attack with covert assistance from Turkey through Nakichevan as a distraction and go for Metzamor.

      • leoaryatsi said:

        any attack will be easily countered. if they hit metsamor from Naxijevan itll be wwIII since crossborder firefights will begin with “turkey” then nato and the russ will come in.

  2. tom said:

    Most Azeris are poor! Only average $250 a month! He does this to keep the people happy–divert their attention from their poverty! This video elaboares about Azeris being poor. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEHryA7x9cg&feature=channel
    Aliev and his friends are all rich. Aliev and the oil companies don’t want a war because their pipelines are at stake. He did this attack because he wasn’t getting anything from negotiations, so he wanted to show the public he is doing something.
    America and the West don’t want a war there. They don’t want anything to jeopardize their oil pipeline–the Caucasus is a tinderbox they don’t want to see explode.
    Their focus is on Iran and they don’t want that focus diverted.

  3. tom said:

    PS. the oil companies control Azeribajan so they won’t let him start a full scale war–too much at stake for them.

  4. Samvel said:

    The problem is much complicated then the war that Turks (azeries) are keep talking about (especially lately). I read some information that turkey wants to place its army in Nakhijevan which can trigger Russians to place their army in Artcakh. This will mean for us to fully lose the control on Artcakh, including negotiation process. Regardless how much this information is true Armenia has no lever to prevent this kind of development unless it can make too much damage (militarily) in the region. Russia can pursue its interest and sacrifice Armenia. EU (France) and USA will care about Armenia as much as they will care their local Armenian population to keep them calm in case of same sacrifice. Armenia with diaspora must pay greatest attention to Armenia’s military industry and modernization. Our diplomacy must fight not to allow any third countries army in the region. To me this must be one of the great priorities for Armenia.
    In terms of direct war between us and azeries, I think it will happen sooner or later. We must be ready for it too…

    • Armanen said:

      Neither Russian nor nato troops will be stationed in Artsakh. Those are all bs rumors spread by levonakans and other filth like them.

  5. Armen said:

    I beleive that we have faced a failure by having lost 4 lives, and just one from the attackers, even if this was a surprised attack we should have been better prepared, they say that the front line is heavily fortified , if that is so than how come the azeries could so easily infiltrate and cause the deahs of 4 of our soldiers.
    I hope this will serve as a wake-up call to the military leaders in Karabagh that they need to prepare better and that the defenses that we have now are not enough, preparing for war and enhancing the defenses should be a never ending continous task, only by being strong we can stop agression.

  6. Stepan said:

    Aliyev has politically painted himself in a corner with his rhetoric and border violations to pacify his
    naive citizens. If he doesn’t appear to the locals as the ardent uncompromising nationalist; then he is viewed
    as only a weak placeholder. On the other hand,Turkey will be limited to an indirect role(training, supplies etc.)
    in the event of war because of Russia’s hovering presence.
    Mr. Papian’s assessment that Azerbaijan has the vulnerable and visible economy verses Armenia is correct and critical. Azerbaijan would be wise to begin spinning the reality of defeat to their people and moving on. Otherwise the “buffe zone” around Artsakh might be moving east.

    • Armanen said:

      I agree with you Stepan jan. This was a great article by Paron Papyan

  7. recognize NKR said:

    I disagree with Armenian experts who try to convince our society that the rhetoric used by Aliyev, & co are merely for domestic use ! Aliyev, & Co, have “promised” too much, simply too much to Azerbaijani society, therefore Aliyev & Co either have to “go” or bring Nagorno-Karabakh back under Azerbaijani control- for this Aliyev will even risk a big war!. Therefore better fined ways to get ride of Aliyev clan, and start to strength NKR position (politically) before he puts the whole region in fire!! Today, NK is for the big powers not a priority this will change and make for Armenians harder to recognize NKR! better to recognize NKR as soon as possible!

  8. Artin said:

    First order of bussiness, TORCH the oil fields and any pipelines exposed. DO ASAP in case of significant attack,as outside powers will “advise calm and self restraint”. It should be matter of fact, done, get over it kind .We should show the world that Armenian blood is very expensive. They already killed five young men as violation of ceasefire. Armenian officials can blame a fadyeen group and express regret. (Israel bombed an American ship in 1967 and expressed regret and claimed ignorance). We should tell turks “bourda deli var,pijlema tourk”

    • Artin said:

      Agree with Artin. If we do that,Oil prices will skyrocket.Arabs will like it.Russia, Iran will like it.Even US oil companies will like it. I say go for it

  9. ahmet said:

    I can smell that armenians are so scared that they invent heroic stories already.
    You all are aware of what the Azeri armed forces can do to the poorest nation on earth and you are scared. 60% of the population is afraid that a war would bring out.
    wat and see. Karabagh will return where it belongs.

    • sebouh from australia said:

      Senin allahin aninun sicium oresbi cugi pidg bakla bakla

  10. GARIK said:

    AHMET HERS A ADVICE FOR U STOP LEAVING COMMENT U LOW LIFE MOTHER FUCKER STOP BRAGGING ABOUT LIFE AND LEARN A THANG OR TWO ABOUT HISTORY YUR NIGGAER ASS IS BRAINWASHED.. WHAT A BUNCH OF LOSER ASS AZERI HATIN BITCHES I CAN SEE THAT HATE DROPIN FROM EACH YA AZERI HATIN NIGGERS DAM AHMET LOOK AT YA SELF YOUR AZERI COUNTRY IS A DISGRACE TO THIS WORLD U SHOULD BURN IN HELL

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