Baku is arming while the oil is not up

Baku is arming while the oil is not up

Abundance of armament never brought anything good to Greater Caucasus.

Azerbaijan has now another cause of “pride”; it is recognized one of the world’s most militarized states. Azerbaijan is ranked 8th by the annual Global Militarization Index compiled by Bonn International Center for Conversion. A key indicator representing the level of militarization of a country is the comparison of military expenditures with its GDP. The U.S. which outstrips all other states by its total military spending is placed only the 30th. Another indicator which is taken into account in the Index is the number of the reserve.

PanARMENIAN.Net - No wonder Israel tops the list here: being in a totally hostile environment, the Israeli Defense Forces must be fully armed. The number of their reserve army ready to arrive at respective military units within an hour is simply amazing; Israel's reserve accounts to approximately 400 000.

Strange enough, Singapore comes second in the ranking. A city-state would hardly need so much armament; however, the proximity of China is perhaps troublesome for Singapore. Syria and Russia are placed third and fourth, respectively, which is quite natural and requires no explanations. Jordan, Cyprus and Kuwait come next, with Azerbaijan ranking 8th. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are the last ones in the top ten of most militarized states worldwide.

Now let’s get back to Azerbaijan. Its military spending in 2012 hit $ 3,2 bln, while the GDP made $67,5 bln. In 2011, Azerbaijan signed a major military agreement with Israel accounting for $1,6 bln. In addition, it imported arms from Russia and several other countries. The targets of this armament are obvious: not only Armenia, but Iran as well, in case the war is really unleashed. Apparently, hostilities against Nagorno Karabakh won’t require such amount of armament. Still, the forces that turn Azerbaijan into a powder-barrel go for much risk. The social tensions in the country along with anti-Armenian statements and increasing hysteria can finally blow up namely Azerbaijan. In some hands, the blast might hit Armenia and Karabakh. However, realization will soon follow the euphoria, and the same blow may turn against the Aliyev family as well.

Meanwhile, we’ve repeatedly mentioned that oil production is steadily declining in Azerbaijan. Richard Morningstar, the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan declared that Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oilfield reserves will be depleted, and the energy sector revenues have already fallen. In this regard, he stressed the need to diversify Azerbaijan’s economy saying the country should abandon its oil-dependency within the coming 10 years. If Aliyev’s clan maintains power for another 10 years, it risks facing financial and moral bankruptcy. Most likely, Baku is rushing to buy expensive toys, being perfectly aware that it soon will not be able to afford even an АК-47. This is an exaggeration, of course, but this is the current situation in Baku now, and it should hardly be proud of being the 8th among the most militarized countries of the world.

Also, it should be noted that abundance of armament never brought anything good to Greater Caucasus. It never did, to either the buyers or the suppliers.

Karine Ter-Sahakian
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