September 27, 2013 - 15:32 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A well known International Crisis Group issued yet another analysis on the Karabakh conflict. As usual, the pessimistic ICG forecasts resumption of a war, escalation of tensions, however, being untruthful in an attempt to preserve the appearance of objectivity.
In its overview titled Armenia and Azerbaijan: A Season of Risks, the group predicts that “should a full-scale conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan break out again, some or all of the regional powers – Russia, Turkey and Iran – could be drawn in, directly.”
“Vigorous international engagement is needed to lessen chances of violent escalation during coming weeks and months,” the Group believes, setting hopes on Russia: “Russia, which is highly influential in all aspects of the conflict and would be the most directly affected of the Minsk co-chairs by a new war, should act more decisively to broker an agreement. It could advance this by announcing a suspension of arms supplies to both sides.”
Now, about being untruthful. In its analysis, the Group says. “Peace talks on Nagorno-Karabakh bogged down in 2011, accelerating an arms race and intensifying strident rhetoric. Terms like “Blitzkrieg’’, “pre-emptive strike’’ and ‘‘total war” have gained currency with both sides’ planners.”
The truth is, Armenian side does not engage in military rhetoric, the latter being Azerbaijan’s “privilege,” with the country’s leadership missing no chance to express their aggressive moods. Armenia’s “strident rhetoric” is limited to mere expressions of readiness to resist Azeri attacks.
Same with “accelerating an arms race.” Baku is the one overtly purchasing and manufacturing inordinate amounts of weaponry, in violation of all international quotas to compensate for lack of expertise in its army, which has already been defeated once.
But back to the analysis. “An immediate concern is military miscalculation, with implications that could far exceed those of a localized post-Soviet frozen conflict, as the South Caucasus, a region where big powers meet and compete, is now also a major energy corridor. Clashes increasingly occur along the Azerbaijani-Armenian frontier far from Nagorno Karabakh, the conflict’s original focus,” the analysis says.
Now what the analysis dubs as “clashes” are incessant Azeri-staged provocations, with Baku sinking as low as shelling Armenian villages or preventing a doctor from aiding a person blown up on a mine who later bled to death, as they did only recently.
As the analysis notes, “the possibility of internal political unrest in both countries increases the uncertainty. Unrest at home might tempt leaders to deflect attention by raising military tensions or to embark on risky attempts to capitalize on their adversary’s troubles.”
Last year, Sabine Freizer, Director of the European Programs in the International Crisis Group gave yet another prediction of an oncoming war in Karabakh.
“Armenian -Azerbaijani clashes may grow into a war in the region, where BP Company and its partners invested USD 35 billion in energy projects. Both parties to the conflict maintain weak control of the line of contact. Large-scale hostilities may soon erupt by accident, as a consequence of retaliatory measures taken,” she said.
Probably reluctant to seem Cassandra-like and be slammed by Yerevan or Baku, Sabine Freizer hurried to add, “Neither Azerbaijan, nor Armenia intend to wage large-scale offensive in short terms. In case of renewal of hostilities, the war will by protracted due to militarily parity of the sides. Besides, the security guarantees issued by Russia and Turkey may get them involved,” she said, adding that Russia’s military base in Gyumri may extend Armenia assistance, with both countries being CSTO member-states and Azerbaijan having close ethnic, political and economic ties with Turkey.
Luckily, Freizer’s predictions failed to come true, similarly to previous analysis-based forecasts of the ICG. The question is, who pays the Group to issue somber predictions and escalate the tension over the issue? Because the only thing the ICG managed to achieve throughout the years is become resented - both in Armenia and Azerbaijan.