March 18, 2013 - 19:19 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Azerbaijanis, including the president and officials, continuously issue statements, dubbing Azeri army the “strongest” in the region, able to seize Nagorno Karabakh and even Armenia. Usually the emphasis is placed on the enormous amounts of arms that Baku purchases and produces, as well as the “professionalism” of Azeri soldiers. However, all these statements are periodically countered by the research of regional and international organizations, with The Military Balance 2013 report by The International Institute for Strategic Studies (ISS) among them.
The authors of the report assessed the combat readiness of both Armenian and Azerbaijani armies, with experts giving higher assessment to Armenian army.
“Armenian armed forces have a clear idea of the goals and challenges they face. The number of the professional soldiers serving on a contract basis keeps growing, despite the maintenance of compulsory military service. The service and overall performance are the key problems of the Armenian air forces. For this reason, Russia, through the leased airbase, ensures the protection of the country’s airspace,” the report reads.
As for the Azerbaijani armed forces, the authors wrote, “Azeri army can’t achieve a clear advantage in the air. This may become a serious risk factor during possible hostilities in Karabakh. The oil reserves enabled Azerbaijan to purchase advanced S-300 systems. However, it’s still vague how it will help Baku boost its combat capabilities,” the report reads.
IISS report reaffirmed that all statements about “Azerbaijan’s “powerful, unconquerable and professional army” are issued exclusively for domestic consumers. As they say, there are no arguments against the facts.