Rationalizing the Tonoyan Doctrine: Armenia’s Active Deterrence Strategy

By Eduard Abrahamyan

Even as Armenia and Azerbaijan have intensified their diplomatic contacts over the future status of the latter’s breakaway Karabakh region (see EDM, February 13March 4April 1), both rivals concurrently continue to consolidate their military capabilities, considering an escalation in tensions almost inevitable. Both sides have been reevaluating their military strategies and hardening their rhetoric. In this context, Armenia’s Defense Minister David Tonoyan, a reformist long-serving member of Nikol Pashinyan’s government, represents the hawkish faction of the current Armenian political elite. And in late March, during a visit to the United States, Tonoyan openly rebuked the Azerbaijani side’s zero-sum “land for peace” formula for conflict resolution, in which a bilateral settlement would require that the Armenian side first make territorial concessions to Azerbaijan. Instead, he called on Armenia to prepare to pursue “new war for new territories” (Aravot.am, March 30).

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Four Day War of 2016: Lessons Learned  

By Grigor Hakobyan

04/02/2019

Summary:

On the eve of the third-year anniversary of Four Day War commemorations, it is necessary once again to look back at it in retrospect to analyze a number of significant mistakes that were made by the previous Armenian leadership in a number of critical areas of statecraft; among them military preparedness and foreign policy which led to the resumption of war in Artsakh after twenty-two years of hiatus. It is imperative to learn from the mistakes of the past to avoid making them again in the present and future. The Armenian people must learn to be self-reliant and self-sufficient. To accomplish these goals a number of adjustments in various areas of statecraft is necessary, among them foreign policy and defense planning.

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Pashinyan’s Unclear Vision for Armenian Foreign Policy

By Eduard Abrahamyan

March 21, 2019

The past two months saw Armenia engaged in an extraordinary flurry of diplomatic activity. Shortly after the parliament approved the post–Velvet Revolution government’s draft foreign policy program in early February, an Armenian delegation led by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan paid an official visit to Iran (Armenpress.am, February 27). Afterwards, on March 3, Pashinyan headed to Brussels to hold talks with high-level officials from the European Union regarding stepping up cooperation within the frameworks of the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement, adopted in 2018 (Azatutyun.am, March 4, 2019; Europa.eu, June 19, 2018).

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Armenia Reasserts Itself Amidst Constant Threats of War From Azerbaijan

By Grigor Hakobyan

Summary:

Azerbaijan has unexpectedly begun large-scale military exercises along both lines of contact between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in Artsakh and Nakhijevan. In fact, this is the third large scale military exercise in a row while the new year has barely begun. The offensive nature of these military exercises and the number of military personnel, and hardware involved overshadows the upcoming meeting between the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and their ministers of foreign affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Elmar Mammadyarov organized by the cochairs of OSCE Minsk Group.

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