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    Today a ceasefire has been agreed upon between Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which unlike the unilateral ceasefire declared by Azerbaijan three days ago seems to be holding. This allows us to make some more conclusions observations on what happened. Source: via Cassad. First, the Azeris have made gains, but their advance was ultimately quite...
  • @Avery
    {A Turkish friend writes,...}

    Your Turkish friend is clearly speaking as a Turk.
    The country Azerbaijan did not exist before 1918.
    Armenians have been indigenous to Caucasus and Western Armenia for 5,000+.
    Turks are nomad invaders from Uyguristan*.
    And Nakichevan is also Armenian, which Stalin gave to newly cooked up country of Azerbaijan.

    Armenia has two land routes to the outside world: one through Georgia in the North and one thru Iran in the South. The land strip that your Turk friend wants is Armenia's outlet to Iran.
    I am sure the two Turkic state would love to link up and strangle Armenia.

    btw: Western Armenia is currently occupied by Turkey. They accomplished that feat by committing a Genocide of the indigenous Armenian population.
    Currently the area is largely populated by Kurds.
    It will eventually become independent Kurdistan.
    The centuries long dream of invadonomad Turk of an unbroken pan-Turanic chain from Bosphorus to their ancestral land of Uyguristan is already in tatters.

    Say, if you talk to your Turk friend ask him when are they going to give back the 40% of Cyprus they have been occupying for 40 years.

    -----
    * [Ahmet Davutoglu, who has become the first Turkish foreign minister ever to visit Uighur Autonomous Region in China, toured historical sites in Kashgar city. Davutoglu and an accompanying Turkish delegation arrived early Thursday in Kashgar in the extreme west of China and the extreme southwest of Uighur region. Davutoglu first visited the tomb of Mahmud Kashgari and then they toured the tomb of Yusuf Has Hajib as well the 500-year-old Id Khah Mosque, the largest mosque in China. "We are visiting the land of our ancestors," Davutoglu said.] (October 2010)

    Uighurs invaded that area from Mongolia with help of China in 700s ad. Before that was Hindu Kingdoms there,

    Tarim Basin

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  • Interesting this article fails to mention that the largest supplier of weopens to both sides is the Russian Federation. Those went IDF made tanks :)

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  • If this is the end of the matter, I for one will be delighted. Unfortunately, I very much doubt that will be the case.

    Aliyev is a deeply cautious ruler who has never been inclined to roll the dice, so it’s possible that he’ll continue to hold the line against any further military experiments. And he has never been very interested in actually recovering N-K. But as Anatoly points out, the correlation of forces is no longer shifting in Azerbaijan’s favor, so the window in which they can effectively act is closing. That’s bound to put some internal pressure on.

    Also, if I were Armenian, I’d be less inclined to crow over this. It was a defensive victory in a single skirmish in mountainous terrain that’s suited to the defensive. I’ve been to N-K. Not only is it mostly mountains, but most of the mountains are still heavily forested — very unusual in the Caucasus, where the Soviets cut down forests with a free hand and the successor states followed suit.

    Azerbaijan has more than three times Armenia’s population, so an NKR-Azeri casualty ration of 1:2 is not necessarily good news for the Armenians. Remember, from an Armenian POV, the question isn’t “did we win” but “did we bloody their noses hard enough so that they’re not going to try this again”. The answer to the first question is pretty clearly “yes”; to the second, I’m not so sure.

    Doug M.

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
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  • “What is missing is an explanation why Azerbaijan still tries to retake Nagorno-Karabakh. The area is populated by Armenians”

    Up until 1991, N-K had a large Azeri minority — about 25% of the population. In round numbers, there were about 150,000 Armenians and 50,000 Azeris. By the end of the war, all the Azeris had been driven out, along with another 1o0,000 or so from the “buffer zone” territories that Armenia seized around N-K.

    Doug M.

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  • Column of Azeri tanks around the Talis region. Via Cassad. The past two days has seen some of the most intense fighting over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh since the 1994 ceasefire that froze the conflict. It was a typical post-Soviet tale: Illogically drawn up borders, stranded Armenians in the historically Armenian territory of Nagorno-Karabakh,...
  • […] I pointed out in my last post, this year represents the likely peak of Azeri military power relative to Armenia for at least the next decade. With Baku getting engulfed […]

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  • Today a ceasefire has been agreed upon between Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which unlike the unilateral ceasefire declared by Azerbaijan three days ago seems to be holding. This allows us to make some more conclusions observations on what happened. Source: via Cassad. First, the Azeris have made gains, but their advance was ultimately quite...
  • General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years

    “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RC1Mepk_Sw&feature=player_embedded

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  • @Rehmat
    Every Zionist Jew has that dream.

    Luckily, however, Turkey may not recover its 400-year long glory - but it's not going to be 'wiped off the map' by Israelis or their godfather Russia.

    99.9% Turkish citizens are Sunnis, Shias and Sufis - but none of them follow Talmud to learn what racism really is.

    An Israeli survey conducted in October 2015, 80% of respondents said Israel needs to re-establish its old friendly relations with Turkey for its trade, tourism, and security against Syria and its regional allies.

    On December 18, 2015, Shoshana Bryen at the New York-based Gatestone Institute, an Israeli advocacy group said: “When all else fails, Erdogan calls Israel.” Bryen claims that boycotting Israel, Erdogan has bankrupted Turkey economically. He also asserts that after shunned by Syria, Egypt, Iran, and Russia – Erdogan finds Israel being the only trustworthy regional ally.

    https://rehmat1.com/2015/12/21/turkey-returns-to-israels-arms/

    And your point is?

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  • @Rehmat
    Hi Sharon - your brain is still hanging between your legs, eh!

    In the good old days - "the chief Rabbi of Jerusalem declared Caliph Umar Ibn Khattab as the 'Promised Jewish Messiah' for liberating city Jews from Christian slavery," Karen Armstrong, professor of Jewish history at Oxford University.

    In June 2015, the Zionist-occupied US Supreme Court declared that city of Jerusalem doesn't belong to Israeli Jews.

    https://rehmat1.com/2015/06/10/us-supreme-court-jerusalem-is-not-israeli-territory/

    Interesting link but also spoiled with that nonsense about Ashkenazi Jews being of Khazar origin. You have no credibility in anything you say about Jews if you are still peddling that discredited nonsense. Even the smallest degree of scepticism in your intellectual makeup would make you wonder how Khazars could end up with a name which means German and speaking a language, Yiddish, which is a German dialect.

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  • Column of Azeri tanks around the Talis region. Via Cassad. The past two days has seen some of the most intense fighting over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh since the 1994 ceasefire that froze the conflict. It was a typical post-Soviet tale: Illogically drawn up borders, stranded Armenians in the historically Armenian territory of Nagorno-Karabakh,...
  • @Glossy
    The commenter jimmyriddle posted this graph on another thread here:

    http://f1.s.qip.ru/8NLT3gzn.png

    It shows the number of scientists per 100k population of the various ethnicities of the Soviet Union in 1973. I commented on that graph here: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/impossibility-of-jewish-russophile/#comment-1376174

    Armenians were second. Azeris were 12th with a little more than half of the Armenians' per capita rate. The whole graph is fascinating.

    If Armenians are so smart then how come Armenia was relatively poor even before the problems post-independence? Perhaps hard to judge now as there’s an economic blockade on two sides of their border (Turkey and Azerbaijan), and they had a huge war in the 90s. But even before this Armenia was pretty poor.

    IQ tests don’t show Armenians to be a particularly high IQ population.

    I find the situation of Armenians very puzzling though. They were the main market dominant community in the Middle East for centuries, with mercantile communities being established from Singapore to Amsterdam. For centuries people used to comment on how smart and entrepreneurial Armenians were. Today they do not seem to stand out in any way. There are large Armenian communities in Iran and Arab countries where they seem to do a bit better than average, but again nothing remarkable. Even in the United States I don’t think the Armenian population are any different from ordinary white people (in economic terms).

    Perhaps Armenians went through dysgenics?

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  • Today a ceasefire has been agreed upon between Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which unlike the unilateral ceasefire declared by Azerbaijan three days ago seems to be holding. This allows us to make some more conclusions observations on what happened. Source: via Cassad. First, the Azeris have made gains, but their advance was ultimately quite...
  • @Sherman
    Hey Homer

    A few years ago Erdogan was boasting of his "zero enemy" policy with Turkey's neighbors.

    This quickly turned into a "zero friend" policy with Turkey's neighbors.

    Today Erdogan is fighting for his life politically and the Turkish economy sucks.

    Erdogan has far more to gain by being friends with the only successful and stable country in the Mideast. Alienating Israel and kissing up to the basket case Muslim countries surrounding Turkey got Turkey nowhere.

    Sherm

    Hi Sharon – your brain is still hanging between your legs, eh!

    In the good old days – “the chief Rabbi of Jerusalem declared Caliph Umar Ibn Khattab as the ‘Promised Jewish Messiah’ for liberating city Jews from Christian slavery,” Karen Armstrong, professor of Jewish history at Oxford University.

    In June 2015, the Zionist-occupied US Supreme Court declared that city of Jerusalem doesn’t belong to Israeli Jews.

    https://rehmat1.com/2015/06/10/us-supreme-court-jerusalem-is-not-israeli-territory/

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Interesting link but also spoiled with that nonsense about Ashkenazi Jews being of Khazar origin. You have no credibility in anything you say about Jews if you are still peddling that discredited nonsense. Even the smallest degree of scepticism in your intellectual makeup would make you wonder how Khazars could end up with a name which means German and speaking a language, Yiddish, which is a German dialect.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anonymous
    Azerbaijan has highly paid PR and lobbying in D.C. while Armenia has Kim Kardashian and her Congressman.

    Azerbaijan ambassador blasts Kim Kardashian
    http://www.stripes.com/news/europe/azerbaijan-ambassador-blasts-kim-kardashian-1.403101

    The Kardashian is mightier than the cruise missle!

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  • @Hepp
    Thanks I look forward to watching them. I mean, I'll take a corrupt quasi-traditionalist over sincere Cultural Marxists who rule the West. But I wonder the extent to which Putin's corruption is abnormal even by developing world standards.

    Oh so you found his self imagined 200 billion$ wealth by your yellow msm. Tell us more about his corruption. Want to quote Panama ? Ah! again he wasn’t involved directly.

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  • As usual, wherever the word “Biden” is found, it will ALWAYS be followed by some mealy-mouthed zionist propaganda and this time did not disappoint.

    While some in Congress actually “get it”, Biden and Obama are trying their usual “let’s all hold hands, sing songs of peace and give the zionists some time to regroup, re-arm and try again” routine.

    http://news.am/eng/news/321191.html

    Thanks for the great summary of an YET ANOTHER zionist drubbing.

    Let’s hope Americans take some inspiration from the Armenians. Our time is coming, soon.

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  • @5371
    The Turkish language is a relatively recent import to Asia Minor, but most of the people who call themselves Turks have a high proportion of ancestors from there.
    Turk leaders treasure their historical connection to central Asian nomads, although no person of taste would do the same.

    Turks are basically the descendants of Hellenized Anatolian peoples, Greeks, and Armenians who converted

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  • @Rehmat
    As expected, the 'Elephant' is missing from Karlin's article.

    Baku and Tel Aviv established close working relations in intelligence sharing and a defensive platform for the Zionist entity in April 1992 – one year after its independence from USSR. Middle East International (October 23, 1992) reported supply of Israeli arms to Azerbaijan via Turkey. Ilya Bourtman writing in Middle East Quarterly (Summer 2006) wrote: “At the heart of Azerbaijan-Israel coperation lies their fear and distrust of Iran. Israel has obvious reasons (??) for distrusting the Islamic Republic……Azerbaijan has more complicated relations with Iran. On one hand Azerbaijan shares historic ties and a religious bond with Shi’ite Iran. For more Azeris live in Iran than in independent Azerbaijan…..Today, Iran and Israel play a cat and mouse game in Azerbaijan. Both has developed vast espionage networks in Azerbaijan. Israeli intelligence maintains surveillance and listening outposts on Azerbaijan border with Iran….”

    Last January, Mossad faked a planned attack on Israeli embassy in Baku – and interestingly – instead of blaming Al-Qaeda, as a rule – blamed Hizb’Allah!

    The oldest inhabitants of Azerbaijan were of Persian stock. Islam was introduced to the area by the Arabs during the 7th century. In the 11th century, Turkish nomads overran the area. In early 16th century, Azerbaijan was the Turk Safvid dynasty. It was the Safvid rulers who introduced Shai’ism into Persian society. In the 17th century, the Turks were expelled by King Nadir Shah. In the 18th century, Russian hordes invaded the area. Under the Treaty of Turkmenachai of 1828 CE, Azerbaijan was divided between Iran (southern part) and Russia (northern part). During the late half of 19th century, oil was discovered in Azerbaijan and by 1900, the region had become one of world’s leading oil producer. The country was occupied by Ottomans during WW I. Azerbaijan was occupied by Russian Army in 1920 and a Republic of Azerbaijan under communist-rule was established. In 1945 Russia set-up a short-lived Kurdish Republic in western Azerbaijan, but Iranian forces regained the area in 1946-47.

    Azerbaijan declared its independence from USSR on October 18, 1991 – but the old communist bosses kept the power in the name of nationalism. Eighty-five percent of country’s population of over 9 millions – is Muslim (75% Shias and 25% Sunnis) – and the rest 15 % Christians. More than twice the country’s population – Azeris live in the neighboring Islamic Republic of Iran. However, like Bengalis in India and Koreans in the South and the North – Azeris are also being kept divided for the interests of forein powers and their local puppet elites.

    Azerbaijan’s two trouble spots have been – the Nogoro-Karabakh enclave with sizable Christian Armenian population and Nakhichevan, an Azeri enclave landlocked by Armenian territory.

    https://rehmat1.com/2009/04/05/azerbaijan-a-democratic-dynasty-and-israel/

    Those damned Jeee-ews again. Breaking news, for persistent virus infections and browser hacks on your PC, visit:

    https://rehmat1.com/2009/04/05/azerbaijan-a-democratic-dynasty-and-israel/

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  • @Rehmat
    Every Zionist Jew has that dream.

    Luckily, however, Turkey may not recover its 400-year long glory - but it's not going to be 'wiped off the map' by Israelis or their godfather Russia.

    99.9% Turkish citizens are Sunnis, Shias and Sufis - but none of them follow Talmud to learn what racism really is.

    An Israeli survey conducted in October 2015, 80% of respondents said Israel needs to re-establish its old friendly relations with Turkey for its trade, tourism, and security against Syria and its regional allies.

    On December 18, 2015, Shoshana Bryen at the New York-based Gatestone Institute, an Israeli advocacy group said: “When all else fails, Erdogan calls Israel.” Bryen claims that boycotting Israel, Erdogan has bankrupted Turkey economically. He also asserts that after shunned by Syria, Egypt, Iran, and Russia – Erdogan finds Israel being the only trustworthy regional ally.

    https://rehmat1.com/2015/12/21/turkey-returns-to-israels-arms/

    Hey Homer

    A few years ago Erdogan was boasting of his “zero enemy” policy with Turkey’s neighbors.

    This quickly turned into a “zero friend” policy with Turkey’s neighbors.

    Today Erdogan is fighting for his life politically and the Turkish economy sucks.

    Erdogan has far more to gain by being friends with the only successful and stable country in the Mideast. Alienating Israel and kissing up to the basket case Muslim countries surrounding Turkey got Turkey nowhere.

    Sherm

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    • Replies: @Rehmat
    Hi Sharon - your brain is still hanging between your legs, eh!

    In the good old days - "the chief Rabbi of Jerusalem declared Caliph Umar Ibn Khattab as the 'Promised Jewish Messiah' for liberating city Jews from Christian slavery," Karen Armstrong, professor of Jewish history at Oxford University.

    In June 2015, the Zionist-occupied US Supreme Court declared that city of Jerusalem doesn't belong to Israeli Jews.

    https://rehmat1.com/2015/06/10/us-supreme-court-jerusalem-is-not-israeli-territory/
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • As expected, the ‘Elephant’ is missing from Karlin’s article.

    Baku and Tel Aviv established close working relations in intelligence sharing and a defensive platform for the Zionist entity in April 1992 – one year after its independence from USSR. Middle East International (October 23, 1992) reported supply of Israeli arms to Azerbaijan via Turkey. Ilya Bourtman writing in Middle East Quarterly (Summer 2006) wrote: “At the heart of Azerbaijan-Israel coperation lies their fear and distrust of Iran. Israel has obvious reasons (??) for distrusting the Islamic Republic……Azerbaijan has more complicated relations with Iran. On one hand Azerbaijan shares historic ties and a religious bond with Shi’ite Iran. For more Azeris live in Iran than in independent Azerbaijan…..Today, Iran and Israel play a cat and mouse game in Azerbaijan. Both has developed vast espionage networks in Azerbaijan. Israeli intelligence maintains surveillance and listening outposts on Azerbaijan border with Iran….”

    Last January, Mossad faked a planned attack on Israeli embassy in Baku – and interestingly – instead of blaming Al-Qaeda, as a rule – blamed Hizb’Allah!

    The oldest inhabitants of Azerbaijan were of Persian stock. Islam was introduced to the area by the Arabs during the 7th century. In the 11th century, Turkish nomads overran the area. In early 16th century, Azerbaijan was the Turk Safvid dynasty. It was the Safvid rulers who introduced Shai’ism into Persian society. In the 17th century, the Turks were expelled by King Nadir Shah. In the 18th century, Russian hordes invaded the area. Under the Treaty of Turkmenachai of 1828 CE, Azerbaijan was divided between Iran (southern part) and Russia (northern part). During the late half of 19th century, oil was discovered in Azerbaijan and by 1900, the region had become one of world’s leading oil producer. The country was occupied by Ottomans during WW I. Azerbaijan was occupied by Russian Army in 1920 and a Republic of Azerbaijan under communist-rule was established. In 1945 Russia set-up a short-lived Kurdish Republic in western Azerbaijan, but Iranian forces regained the area in 1946-47.

    Azerbaijan declared its independence from USSR on October 18, 1991 – but the old communist bosses kept the power in the name of nationalism. Eighty-five percent of country’s population of over 9 millions – is Muslim (75% Shias and 25% Sunnis) – and the rest 15 % Christians. More than twice the country’s population – Azeris live in the neighboring Islamic Republic of Iran. However, like Bengalis in India and Koreans in the South and the North – Azeris are also being kept divided for the interests of forein powers and their local puppet elites.

    Azerbaijan’s two trouble spots have been – the Nogoro-Karabakh enclave with sizable Christian Armenian population and Nakhichevan, an Azeri enclave landlocked by Armenian territory.

    https://rehmat1.com/2009/04/05/azerbaijan-a-democratic-dynasty-and-israel/

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    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    Those damned Jeee-ews again. Breaking news, for persistent virus infections and browser hacks on your PC, visit:

    https://rehmat1.com/2009/04/05/azerbaijan-a-democratic-dynasty-and-israel/
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Azerbaijan has highly paid PR and lobbying in D.C. while Armenia has Kim Kardashian and her Congressman.

    Azerbaijan ambassador blasts Kim Kardashian

    http://www.stripes.com/news/europe/azerbaijan-ambassador-blasts-kim-kardashian-1.403101

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    • Replies: @Akira
    The Kardashian is mightier than the cruise missle!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Here’s another angle to this conflict, involving the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan energy pipeline:

    The U.S. and other Western nations have become much more involved in the affairs of the three nations through which oil will flow. The countries have been trying to use the involvement as a counterbalance to Russian and Iranian economic and military dominance in the region. Russian specialists claim that the pipeline will weaken the Russian influence in the Caucasus. The Russian Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Konstantin Kosachev stated that the United States and other Western countries are planning to station soldiers in the Caucasus on the pretext of instability in regions through which the pipeline passes.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baku%E2%80%93Tbilisi%E2%80%93Ceyhan_pipeline#Politics

    Israel is also trying to benefit from the Caspian Basin oil by diverting some of the oil flowing into Turkey to Haifa, Israel where it will be refined and then sold to the world, making for a very lucrative source of income for Israel.

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  • @Rehmat
    Every Zionist Jew has that dream.

    Luckily, however, Turkey may not recover its 400-year long glory - but it's not going to be 'wiped off the map' by Israelis or their godfather Russia.

    99.9% Turkish citizens are Sunnis, Shias and Sufis - but none of them follow Talmud to learn what racism really is.

    An Israeli survey conducted in October 2015, 80% of respondents said Israel needs to re-establish its old friendly relations with Turkey for its trade, tourism, and security against Syria and its regional allies.

    On December 18, 2015, Shoshana Bryen at the New York-based Gatestone Institute, an Israeli advocacy group said: “When all else fails, Erdogan calls Israel.” Bryen claims that boycotting Israel, Erdogan has bankrupted Turkey economically. He also asserts that after shunned by Syria, Egypt, Iran, and Russia – Erdogan finds Israel being the only trustworthy regional ally.

    https://rehmat1.com/2015/12/21/turkey-returns-to-israels-arms/

    @“When all else fails, Erdogan calls Israel.”

    Erdogan Dönmeh? Like Ataturk? Like the House of Saud?

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  • What is missing is an explanation why Azerbaijan still tries to retake Nagorno-Karabakh. The area is populated by Armenians(I do know a small part of the area could be seen as historically Azeri) and cannot be that valuable to someone from Baku.

    All I can think of is revenge. That reflects extremly badly on the Azeris and Turks. They obviously don’t want peace.

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  • @Anonymous
    Turkey will break apart in the agony of a civil war because its people are very nationalist in mentality and actions. Turks and Sunni Arabs especially demonstrate that anti-racism has its merits.

    Every Zionist Jew has that dream.

    Luckily, however, Turkey may not recover its 400-year long glory – but it’s not going to be ‘wiped off the map’ by Israelis or their godfather Russia.

    99.9% Turkish citizens are Sunnis, Shias and Sufis – but none of them follow Talmud to learn what racism really is.

    An Israeli survey conducted in October 2015, 80% of respondents said Israel needs to re-establish its old friendly relations with Turkey for its trade, tourism, and security against Syria and its regional allies.

    On December 18, 2015, Shoshana Bryen at the New York-based Gatestone Institute, an Israeli advocacy group said: “When all else fails, Erdogan calls Israel.” Bryen claims that boycotting Israel, Erdogan has bankrupted Turkey economically. He also asserts that after shunned by Syria, Egypt, Iran, and Russia – Erdogan finds Israel being the only trustworthy regional ally.

    https://rehmat1.com/2015/12/21/turkey-returns-to-israels-arms/

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    • Replies: @Seraphim
    @“When all else fails, Erdogan calls Israel.”

    Erdogan Dönmeh? Like Ataturk? Like the House of Saud?
    , @Sherman
    Hey Homer

    A few years ago Erdogan was boasting of his "zero enemy" policy with Turkey's neighbors.

    This quickly turned into a "zero friend" policy with Turkey's neighbors.

    Today Erdogan is fighting for his life politically and the Turkish economy sucks.

    Erdogan has far more to gain by being friends with the only successful and stable country in the Mideast. Alienating Israel and kissing up to the basket case Muslim countries surrounding Turkey got Turkey nowhere.

    Sherm
    , @Wizard of Oz
    And your point is?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Niccolo Salo
    I've collected some excellent documentaries on post-Soviet Russia and put them in this thread http://salo-forum.com/index.php?threads/documentaries-on-post-soviet-russia.4127/ although the first one I posted seems to have been taken down.

    These documentaries deal with the Oligarchs and the rise of Putin and were made before western media decided to throw away all objectivity and engage in a Jihad on him.

    The two part series from TVOntario's Human Edge is most interesting in that you cannot walk away from watching it without gaining a serious respect for Putin.

    Thanks I look forward to watching them. I mean, I’ll take a corrupt quasi-traditionalist over sincere Cultural Marxists who rule the West. But I wonder the extent to which Putin’s corruption is abnormal even by developing world standards.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Oh so you found his self imagined 200 billion$ wealth by your yellow msm. Tell us more about his corruption. Want to quote Panama ? Ah! again he wasn't involved directly.
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  • @Avery
    Since you are apparently highly knowledgeable as a genealogist, historian, physical anthropologist or researcher of the human genome, are you claiming that Turks are indigenous to Asia Minor?

    Second question: why would a Turk leader go out of his way to say Uyguristan is his ancestral land?

    The Turkish language is a relatively recent import to Asia Minor, but most of the people who call themselves Turks have a high proportion of ancestors from there.
    Turk leaders treasure their historical connection to central Asian nomads, although no person of taste would do the same.

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    Turks are basically the descendants of Hellenized Anatolian peoples, Greeks, and Armenians who converted
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  • @5371
    If Davutoglu has any qualifications as a genealogist, historian, physical anthropologist or researcher of the human genome which might render his opinion on the subject of any interest, I missed it.

    Since you are apparently highly knowledgeable as a genealogist, historian, physical anthropologist or researcher of the human genome, are you claiming that Turks are indigenous to Asia Minor?

    Second question: why would a Turk leader go out of his way to say Uyguristan is his ancestral land?

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    • Replies: @5371
    The Turkish language is a relatively recent import to Asia Minor, but most of the people who call themselves Turks have a high proportion of ancestors from there.
    Turk leaders treasure their historical connection to central Asian nomads, although no person of taste would do the same.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Avery
    {A Turkish friend writes,...}

    Your Turkish friend is clearly speaking as a Turk.
    The country Azerbaijan did not exist before 1918.
    Armenians have been indigenous to Caucasus and Western Armenia for 5,000+.
    Turks are nomad invaders from Uyguristan*.
    And Nakichevan is also Armenian, which Stalin gave to newly cooked up country of Azerbaijan.

    Armenia has two land routes to the outside world: one through Georgia in the North and one thru Iran in the South. The land strip that your Turk friend wants is Armenia's outlet to Iran.
    I am sure the two Turkic state would love to link up and strangle Armenia.

    btw: Western Armenia is currently occupied by Turkey. They accomplished that feat by committing a Genocide of the indigenous Armenian population.
    Currently the area is largely populated by Kurds.
    It will eventually become independent Kurdistan.
    The centuries long dream of invadonomad Turk of an unbroken pan-Turanic chain from Bosphorus to their ancestral land of Uyguristan is already in tatters.

    Say, if you talk to your Turk friend ask him when are they going to give back the 40% of Cyprus they have been occupying for 40 years.

    -----
    * [Ahmet Davutoglu, who has become the first Turkish foreign minister ever to visit Uighur Autonomous Region in China, toured historical sites in Kashgar city. Davutoglu and an accompanying Turkish delegation arrived early Thursday in Kashgar in the extreme west of China and the extreme southwest of Uighur region. Davutoglu first visited the tomb of Mahmud Kashgari and then they toured the tomb of Yusuf Has Hajib as well the 500-year-old Id Khah Mosque, the largest mosque in China. "We are visiting the land of our ancestors," Davutoglu said.] (October 2010)

    If Davutoglu has any qualifications as a genealogist, historian, physical anthropologist or researcher of the human genome which might render his opinion on the subject of any interest, I missed it.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    Since you are apparently highly knowledgeable as a genealogist, historian, physical anthropologist or researcher of the human genome, are you claiming that Turks are indigenous to Asia Minor?

    Second question: why would a Turk leader go out of his way to say Uyguristan is his ancestral land?

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Jon Claerbout
    A Turkish friend writes, "Back in 1945, at the peak of the Cold War, Stalin split Azerbaijan by taking the corridor between Nahjivan, neighboring Turkey, and the rest of the country and giving it to Armenia in exchange of the Karabagh Region. This was to cutoff the land connection between Turkey and Azerbaijan. He was a Georgian and he disliked both Armenians and Azeris.

    Now the best way to resolve this territorial dispute is to undo what Stalin has done --- let Armenia keep Karabagh but give the land strip, much smaller than Karabagh, mentioned above back to Azerbaijan."

    {A Turkish friend writes,…}

    Your Turkish friend is clearly speaking as a Turk.
    The country Azerbaijan did not exist before 1918.
    Armenians have been indigenous to Caucasus and Western Armenia for 5,000+.
    Turks are nomad invaders from Uyguristan*.
    And Nakichevan is also Armenian, which Stalin gave to newly cooked up country of Azerbaijan.

    Armenia has two land routes to the outside world: one through Georgia in the North and one thru Iran in the South. The land strip that your Turk friend wants is Armenia’s outlet to Iran.
    I am sure the two Turkic state would love to link up and strangle Armenia.

    btw: Western Armenia is currently occupied by Turkey. They accomplished that feat by committing a Genocide of the indigenous Armenian population.
    Currently the area is largely populated by Kurds.
    It will eventually become independent Kurdistan.
    The centuries long dream of invadonomad Turk of an unbroken pan-Turanic chain from Bosphorus to their ancestral land of Uyguristan is already in tatters.

    Say, if you talk to your Turk friend ask him when are they going to give back the 40% of Cyprus they have been occupying for 40 years.

    —–
    * [Ahmet Davutoglu, who has become the first Turkish foreign minister ever to visit Uighur Autonomous Region in China, toured historical sites in Kashgar city. Davutoglu and an accompanying Turkish delegation arrived early Thursday in Kashgar in the extreme west of China and the extreme southwest of Uighur region. Davutoglu first visited the tomb of Mahmud Kashgari and then they toured the tomb of Yusuf Has Hajib as well the 500-year-old Id Khah Mosque, the largest mosque in China. "We are visiting the land of our ancestors," Davutoglu said.] (October 2010)

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    • Replies: @5371
    If Davutoglu has any qualifications as a genealogist, historian, physical anthropologist or researcher of the human genome which might render his opinion on the subject of any interest, I missed it.
    , @Punjabi Sardar
    Uighurs invaded that area from Mongolia with help of China in 700s ad. Before that was Hindu Kingdoms there,

    Tarim Basin
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  • A Turkish friend writes, “Back in 1945, at the peak of the Cold War, Stalin split Azerbaijan by taking the corridor between Nahjivan, neighboring Turkey, and the rest of the country and giving it to Armenia in exchange of the Karabagh Region. This was to cutoff the land connection between Turkey and Azerbaijan. He was a Georgian and he disliked both Armenians and Azeris.

    Now the best way to resolve this territorial dispute is to undo what Stalin has done — let Armenia keep Karabagh but give the land strip, much smaller than Karabagh, mentioned above back to Azerbaijan.”

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    • Replies: @Avery
    {A Turkish friend writes,...}

    Your Turkish friend is clearly speaking as a Turk.
    The country Azerbaijan did not exist before 1918.
    Armenians have been indigenous to Caucasus and Western Armenia for 5,000+.
    Turks are nomad invaders from Uyguristan*.
    And Nakichevan is also Armenian, which Stalin gave to newly cooked up country of Azerbaijan.

    Armenia has two land routes to the outside world: one through Georgia in the North and one thru Iran in the South. The land strip that your Turk friend wants is Armenia's outlet to Iran.
    I am sure the two Turkic state would love to link up and strangle Armenia.

    btw: Western Armenia is currently occupied by Turkey. They accomplished that feat by committing a Genocide of the indigenous Armenian population.
    Currently the area is largely populated by Kurds.
    It will eventually become independent Kurdistan.
    The centuries long dream of invadonomad Turk of an unbroken pan-Turanic chain from Bosphorus to their ancestral land of Uyguristan is already in tatters.

    Say, if you talk to your Turk friend ask him when are they going to give back the 40% of Cyprus they have been occupying for 40 years.

    -----
    * [Ahmet Davutoglu, who has become the first Turkish foreign minister ever to visit Uighur Autonomous Region in China, toured historical sites in Kashgar city. Davutoglu and an accompanying Turkish delegation arrived early Thursday in Kashgar in the extreme west of China and the extreme southwest of Uighur region. Davutoglu first visited the tomb of Mahmud Kashgari and then they toured the tomb of Yusuf Has Hajib as well the 500-year-old Id Khah Mosque, the largest mosque in China. "We are visiting the land of our ancestors," Davutoglu said.] (October 2010)

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  • @Hepp
    OT, but Anatoly, Frontline had this documentary about Putin the other night. I was wondering if you've seen it and if so if you had any comments?

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/putins-way/

    I’ve collected some excellent documentaries on post-Soviet Russia and put them in this thread http://salo-forum.com/index.php?threads/documentaries-on-post-soviet-russia.4127/ although the first one I posted seems to have been taken down.

    These documentaries deal with the Oligarchs and the rise of Putin and were made before western media decided to throw away all objectivity and engage in a Jihad on him.

    The two part series from TVOntario’s Human Edge is most interesting in that you cannot walk away from watching it without gaining a serious respect for Putin.

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    • Replies: @Hepp
    Thanks I look forward to watching them. I mean, I'll take a corrupt quasi-traditionalist over sincere Cultural Marxists who rule the West. But I wonder the extent to which Putin's corruption is abnormal even by developing world standards.
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  • never underestimate the power of necessity.
    To cover political failures or foolish decisions in the past with new ones in the future.
    To cover foreign policy mistakes with new opportunities to make better and bigger ones.
    To use blood of the people to extend the timetable of those decision makers at the top.

    The perception that this petered out is a false perception.

    It seems to have been a catalyst from other actions that were taken, in order for this phase to pass there has to be another catalyst to usher in some sort of pent-up resolution either demanded at the top or bottom to some issue we have no knowledge of. This is not about resolving the conflict but the necessity to get some clarity on issues impacted by Russia-Turkey-Europe and so on interconnections. If you as a small player cannot be heard on a certain parameter ‘say’ new pipelines or expansion of old ones or commitments that you desperately need to re-finance old bonds issued by your oil company to finance a refinery in Turkey to tune of 5-10 billion dollars it may be expedient to resort to a certain flare of tensions to get some/any sort of attention to gain resolution under the guise of political regulation.

    Then again there are other issues there as well some involve Georgia/Azerbaijan transit from Iran and China that may not occur. food for thought
    http://www.lushfun.com

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  • @Marcus
    They aren't Muslims or Africans, so they might not have been given refugee status.

    Right.

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  • OT, but Anatoly, Frontline had this documentary about Putin the other night. I was wondering if you’ve seen it and if so if you had any comments?

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/putins-way/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    I've collected some excellent documentaries on post-Soviet Russia and put them in this thread http://salo-forum.com/index.php?threads/documentaries-on-post-soviet-russia.4127/ although the first one I posted seems to have been taken down.

    These documentaries deal with the Oligarchs and the rise of Putin and were made before western media decided to throw away all objectivity and engage in a Jihad on him.

    The two part series from TVOntario's Human Edge is most interesting in that you cannot walk away from watching it without gaining a serious respect for Putin.
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  • @Avery
    Well, I can quibble with Mr. Karlin re the number of losses on each side and what was gained and lost, but the gist of the article is accurate.

    {All in all, it’s safe to say that at least so far, this has been a comprehensive defeat for Azerbaijan, }

    A Russian lawyer wrote an interesting article re Artsakh/NKR.
    With UNZ.com permission, I will paste it below.

    http://www.panorama.am/en/news/2016/04/05/Russian-lawyer-Artsakh/1557937

    [Russian lawyer: Artsakh resistance is a challenge for post-modern world order

    Russian lawyer, member of the Civic Chamber of Russia, Executive Director of the For the Openness of Justice Public Committee Denis Dvornikov has made the following comment on his facebook page, against which Azerbaijan has launched a massive military assault these days.

    “Artsakh resistance is becoming not only a strong military power but also a completely unexpected ideological challenge for the post-modern world order, in which a nation is not a nation and a state is not a state, where the ideal man in peaceful times is the Consumer and in harsh times the one who flees – the Refugee.

    It is exactly for this reason that the world is in a shock and can’t believe its eyes when watching how men with a smile on their faces go to the front to fight for their brothers, for their land, for that boy who has been shot by an asshole artilleryman in the schoolyard...

    If the Karabakh Armenians had fled, they too would have probably been given a couple of German villages, their feet too would have been washed in St. Peter’s square in Rome, their crying men would have been shown on CNN and BBC too. But they didn’t run! To the contrary – an Armenian millionaire is taking his son out of comfortable Oxford and sending him to the front, and not to some elite unit but to the very frontline, under Russian “Солнцепек”s; because for him it is more important to have a son who is a real man rather than a son who is a leading economist.

    I am very worried for Artsakh. I am very envious of Artsakh, where in that mountainous air such thick meaning of life is concentrated that you can already eat it with a spoon, like the hot Armenian Spas.”]

    God bless the heroic, indigenous, Orthodox Christian Armenian people of Artsakh/NKR.
    May 1,000s and 1,000s of invadonomad, Islamist, Turkic hordes meet their virgins in whatever 'paradise' the savages end up in.

    They aren’t Muslims or Africans, so they might not have been given refugee status.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    Right.
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  • Well, I can quibble with Mr. Karlin re the number of losses on each side and what was gained and lost, but the gist of the article is accurate.

    {All in all, it’s safe to say that at least so far, this has been a comprehensive defeat for Azerbaijan, }

    A Russian lawyer wrote an interesting article re Artsakh/NKR.
    With UNZ.com permission, I will paste it below.

    http://www.panorama.am/en/news/2016/04/05/Russian-lawyer-Artsakh/1557937

    [Russian lawyer: Artsakh resistance is a challenge for post-modern world order

    Russian lawyer, member of the Civic Chamber of Russia, Executive Director of the For the Openness of Justice Public Committee Denis Dvornikov has made the following comment on his facebook page, against which Azerbaijan has launched a massive military assault these days.

    “Artsakh resistance is becoming not only a strong military power but also a completely unexpected ideological challenge for the post-modern world order, in which a nation is not a nation and a state is not a state, where the ideal man in peaceful times is the Consumer and in harsh times the one who flees – the Refugee.

    It is exactly for this reason that the world is in a shock and can’t believe its eyes when watching how men with a smile on their faces go to the front to fight for their brothers, for their land, for that boy who has been shot by an asshole artilleryman in the schoolyard...

    If the Karabakh Armenians had fled, they too would have probably been given a couple of German villages, their feet too would have been washed in St. Peter’s square in Rome, their crying men would have been shown on CNN and BBC too. But they didn’t run! To the contrary – an Armenian millionaire is taking his son out of comfortable Oxford and sending him to the front, and not to some elite unit but to the very frontline, under Russian “Солнцепек”s; because for him it is more important to have a son who is a real man rather than a son who is a leading economist.

    I am very worried for Artsakh. I am very envious of Artsakh, where in that mountainous air such thick meaning of life is concentrated that you can already eat it with a spoon, like the hot Armenian Spas.”]

    God bless the heroic, indigenous, Orthodox Christian Armenian people of Artsakh/NKR.
    May 1,000s and 1,000s of invadonomad, Islamist, Turkic hordes meet their virgins in whatever ‘paradise’ the savages end up in.

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    They aren't Muslims or Africans, so they might not have been given refugee status.
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  • As far as I can tell, the only country where they care a fig about the Lügenpresse’s latest fake investigation is that goodwhite Mecca, Iceland.

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  • @Erik Sieven
    it is as obvious as boring to point it out, but still it should be mentioned:
    imagine any western power would support a proxy fighting a war against a people against they committed genocide a hundred years ago. Western mainstream media is full of condemnations for Japan for not apologizing enough for WWII while Turks not only do not apologize, not only deny what happened but even threaten to fight against.

    Turkey will break apart in the agony of a civil war because its people are very nationalist in mentality and actions. Turks and Sunni Arabs especially demonstrate that anti-racism has its merits.

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    • Replies: @Rehmat
    Every Zionist Jew has that dream.

    Luckily, however, Turkey may not recover its 400-year long glory - but it's not going to be 'wiped off the map' by Israelis or their godfather Russia.

    99.9% Turkish citizens are Sunnis, Shias and Sufis - but none of them follow Talmud to learn what racism really is.

    An Israeli survey conducted in October 2015, 80% of respondents said Israel needs to re-establish its old friendly relations with Turkey for its trade, tourism, and security against Syria and its regional allies.

    On December 18, 2015, Shoshana Bryen at the New York-based Gatestone Institute, an Israeli advocacy group said: “When all else fails, Erdogan calls Israel.” Bryen claims that boycotting Israel, Erdogan has bankrupted Turkey economically. He also asserts that after shunned by Syria, Egypt, Iran, and Russia – Erdogan finds Israel being the only trustworthy regional ally.

    https://rehmat1.com/2015/12/21/turkey-returns-to-israels-arms/
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  • it is as obvious as boring to point it out, but still it should be mentioned:
    imagine any western power would support a proxy fighting a war against a people against they committed genocide a hundred years ago. Western mainstream media is full of condemnations for Japan for not apologizing enough for WWII while Turks not only do not apologize, not only deny what happened but even threaten to fight against.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Turkey will break apart in the agony of a civil war because its people are very nationalist in mentality and actions. Turks and Sunni Arabs especially demonstrate that anti-racism has its merits.
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  • Column of Azeri tanks around the Talis region. Via Cassad. The past two days has seen some of the most intense fighting over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh since the 1994 ceasefire that froze the conflict. It was a typical post-Soviet tale: Illogically drawn up borders, stranded Armenians in the historically Armenian territory of Nagorno-Karabakh,...
  • @Glossy
    Can you describe this mythology? I'm curious about stuff like that. Does it include an ancient Azerbaijan? It's my impression that before the 20th century they were called Turks. What do they say about Armenians officially?

    One thing I've noticed is that the Alievs are doing the monarchy thing right. Geydar married an academic and a daughter of an important official. Ilham married a daughter and granddaughter of prominent writers and academics. That's impressive.

    They claim to be descendants from a certain nomadic tribe and attribute historical Armenian presence in the region to Albanians (an ancient Caucasian people)

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  • @Anatoly Karlin

    Indications are that the Armenians did quite well – if the Azerbaijanis had done well the front would have collapsed and Aliev wouldn’t be retreating to diplomatic measures. Another case where the prediction of the ‘comprehensive military power index’ was dramatically reversed. The Yemeni war is an example of a far more dramatic reversal. A better predictor of future performance is past performance. Expect losers to keep losing, expect winners to keep winning.
     
    This was clearly a limited attack, to:

    (1) Probe Armenian defences;
    (2) Lay the groundwork for a diplomatic offensive;
    (3) Both
    (4) Local commander acting on his own initiative - though this is the least likely variant;

    So that clash proves absolutely nothing.

    Ultimately, the CMP is just a way of visualizing military strength in a somewhat objective manner. But its absolutely clear that even without it the military gap between Armenia and Azerbaijan has widened greatly since 1994.

    When it went up against equally smart and equally organized enemies who had much less military capital but had the basics, it lost (Korea, Vietnam.)
     
    No, it didn't. The US achieved its objectives in Korea, and in Vietnam its defeat was not military but political. As I explicitly mentioned in the original post, the CMP model breaks down in conditions of asymmetric warfare.

    @ Vendetta,

    I will address your criticisms eventually.

    in Vietnam its defeat was not military but political

    If you fail to achieve your political objectives by the use of your military, how is that not a failure of the use of the military?

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  • @ilkarnal

    (1) Probe Armenian defences;
     
    They left a whole lot of Azeri corpses on land they probably meant to hold.

    (2) Lay the groundwork for a diplomatic offensive;
     
    But this does the opposite of that, it reduces sympathy for the Azeris because they started it. And it forces Armenian leadership into hard-line positions, with Sargsyan recently threatening to officially recognize NK.

    So that clash proves absolutely nothing.
     
    It certainly does not 'prove' anything on its own - it certainly is very important information. Results in battle must be weighed very heavily.

    The US achieved its objectives in Korea
     
    They didn't stop at the present North Korean border - they sure were acting like they meant to take the Korean peninsula! I think they were fairly surprised and dismayed by the result.

    in Vietnam its defeat was not military but political
     
    War is unfettered politics. The opposing sides are always political actors with limited authority. The conditions under which the North Vietnamese authorities had to develop and use that authority were considerably more trying than those in Washington. Consider that the war was started by one of the main political parties and continued by the other. Consider how long the war lasted - how long the US armed forces and their successive CICs had to achieve victory, or at least ensure a limited foothold. Consider the resources devoted to that war, and the losses sustained - over 5,000 aircraft destroyed, over 50,000 troops killed. The political excuse holds no water. The Communists faced a determined enemy willing to withstand large losses in blood and treasure, and willing to keep up the fight for many years, and they won.

    The Communists faced a determined enemy willing to withstand large losses in blood and treasure, and willing to keep up the fight for many years, and they won.

    They only won after Congress cut off aid to South Vietnam (arguably the worst betrayal of an ally in US history). A good case can be made that if the Watergate break-in had not happened, South Vietnam would still exist today.

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  • @Glossy
    Colonel Cassad is a nickname of Boris Rozhin, a Russian (and pro-Russian) blogger from Sevastopol. Never trust Google Transalte. The original has "занятой территории", a much more neutral phrase than "occupied territory." The correct translation would be something like "the territory held by".

    Thanks for the clarification Glossy.

    My Russian has become rusty over the years of non-use living in US.
    (was born in Armenia SSR: knowledge of Russian was mandatory, the official language of USSR).

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  • @Avery
    {The Azeri offensive shows no signs of stopping.}

    From the link: (Google translate)

    { After initial successes, the morning of April 2 the promotion of Azerbaijani Army was stopped in all areas of the occupied territory and Azerbaijanis was abandoned. In fact her there were only a few tactically important heights that provokes continuation of hostilities, as the Armenians are now pytayustya their return. The fighting took positional, where the main role is played by artillery and MLRS (there are reports that Azerbaijan applied system TOS-1), which leads to losses on both sides.}

    "the promotion of Azerbaijani Army was stopped in all areas of the occupied territory".

    According to your source, the Azerbaijani offensive has hit a brick wall: in effect stopped.

    btw, Karlin: who is this Colonel Cassad? Is he a Turk?
    What "occupied" territories is he talking about?

    Colonel Cassad is a nickname of Boris Rozhin, a Russian (and pro-Russian) blogger from Sevastopol. Never trust Google Transalte. The original has “занятой территории”, a much more neutral phrase than “occupied territory.” The correct translation would be something like “the territory held by”.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    Thanks for the clarification Glossy.

    My Russian has become rusty over the years of non-use living in US.
    (was born in Armenia SSR: knowledge of Russian was mandatory, the official language of USSR).
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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    The Azeri offensive shows no signs of stopping.

    Azerbaijan is making maximilist demands (get off "occupied" land). Armenia is countering with a return to the old borders, but Azerbaijan will find that difficult to justify considering the losses it has sustained. This is increasingly looking like the buildup to a huge conflagration.

    {The Azeri offensive shows no signs of stopping.}

    From the link: (Google translate)

    { After initial successes, the morning of April 2 the promotion of Azerbaijani Army was stopped in all areas of the occupied territory and Azerbaijanis was abandoned. In fact her there were only a few tactically important heights that provokes continuation of hostilities, as the Armenians are now pytayustya their return. The fighting took positional, where the main role is played by artillery and MLRS (there are reports that Azerbaijan applied system TOS-1), which leads to losses on both sides.}

    “the promotion of Azerbaijani Army was stopped in all areas of the occupied territory”.

    According to your source, the Azerbaijani offensive has hit a brick wall: in effect stopped.

    btw, Karlin: who is this Colonel Cassad? Is he a Turk?
    What “occupied” territories is he talking about?

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    Colonel Cassad is a nickname of Boris Rozhin, a Russian (and pro-Russian) blogger from Sevastopol. Never trust Google Transalte. The original has "занятой территории", a much more neutral phrase than "occupied territory." The correct translation would be something like "the territory held by".
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  • @g2k
    Do they mean all of Karabakh or the buffer zone around it that the Armenians control but is undoubtedly Azerbijian, Agdam etc.? If it's the latter that they want, it's not that maximal, if it's the former then this really could be s**t hitting the fan.

    Unless it stops quickly, this could easily result in Syria like savegary; the level of hatred is unbelievable, much worse than Ukraine. I know a few people from that area, on both sides, and my Facebook feed has been literally full of pictures of dead bodies with gloating captions.

    Russia is in a very difficult position. If Armenia losses Karabakh and a large number of the population get massacred, it'll be as anti Russian as the Baltic States, if it intervenes, then Azerbaijan will be. Best case scenario is that they repel it on their own, of course

    {If Armenia losses Karabakh and a large number of the population get massacred…}

    Armenians are not going to lose Karabagh.
    And no large or small numbers of the population are going to get massacred.
    In every Armenian’s mind is burnt the image of Armenian civilians being marched to their deaths by Turks during the Armenian Genocide.
    Ain’t gonna happen again.
    Everyone in Artsakh/NKR is armed: it’s a modern day Sparta.
    There may be bloodbath, with 1,000 of nomad invaders killed by people of Artsakh, but there will be no massacre of unarmed Armenian civilians.

    Right now, NKR’s only own military is fighting Azerbaijani military.
    Azerbaijanis have sustained large losses, but have only penetrated Armenian positions in a few places maximum 900 feet. Fighting is going on over those places.
    Armenia’s own military is not involved at this time, other than sending some ballistic missiles to NKR (just in case). Azerbaijanis by themselves cannot overcome NKR military.
    Armenia will come in, in full force, if Azerbaijan starts mobilizing for full war.
    In a full scale war, Armenia and NKR will definitely suffer badly, but everything in Azerbaijan – pipelines, oil derricks, skyscrapers, refineries, … – will be torched. Nothing will be left standing.

    Only way for Azerbaijan to break through would be for Turkey to attack Armenia.
    Russia cannot and will not allow that.
    Some people think Turkey initiated this to divert Russia’s attention from Syria, where Turks’ plans have turned to s___ after Russian AF started raining death and destruction on Erdogan’s oil-stealing convoys.

    During the NKR war of 1991-1994, Armenians were in a far worse position manpower and military hardware wise, and they eventually prevailed. Heydar Aliyev begged Moscow in 1994 to stop the Armenians’ advance towards Baku, which Moscow did.

    We have to wait and see.

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  • I have to say though, the Azeris are dirty fighters.

    I thought them executing two elderly Armenians in their homes and cutting their ears off was bad, but now they have beheaded a Yazidi-Armenian soldier they captured: http://ezidipress.com/en/karabakh-conflict-azerbaijani-soldiers-behead-ezidi-soldier-from-armenia/

    I am surprised none of this is international news.

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  • @Marcus
    The Aliyevs have promoted an extreme nationalist mythology that would be hilarious if it weren't dangerous for the region, due to inculcating hate of Iran and Armenia. Antagonism with neighbors is an easy way for them to distract from the corruption and now the collapse brought by low oil prices. It will be interesting to see how the US reacts: Azerbaijan's major ally in the region is none other than Israel.

    Can you describe this mythology? I’m curious about stuff like that. Does it include an ancient Azerbaijan? It’s my impression that before the 20th century they were called Turks. What do they say about Armenians officially?

    One thing I’ve noticed is that the Alievs are doing the monarchy thing right. Geydar married an academic and a daughter of an important official. Ilham married a daughter and granddaughter of prominent writers and academics. That’s impressive.

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    They claim to be descendants from a certain nomadic tribe and attribute historical Armenian presence in the region to Albanians (an ancient Caucasian people)
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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    The Azeri offensive shows no signs of stopping.

    Azerbaijan is making maximilist demands (get off "occupied" land). Armenia is countering with a return to the old borders, but Azerbaijan will find that difficult to justify considering the losses it has sustained. This is increasingly looking like the buildup to a huge conflagration.

    Do they mean all of Karabakh or the buffer zone around it that the Armenians control but is undoubtedly Azerbijian, Agdam etc.? If it’s the latter that they want, it’s not that maximal, if it’s the former then this really could be s**t hitting the fan.

    Unless it stops quickly, this could easily result in Syria like savegary; the level of hatred is unbelievable, much worse than Ukraine. I know a few people from that area, on both sides, and my Facebook feed has been literally full of pictures of dead bodies with gloating captions.

    Russia is in a very difficult position. If Armenia losses Karabakh and a large number of the population get massacred, it’ll be as anti Russian as the Baltic States, if it intervenes, then Azerbaijan will be. Best case scenario is that they repel it on their own, of course

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    • Replies: @Avery
    {If Armenia losses Karabakh and a large number of the population get massacred...}

    Armenians are not going to lose Karabagh.
    And no large or small numbers of the population are going to get massacred.
    In every Armenian's mind is burnt the image of Armenian civilians being marched to their deaths by Turks during the Armenian Genocide.
    Ain't gonna happen again.
    Everyone in Artsakh/NKR is armed: it's a modern day Sparta.
    There may be bloodbath, with 1,000 of nomad invaders killed by people of Artsakh, but there will be no massacre of unarmed Armenian civilians.

    Right now, NKR's only own military is fighting Azerbaijani military.
    Azerbaijanis have sustained large losses, but have only penetrated Armenian positions in a few places maximum 900 feet. Fighting is going on over those places.
    Armenia's own military is not involved at this time, other than sending some ballistic missiles to NKR (just in case). Azerbaijanis by themselves cannot overcome NKR military.
    Armenia will come in, in full force, if Azerbaijan starts mobilizing for full war.
    In a full scale war, Armenia and NKR will definitely suffer badly, but everything in Azerbaijan - pipelines, oil derricks, skyscrapers, refineries, ... - will be torched. Nothing will be left standing.

    Only way for Azerbaijan to break through would be for Turkey to attack Armenia.
    Russia cannot and will not allow that.
    Some people think Turkey initiated this to divert Russia's attention from Syria, where Turks' plans have turned to s___ after Russian AF started raining death and destruction on Erdogan's oil-stealing convoys.

    During the NKR war of 1991-1994, Armenians were in a far worse position manpower and military hardware wise, and they eventually prevailed. Heydar Aliyev begged Moscow in 1994 to stop the Armenians' advance towards Baku, which Moscow did.

    We have to wait and see.

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  • I will confess that my only knowledge of Armenians is the Kardashians, I also must say that I have zero understanding of the conflict of those two nations. Having said that, surely this conflict could not have started without US approval ? Also I do not see news about this on sites like ZeroHedge.com or ForeignPolicy.com, why is this not a big story ?

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  • What will the US do? Israel and Turkey are friendly with Azerbaijan. Armenian-Americans are a small, fairly influential group, but the Israeli/Saudi lobbies who are bent on confrontation with Armenia’s partner Iran are surely more powerful.

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  • The Azeri offensive shows no signs of stopping.

    Azerbaijan is making maximilist demands (get off “occupied” land). Armenia is countering with a return to the old borders, but Azerbaijan will find that difficult to justify considering the losses it has sustained. This is increasingly looking like the buildup to a huge conflagration.

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    • Replies: @g2k
    Do they mean all of Karabakh or the buffer zone around it that the Armenians control but is undoubtedly Azerbijian, Agdam etc.? If it's the latter that they want, it's not that maximal, if it's the former then this really could be s**t hitting the fan.

    Unless it stops quickly, this could easily result in Syria like savegary; the level of hatred is unbelievable, much worse than Ukraine. I know a few people from that area, on both sides, and my Facebook feed has been literally full of pictures of dead bodies with gloating captions.

    Russia is in a very difficult position. If Armenia losses Karabakh and a large number of the population get massacred, it'll be as anti Russian as the Baltic States, if it intervenes, then Azerbaijan will be. Best case scenario is that they repel it on their own, of course

    , @Avery
    {The Azeri offensive shows no signs of stopping.}

    From the link: (Google translate)

    { After initial successes, the morning of April 2 the promotion of Azerbaijani Army was stopped in all areas of the occupied territory and Azerbaijanis was abandoned. In fact her there were only a few tactically important heights that provokes continuation of hostilities, as the Armenians are now pytayustya their return. The fighting took positional, where the main role is played by artillery and MLRS (there are reports that Azerbaijan applied system TOS-1), which leads to losses on both sides.}

    "the promotion of Azerbaijani Army was stopped in all areas of the occupied territory".

    According to your source, the Azerbaijani offensive has hit a brick wall: in effect stopped.

    btw, Karlin: who is this Colonel Cassad? Is he a Turk?
    What "occupied" territories is he talking about?

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  • @Marcus
    So I guess Azerbaijan can be considered a Caucasian Saudi Arabia in terms of military spending vs actual capability?

    No that’s seriously overstretching it.

    Turks >> Arabs > Saudi Arabs in military matters.

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  • Situation as of April 4, 2016.

    ARMENIAN losses:

    20 KIA, including 6 officers.
    72 WIA, including 8 officers.
    26 MIA.
    4 civilians killed, including one child of 12.
    7 tanks lost.

    AZERBAIJANI losses.

    23 KIA, including 8 officers, with names of killed confirmed and published by NKR military.
    100+ Azerbaijani troops estimated KIA, but names not ascertained.
    A KIA ratio of about 3-to-1 in Armenians’ favour.
    Unofficial sources estimate about 300 Azerbaijani troops KIA.

    Note: during the NKR war 1991-1994 Armenians had about 6,000 KIA vs Azerbaijani and assorted Islamist terrorists, Afghan Muj, Chechen terrorists, etc of about 30,000.
    A KIA ratio of about 5-to-1 in Armenians’ favour.

    29 tanks lost.
    1 Grad.
    1 TOS-1A ( multiple rocket launcher and thermobaric weapon)
    2 combat helicopters
    6 drones.

    Heavy fighting is ongoing in several sectors.
    Some Armenian strongpoints were initially overrun by Azerbaijani blitz, but were later re-taken by Armenians.
    In some uninhabited boondocks sectors, Azerbaijanis have penetrated 200-250 meters (700-900 feet) into Armenian positions behind the Line of Contact: fighting is ongoing there.
    1,000s of Armenian volunteers from everywhere, many veterans of 1991-1994 war, are streaming into NKR. Too many, in fact. NKR military has thanked them, but told them to stand by, until they are needed.

    NKR Armenian frontline troops engaged in fierce combat report that after the first day of enthusiastic fighting by Azerbaijani troops, as a result of heavy losses, they are not so eager to fight past couple of days. Punishment units are forcing reluctant Azerbaijani troops to advance.

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  • @Andrei Martyanov
    Most people from Caucasus had bad reputation in USSR.

    Yeah, they’re a big part of the organized crime that is often lumped together as the “Russian Mafia,” not that the governments there are much (or any) better than the mafias.

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  • @Marcus
    Yeah, i meant more of Azeris as a people though, they apparently have a really bad reputation in the former USSR.

    Most people from Caucasus had bad reputation in USSR.

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    Yeah, they're a big part of the organized crime that is often lumped together as the "Russian Mafia," not that the governments there are much (or any) better than the mafias.
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  • @Andrei Martyanov
    As I said--varies. The older, Soviet-educated and brought up, generation of Azeri military professionals was pretty good. The quality of personnel dropped precipitously after the dissolution of the USSR. I assume that currently it is not very high overall but it is too early to discount a serious quantitative-qualitative technological advantage Azerbaijan has over Armenians in Karabakh. Next couple of days will give more accurate picture.

    Yeah, i meant more of Azeris as a people though, they apparently have a really bad reputation in the former USSR.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    Most people from Caucasus had bad reputation in USSR.
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  • Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Marcus
    Based on what i've heard about Azeris from other CIS, the "people" part is kind of dubious.

    As I said–varies. The older, Soviet-educated and brought up, generation of Azeri military professionals was pretty good. The quality of personnel dropped precipitously after the dissolution of the USSR. I assume that currently it is not very high overall but it is too early to discount a serious quantitative-qualitative technological advantage Azerbaijan has over Armenians in Karabakh. Next couple of days will give more accurate picture.

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    Yeah, i meant more of Azeris as a people though, they apparently have a really bad reputation in the former USSR.
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  • @Andrei Martyanov
    Not quite. The older officer corps which graduated both BVOKU and KVVMKU and fought in Afghanistan and also graduated service War Colleges in Russia are pretty competent people. The new generation, however, prepared by Turkey to so called "NATO standards" is a completely different game.

    Based on what i’ve heard about Azeris from other CIS, the “people” part is kind of dubious.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    As I said--varies. The older, Soviet-educated and brought up, generation of Azeri military professionals was pretty good. The quality of personnel dropped precipitously after the dissolution of the USSR. I assume that currently it is not very high overall but it is too early to discount a serious quantitative-qualitative technological advantage Azerbaijan has over Armenians in Karabakh. Next couple of days will give more accurate picture.
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  • @Marcus
    So I guess Azerbaijan can be considered a Caucasian Saudi Arabia in terms of military spending vs actual capability?

    Not quite. The older officer corps which graduated both BVOKU and KVVMKU and fought in Afghanistan and also graduated service War Colleges in Russia are pretty competent people. The new generation, however, prepared by Turkey to so called “NATO standards” is a completely different game.

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    • Replies: @Marcus
    Based on what i've heard about Azeris from other CIS, the "people" part is kind of dubious.
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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    This is certainly one of Armenia's likely advantages.

    I assume that the NK War 2 scenario has been wargamed to death by both sides. I suspect both the Armenians and Azeris already know the optimal or close to optimal moves in all the likeliest scenarios, so at least at the outstart, I doubt there'll be much room for individual brilliance in generalship. But this factor will scale up as the war goes on and goes off along unforeseen tangents, and the Armenians will at a minimum also enjoy the intellectual resources of the Russian General Staff.

    So I guess Azerbaijan can be considered a Caucasian Saudi Arabia in terms of military spending vs actual capability?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    Not quite. The older officer corps which graduated both BVOKU and KVVMKU and fought in Afghanistan and also graduated service War Colleges in Russia are pretty competent people. The new generation, however, prepared by Turkey to so called "NATO standards" is a completely different game.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    No that's seriously overstretching it.

    Turks >> Arabs > Saudi Arabs in military matters.
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  • The Aliyevs have promoted an extreme nationalist mythology that would be hilarious if it weren’t dangerous for the region, due to inculcating hate of Iran and Armenia. Antagonism with neighbors is an easy way for them to distract from the corruption and now the collapse brought by low oil prices. It will be interesting to see how the US reacts: Azerbaijan’s major ally in the region is none other than Israel.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    Can you describe this mythology? I'm curious about stuff like that. Does it include an ancient Azerbaijan? It's my impression that before the 20th century they were called Turks. What do they say about Armenians officially?

    One thing I've noticed is that the Alievs are doing the monarchy thing right. Geydar married an academic and a daughter of an important official. Ilham married a daughter and granddaughter of prominent writers and academics. That's impressive.
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  • Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Indications are that the Armenians did quite well – if the Azerbaijanis had done well the front would have collapsed and Aliev wouldn’t be retreating to diplomatic measures. Another case where the prediction of the ‘comprehensive military power index’ was dramatically reversed. The Yemeni war is an example of a far more dramatic reversal. A better predictor of future performance is past performance. Expect losers to keep losing, expect winners to keep winning.
     
    This was clearly a limited attack, to:

    (1) Probe Armenian defences;
    (2) Lay the groundwork for a diplomatic offensive;
    (3) Both
    (4) Local commander acting on his own initiative - though this is the least likely variant;

    So that clash proves absolutely nothing.

    Ultimately, the CMP is just a way of visualizing military strength in a somewhat objective manner. But its absolutely clear that even without it the military gap between Armenia and Azerbaijan has widened greatly since 1994.

    When it went up against equally smart and equally organized enemies who had much less military capital but had the basics, it lost (Korea, Vietnam.)
     
    No, it didn't. The US achieved its objectives in Korea, and in Vietnam its defeat was not military but political. As I explicitly mentioned in the original post, the CMP model breaks down in conditions of asymmetric warfare.

    @ Vendetta,

    I will address your criticisms eventually.

    the CMP model breaks down in conditions of asymmetric warfare.

    Most of modern warfare is asymmetric: be it a salvo of anti-shipping missiles against Carrier Battle Group (10-15 million of hardware against 10-15 billion) or air-defense missile with the cost of about 100,00 taking out 150 million dollar stealth fighter-bomber. Even combined arms warfare seeks to achieve asymmetry by maneuver, speed and tactical ability. Blitzkrieg was, basically, a doctrine of asymmetry by the virtue of massing and applying overwhelming force on narrow front.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin

    Indications are that the Armenians did quite well – if the Azerbaijanis had done well the front would have collapsed and Aliev wouldn’t be retreating to diplomatic measures. Another case where the prediction of the ‘comprehensive military power index’ was dramatically reversed. The Yemeni war is an example of a far more dramatic reversal. A better predictor of future performance is past performance. Expect losers to keep losing, expect winners to keep winning.
     
    This was clearly a limited attack, to:

    (1) Probe Armenian defences;
    (2) Lay the groundwork for a diplomatic offensive;
    (3) Both
    (4) Local commander acting on his own initiative - though this is the least likely variant;

    So that clash proves absolutely nothing.

    Ultimately, the CMP is just a way of visualizing military strength in a somewhat objective manner. But its absolutely clear that even without it the military gap between Armenia and Azerbaijan has widened greatly since 1994.

    When it went up against equally smart and equally organized enemies who had much less military capital but had the basics, it lost (Korea, Vietnam.)
     
    No, it didn't. The US achieved its objectives in Korea, and in Vietnam its defeat was not military but political. As I explicitly mentioned in the original post, the CMP model breaks down in conditions of asymmetric warfare.

    @ Vendetta,

    I will address your criticisms eventually.

    (1) Probe Armenian defences;

    They left a whole lot of Azeri corpses on land they probably meant to hold.

    (2) Lay the groundwork for a diplomatic offensive;

    But this does the opposite of that, it reduces sympathy for the Azeris because they started it. And it forces Armenian leadership into hard-line positions, with Sargsyan recently threatening to officially recognize NK.

    So that clash proves absolutely nothing.

    It certainly does not ‘prove’ anything on its own – it certainly is very important information. Results in battle must be weighed very heavily.

    The US achieved its objectives in Korea

    They didn’t stop at the present North Korean border – they sure were acting like they meant to take the Korean peninsula! I think they were fairly surprised and dismayed by the result.

    in Vietnam its defeat was not military but political

    War is unfettered politics. The opposing sides are always political actors with limited authority. The conditions under which the North Vietnamese authorities had to develop and use that authority were considerably more trying than those in Washington. Consider that the war was started by one of the main political parties and continued by the other. Consider how long the war lasted – how long the US armed forces and their successive CICs had to achieve victory, or at least ensure a limited foothold. Consider the resources devoted to that war, and the losses sustained – over 5,000 aircraft destroyed, over 50,000 troops killed. The political excuse holds no water. The Communists faced a determined enemy willing to withstand large losses in blood and treasure, and willing to keep up the fight for many years, and they won.

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    • Replies: @Jon0815

    The Communists faced a determined enemy willing to withstand large losses in blood and treasure, and willing to keep up the fight for many years, and they won.
     
    They only won after Congress cut off aid to South Vietnam (arguably the worst betrayal of an ally in US history). A good case can be made that if the Watergate break-in had not happened, South Vietnam would still exist today.
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  • @Anatoly Karlin

    Indications are that the Armenians did quite well – if the Azerbaijanis had done well the front would have collapsed and Aliev wouldn’t be retreating to diplomatic measures. Another case where the prediction of the ‘comprehensive military power index’ was dramatically reversed. The Yemeni war is an example of a far more dramatic reversal. A better predictor of future performance is past performance. Expect losers to keep losing, expect winners to keep winning.
     
    This was clearly a limited attack, to:

    (1) Probe Armenian defences;
    (2) Lay the groundwork for a diplomatic offensive;
    (3) Both
    (4) Local commander acting on his own initiative - though this is the least likely variant;

    So that clash proves absolutely nothing.

    Ultimately, the CMP is just a way of visualizing military strength in a somewhat objective manner. But its absolutely clear that even without it the military gap between Armenia and Azerbaijan has widened greatly since 1994.

    When it went up against equally smart and equally organized enemies who had much less military capital but had the basics, it lost (Korea, Vietnam.)
     
    No, it didn't. The US achieved its objectives in Korea, and in Vietnam its defeat was not military but political. As I explicitly mentioned in the original post, the CMP model breaks down in conditions of asymmetric warfare.

    @ Vendetta,

    I will address your criticisms eventually.

    The CMPI is a crock, and Vendetta does an excellent job of showing (some of the reasons) why.

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  • @Seamus Padraig
    Thanks for a very informative briefing, Anatoly.

    All the more so if in addition to the factors listed above Azerbaijan also enjoys support from a Turkey (and even Ukraine? Though tying the clashes around Yasinovataya to this would be a long stretch, and is probably connected mainly to Poroshenko’s visit to the US) whose relations with Russia have collapsed in recent months.
     
    Just one question--and this may be outside of you area of expertise: What is Iran's position on this dispute? I know that the Russians generally favor the Armenians. Although the Azeris speak a Turkic language, they are majority Shi'ite, I believe, and the southern part of their historic realm falls inside of Iran. I have also been told that the leadership of the Islamic Revolution--including the famous Ayatollah Khomeini--is disproportionately ethnic-Azeri (a sore point among some ethnic-Persians). Is Iran backing Azerbaijan then? Or are they neutral?

    What prompts the question is my belief that Washington and Tel Aviv could only benefit if Iran and Russia--the two sponsors of Syria--have a sudden falling out. Of course, you're also absolutely right to point out the Turkish and Ukrainian angles.

    Iran is friendly with Armenia, Turkey is very friendly with turkish speaking Azerbaijan.
    Azerbaijan has some claims to iranian territory, while Armenia and Turkey have poor relations over the acknowledgment of the armenian genocide.
    The big Azeri military budget didn’t only buy weapons, but it also created friends among their providers of weapons and trainers: Turkey, Russia and Israel.

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  • @Glossy
    The commenter jimmyriddle posted this graph on another thread here:

    http://f1.s.qip.ru/8NLT3gzn.png

    It shows the number of scientists per 100k population of the various ethnicities of the Soviet Union in 1973. I commented on that graph here: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/impossibility-of-jewish-russophile/#comment-1376174

    Armenians were second. Azeris were 12th with a little more than half of the Armenians' per capita rate. The whole graph is fascinating.

    This is certainly one of Armenia’s likely advantages.

    I assume that the NK War 2 scenario has been wargamed to death by both sides. I suspect both the Armenians and Azeris already know the optimal or close to optimal moves in all the likeliest scenarios, so at least at the outstart, I doubt there’ll be much room for individual brilliance in generalship. But this factor will scale up as the war goes on and goes off along unforeseen tangents, and the Armenians will at a minimum also enjoy the intellectual resources of the Russian General Staff.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marcus
    So I guess Azerbaijan can be considered a Caucasian Saudi Arabia in terms of military spending vs actual capability?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @ilkarnal
    Indications are that the Armenians did quite well - if the Azerbaijanis had done well the front would have collapsed and Aliev wouldn't be retreating to diplomatic measures. Another case where the prediction of the 'comprehensive military power index' was dramatically reversed. The Yemeni war is an example of a far more dramatic reversal. A better predictor of future performance is past performance. Expect losers to keep losing, expect winners to keep winning.

    If you have further ambition than forecasting the continuation of trends, I think you need a different tack. Recognize that war is overwhelmingly about two things - people and geography. Capital matters but has severe diminishing returns, to the point where it actually doesn't matter for any place where the people are worth a damn - worthwhile people get worthwhile military capital, because in the scheme of things weaponry is very very cheap. Even (economically) worthless people living in sand hovels manage to get more than enough weaponry.

    "Whatever happens, we have got the maxim gun, and they have not." <---- these days are over. The most cost-effective and deadly piece of equipment in the world today is a rifle. It has held the crown for centuries. Going up against people without rifles, your superior technology is as important as a manpower or strategic advantage. Going up against people with rifles - you're almost on even ground, technologically speaking. You'd better be smarter than them, or outnumber them, if you want to win. The reason the west won victory after victory was that 1) the most basic and important military capital had not completely proliferated and 2) it was smarter and better organized than its opponents. When it went up against equally smart and equally organized enemies who had much less military capital but had the basics, it lost (Korea, Vietnam.)

    When you are fighting on the enemy's land, you need some sort of severe advantage. In a world saturated with military technology, this only comes in the form of being smarter than your opponent or more numerous than your opponent. Better equipped simply isn't worth thinking about by comparison - a smart opponent will have the equipment they need, and they will part ranks instead of getting gored by your elephants. Even a dumb opponent will have enough to make you bleed severely if you don't translate your greater intelligence into better strategy.

    There are 'counters' to men with rifles, thinking hypothetically. Men with rifles can't do much to battened-down tanks, for example. But it's never actually just 'men with rifles.' Basic recoilless rifles, IEDs, the many places where tanks have trouble maneuvering, and the massive logistics tail a tank requires are all weaknesses. If they genuinely plan to fight a battle against your tanks with their riflemen, then that falls under you 'outsmarting' them, or them outdumbing you. In this day and age, you will never get a free win from a capital advantage over a worthy opponent.

    So you have to look at the people and where they fight. You have to make judgements. The Americans are big but lazy and extremely arrogant, the Vietnamese are small but determined and smart, the Vietnamese are fighting on home turf, give it to the Vietnamese. The Americans are (see above,) the Iraqis are small and stupid, the Iraqis are not fighting on home turf (IMPORTANT!) give it to the Americans. Same as before, but the Iraqis are fighting on home turf - both deserve to lose, so both probably will. The Saudis are soft, lecherous pond scum, the Houthis are brave and rugged, and the Houthis are fighting on home turf. Give it to the Houthis.

    The Armenians are smart and tough, the Azerbaijanis are bigger but stupider, the Armenians are fighting on home turf, give it to the Armenians.

    Real AI would completely change this around. As of right now the combat value of a completely computer controlled (not remotely controlled) vehicle is negative. When that changes, everything turns upside-down. Capital becomes all-important. But if we're asking whether that's the case now, recent results speak loud and clear.

    Indications are that the Armenians did quite well – if the Azerbaijanis had done well the front would have collapsed and Aliev wouldn’t be retreating to diplomatic measures. Another case where the prediction of the ‘comprehensive military power index’ was dramatically reversed. The Yemeni war is an example of a far more dramatic reversal. A better predictor of future performance is past performance. Expect losers to keep losing, expect winners to keep winning.

    This was clearly a limited attack, to:

    (1) Probe Armenian defences;
    (2) Lay the groundwork for a diplomatic offensive;
    (3) Both
    (4) Local commander acting on his own initiative – though this is the least likely variant;

    So that clash proves absolutely nothing.

    Ultimately, the CMP is just a way of visualizing military strength in a somewhat objective manner. But its absolutely clear that even without it the military gap between Armenia and Azerbaijan has widened greatly since 1994.

    When it went up against equally smart and equally organized enemies who had much less military capital but had the basics, it lost (Korea, Vietnam.)

    No, it didn’t. The US achieved its objectives in Korea, and in Vietnam its defeat was not military but political. As I explicitly mentioned in the original post, the CMP model breaks down in conditions of asymmetric warfare.

    @ Vendetta,

    I will address your criticisms eventually.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    The CMPI is a crock, and Vendetta does an excellent job of showing (some of the reasons) why.
    , @ilkarnal

    (1) Probe Armenian defences;
     
    They left a whole lot of Azeri corpses on land they probably meant to hold.

    (2) Lay the groundwork for a diplomatic offensive;
     
    But this does the opposite of that, it reduces sympathy for the Azeris because they started it. And it forces Armenian leadership into hard-line positions, with Sargsyan recently threatening to officially recognize NK.

    So that clash proves absolutely nothing.
     
    It certainly does not 'prove' anything on its own - it certainly is very important information. Results in battle must be weighed very heavily.

    The US achieved its objectives in Korea
     
    They didn't stop at the present North Korean border - they sure were acting like they meant to take the Korean peninsula! I think they were fairly surprised and dismayed by the result.

    in Vietnam its defeat was not military but political
     
    War is unfettered politics. The opposing sides are always political actors with limited authority. The conditions under which the North Vietnamese authorities had to develop and use that authority were considerably more trying than those in Washington. Consider that the war was started by one of the main political parties and continued by the other. Consider how long the war lasted - how long the US armed forces and their successive CICs had to achieve victory, or at least ensure a limited foothold. Consider the resources devoted to that war, and the losses sustained - over 5,000 aircraft destroyed, over 50,000 troops killed. The political excuse holds no water. The Communists faced a determined enemy willing to withstand large losses in blood and treasure, and willing to keep up the fight for many years, and they won.
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    the CMP model breaks down in conditions of asymmetric warfare.
     
    Most of modern warfare is asymmetric: be it a salvo of anti-shipping missiles against Carrier Battle Group (10-15 million of hardware against 10-15 billion) or air-defense missile with the cost of about 100,00 taking out 150 million dollar stealth fighter-bomber. Even combined arms warfare seeks to achieve asymmetry by maneuver, speed and tactical ability. Blitzkrieg was, basically, a doctrine of asymmetry by the virtue of massing and applying overwhelming force on narrow front.
    , @iffen
    in Vietnam its defeat was not military but political

    If you fail to achieve your political objectives by the use of your military, how is that not a failure of the use of the military?
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  • @Seamus Padraig
    Thanks to all who responded to my query above. I am not at all knowledgeable about Caucasian history and politics, so it's good to get some new perspectives on them. Western MSM only tells you what they want you to know.

    Re-Iran/Armenia:

    As the other commentators have argued above, relations are highly positive.

    One as of yet unmentioned and little known, but quite important, factor: Armenia is Iran’s second window on the world.

    The first is of course the great artery that is Persian Gulf. But the narrow Armenian connection gives Iran access to Georgia and the port of Batumi, and from there on, to Russia and the Danube. Endless trucks stream from Tehran to Yerevan in the first 8 hour shift, and then its just another 8 hour shift to Batumi. On the negative side, this route is mountainous, gets closed for weeks at a time during the winter snows, and the total volume of trade it hosts pales besides that of the Persian Gulf. Nonetheless, should a conflict shut down the Persian Gulf, Iran will be exceedingly happy to have this additional trade route. This feeling is shared by Armenia, because it doesn’t want to be overly reliant on Georgia for bulk trade. The Iranians have constructed a gas pipeline to Yerevan, and wanted to extend it further north into Georgia so as to directly link into the European market, but Russia successfully lobbied Armenia against that. Discussions have been ongoing for years to start construction on a proper railway, though unfortunately they remain just that – discussions.

    Iran has adequate relations with Azerbaijan. Although Azerbaijan is of course Shi’ite, it is also secular and has a decidedly pro-Western and Israeliophilic geopolitical orientatation. There is also the separatist issue. But that hasn’t stopped Iran and Azerbaijan from working together to make money. There is in fact a good chance they will link up their railway systems faster than Iran with Armenia.

    Iran absolutely does not want a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and most especially it does not want an Azeri invasion of Armenia proper. This will threaten to cut off its northern trade corridor and weaken one of its very few regional friends at the expense of a coreligionist but non-geopolitically aligned country.

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  • @Cicerone
    I am wondering whether all these military comparisons between Azerbaijan and Armenia take the vastly different human capital between these two peoples into account. There are several theories of course whether brains or machinery triumph, but Armenians (IQ of 93 in PISA) have considerably more brains than Azerbaijanis (83) which could neutralize the petrodollar bought equipment of Azerbaijan.

    The commenter jimmyriddle posted this graph on another thread here:

    It shows the number of scientists per 100k population of the various ethnicities of the Soviet Union in 1973. I commented on that graph here: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/impossibility-of-jewish-russophile/#comment-1376174

    Armenians were second. Azeris were 12th with a little more than half of the Armenians’ per capita rate. The whole graph is fascinating.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    This is certainly one of Armenia's likely advantages.

    I assume that the NK War 2 scenario has been wargamed to death by both sides. I suspect both the Armenians and Azeris already know the optimal or close to optimal moves in all the likeliest scenarios, so at least at the outstart, I doubt there'll be much room for individual brilliance in generalship. But this factor will scale up as the war goes on and goes off along unforeseen tangents, and the Armenians will at a minimum also enjoy the intellectual resources of the Russian General Staff.
    , @Cyrus
    If Armenians are so smart then how come Armenia was relatively poor even before the problems post-independence? Perhaps hard to judge now as there's an economic blockade on two sides of their border (Turkey and Azerbaijan), and they had a huge war in the 90s. But even before this Armenia was pretty poor.

    IQ tests don't show Armenians to be a particularly high IQ population.

    I find the situation of Armenians very puzzling though. They were the main market dominant community in the Middle East for centuries, with mercantile communities being established from Singapore to Amsterdam. For centuries people used to comment on how smart and entrepreneurial Armenians were. Today they do not seem to stand out in any way. There are large Armenian communities in Iran and Arab countries where they seem to do a bit better than average, but again nothing remarkable. Even in the United States I don't think the Armenian population are any different from ordinary white people (in economic terms).

    Perhaps Armenians went through dysgenics?
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  • I am wondering whether all these military comparisons between Azerbaijan and Armenia take the vastly different human capital between these two peoples into account. There are several theories of course whether brains or machinery triumph, but Armenians (IQ of 93 in PISA) have considerably more brains than Azerbaijanis (83) which could neutralize the petrodollar bought equipment of Azerbaijan.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    The commenter jimmyriddle posted this graph on another thread here:

    http://f1.s.qip.ru/8NLT3gzn.png

    It shows the number of scientists per 100k population of the various ethnicities of the Soviet Union in 1973. I commented on that graph here: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/impossibility-of-jewish-russophile/#comment-1376174

    Armenians were second. Azeris were 12th with a little more than half of the Armenians' per capita rate. The whole graph is fascinating.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Seamus Padraig
    Thanks for a very informative briefing, Anatoly.

    All the more so if in addition to the factors listed above Azerbaijan also enjoys support from a Turkey (and even Ukraine? Though tying the clashes around Yasinovataya to this would be a long stretch, and is probably connected mainly to Poroshenko’s visit to the US) whose relations with Russia have collapsed in recent months.
     
    Just one question--and this may be outside of you area of expertise: What is Iran's position on this dispute? I know that the Russians generally favor the Armenians. Although the Azeris speak a Turkic language, they are majority Shi'ite, I believe, and the southern part of their historic realm falls inside of Iran. I have also been told that the leadership of the Islamic Revolution--including the famous Ayatollah Khomeini--is disproportionately ethnic-Azeri (a sore point among some ethnic-Persians). Is Iran backing Azerbaijan then? Or are they neutral?

    What prompts the question is my belief that Washington and Tel Aviv could only benefit if Iran and Russia--the two sponsors of Syria--have a sudden falling out. Of course, you're also absolutely right to point out the Turkish and Ukrainian angles.

    Thanks to all who responded to my query above. I am not at all knowledgeable about Caucasian history and politics, so it’s good to get some new perspectives on them. Western MSM only tells you what they want you to know.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Re-Iran/Armenia:

    As the other commentators have argued above, relations are highly positive.

    One as of yet unmentioned and little known, but quite important, factor: Armenia is Iran's second window on the world.

    The first is of course the great artery that is Persian Gulf. But the narrow Armenian connection gives Iran access to Georgia and the port of Batumi, and from there on, to Russia and the Danube. Endless trucks stream from Tehran to Yerevan in the first 8 hour shift, and then its just another 8 hour shift to Batumi. On the negative side, this route is mountainous, gets closed for weeks at a time during the winter snows, and the total volume of trade it hosts pales besides that of the Persian Gulf. Nonetheless, should a conflict shut down the Persian Gulf, Iran will be exceedingly happy to have this additional trade route. This feeling is shared by Armenia, because it doesn't want to be overly reliant on Georgia for bulk trade. The Iranians have constructed a gas pipeline to Yerevan, and wanted to extend it further north into Georgia so as to directly link into the European market, but Russia successfully lobbied Armenia against that. Discussions have been ongoing for years to start construction on a proper railway, though unfortunately they remain just that - discussions.

    Iran has adequate relations with Azerbaijan. Although Azerbaijan is of course Shi'ite, it is also secular and has a decidedly pro-Western and Israeliophilic geopolitical orientatation. There is also the separatist issue. But that hasn't stopped Iran and Azerbaijan from working together to make money. There is in fact a good chance they will link up their railway systems faster than Iran with Armenia.

    Iran absolutely does not want a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and most especially it does not want an Azeri invasion of Armenia proper. This will threaten to cut off its northern trade corridor and weaken one of its very few regional friends at the expense of a coreligionist but non-geopolitically aligned country.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Yevardian
    Anyone know the connection (if any) between Albania and Caucasian Albania that reached critical enrichment levels? Or is it simply a linguistic coincidence.

    Get ready for Rehmat to say something offensively stupid about Armenian oppression of the poor, blameless, Mahometans.

    1... 2... 3...

    I’m shocked Moshe that you Israeli hackers value my opinion so much….

    Armenian are native Christians and not European Jews living on Muslim-Christian Palestinian land since 1948.

    Armenian communities live in Iran, Syria, and Egypt – and all hate the Zionist entity.

    Islamic Iran happens to be an ally of Armenia over its disputed territory.

    Brussels-based Israel advocacy group ‘European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center (ESISC)’ in a report has warned the western nations that the Iran-Armenia closer relation not only poses a great threat to US-Israel regional ally Azerbaijan but such close cooperation was destined to dilute impact of western (US-EU-UN) sanctions against Iran.

    The report says that Iran-Armenia alliance helps Armenia to prolong its occupation of Azerbaijan’s Christian-majority enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh republic, by refusing to withdraw its troops despite four UN resolution. Wow! Four resolutions! What about over two dozen UN resolutions calling upon Israel to withdraw its forces from West Bank and East Jerusalem which it occupied in 1967?

    Shalom – Bet to meet soon.

    https://rehmat1.com/2013/01/29/iran-armenia-the-unkosher-alliance/

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @5371
    Hardware capabilities are no longer ever increasing, and no matter how much you spend on the impossible you don't get what you pay for.

    Why impossible? Seems a bit sweeping.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Randal
    I don't think I've noticed any particular hype, so looking beyond it isn't a problem for me.

    Ever increasing computer capacity in ever smaller hardware, together with ever greater amounts spent on artificial intelligence software, suggests to me that a computer system competent to operate a military drone independently is pretty much inevitable at some point in the next decade or three, unless you have some sort of faith-based refusal to admit even the possibility. Of course, it's also possible it could turn out to be just too difficult engineering-wise, like fusion power generation so far, and be put back decade after decade, but I see no reason to assume that, either.

    Hardware capabilities are no longer ever increasing, and no matter how much you spend on the impossible you don’t get what you pay for.

    Read More
    • Agree: Vendetta
    • Replies: @Randal
    Why impossible? Seems a bit sweeping.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @5371
    [Most likely only a matter of time. And probably less time than most people would think.]

    Most likely not. Look beyond the foolish hype.

    I don’t think I’ve noticed any particular hype, so looking beyond it isn’t a problem for me.

    Ever increasing computer capacity in ever smaller hardware, together with ever greater amounts spent on artificial intelligence software, suggests to me that a computer system competent to operate a military drone independently is pretty much inevitable at some point in the next decade or three, unless you have some sort of faith-based refusal to admit even the possibility. Of course, it’s also possible it could turn out to be just too difficult engineering-wise, like fusion power generation so far, and be put back decade after decade, but I see no reason to assume that, either.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    Hardware capabilities are no longer ever increasing, and no matter how much you spend on the impossible you don't get what you pay for.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Vendetta
    I left my own critique of Anatoly's 'Comprehensive Military Power' index back on the original topic. Was a bit disappointed he never got around to addressing of the criticisms that were left on it.

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/top-10-militaries-2015/#comment-1194628

    Anatoly,

    I like what you’ve tried to do here and you have taken things a step forward from Global Firepower by attempting to incorporate some factors they ignore like troop quality and technological differences. However, you made a lot of arbitrary decisions and assumptions that have ended up giving you some very flawed results. Work on fixing and improving your CMP model before you rush forward to apply it everywhere.

    Saudi Arabia higher than Turkey, Israel, Iran, and Pakistan? LOL!

    Sure, they bought a bunch of expensive aircraft. But there is a world of difference between a collection of aircraft and an Air Force. Israel has an Air Force, Pakistan has an Air Force, Iran had an Air Force and still has the institutional knowledge and skills, just not the materiel anymore. Saudi Arabia has a collection of aircraft that it relies entirely on foreign contractors to maintain, flown by amateurish, untested pilots.

    The Saudi ground forces are a joke as well. The officer corps is arrogant, ignorant, lazy, and undisciplined, the soldiers soft and unmotivated. Parade ground army at its finest. Turks, Israelis, Pakistanis, and Iranians would all make mincemeat of it in actual combat.

    Singapore higher than Vietnam, North Korea, and Egypt? LOL!

    Singapore spends a ton of money on its troops, has the best equipment, they’re highly disciplined, etc. Match one brigade of Singaporeans up against one brigade from any of these countries, or one naval squadron against another, and I have every confidence the Singaporeans would thrash them.

    I would have grave doubts about the one brigade from Singapore defeating ten brigades from any of the above. Singapore’s air force and navy would also have only a handful of ports and airfields in close proximity to one another to operate from, targets that even a low-tech enemy with no air superiority could still bombard with ballistic missiles or raid with special forces.

    Mexico higher than South Africa or Sweden? LOL!

    These countries have military-industrial complexes. South Africa makes a full range of armored fighting vehicles and artillery. Sweden builds cutting-edge fighters and naval vessels. Mexico makes small arms, jeeps, and coast guard boats. Mexican military has never had the professionalism of either, the combat experience of the South Africans, or the experience of planning for defense against Soviet Russia like Sweden.

    Ukraine above Taiwan, Pakistan, and Australia? LOL!

    Ukraine’s mechanized forces are woeful to a degree that would make even Saddam cringe. Ukrainian logistics are a joke on par with Nigeria’s. They have a ton of leftover Soviet equipment, they have leftover Soviet military industry, yet both have been so neglected and underfunded that the whole structure is rotten. Awful leadership from the high command on down to the units in the field, morale is terrible, nothing works as it’s supposed to.

    Azerbaijan above South Africa? LOL!

    Portugal above Syria? LOL!

    Uzbekistan above Finland? Gonna guess LOL!

    Eritrea ten places above Ethiopia? LOL!

    The Eritreans are tough bastards and fielded strong infantry against them, but the Ethiopian infantry are pretty tough themselves. Ethiopia has a population dozens of times larger and could just pummel them into submission with human wave attacks, they also have more tanks, artillery, and aircraft. Ethiopia should be ahead with a slight edge.

    Libya above Ethiopia? LOL!

    Libyan armed forces were a joke even when Gaddafi was running the show and Libya was a coherent state with a big stockpile of Soviet arms. They lost a war to Chad, got a whole expeditionary force with tanks, armored vehicles, and air support destroyed, actually destroyed in pitched battle, by Chadian irregulars with pickup truck technicals.

    Ethiopia on the other hand has been fielding 100,000-strong armies with guns since the days of Adowa. Ethiopians are fighters, Libyans are runners. Simple as that. Now that Gaddafi’s gone, the whole state has imploded, the arsenal’s been dispersed among the clans and half the continent, and Ethiopia could roll through and occupy the whole place were it geographically situated to. They’ve occupied Eritrea and Somalia in the past and those people are way tougher and better guerrillas than Libyans.

    Lithuania ahead of Ethiopia? LOL!!!

    Let’s see how long Lithuania’s toy army would last on deployment to Somalia.

    Cuba at #122 behind the likes of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Botswana, Cameroon, Zambia, and Congo? LOL!!!!!

    Sure, the funding’s dried up since the Soviet Union broke apart, the equipment has fallen apart, the conscription’s been scaled way back. But this is a military that received half a century of Russian training and advising and had decades of experience in expeditionary deployments in Africa and the Middle East.

    You’re comparing that against the likes of what? The first half of those are toy militaries, the second are militias in uniform, only good for harassing the citizens and useless against any serious and armed oppposition.

    Cuba should be about thirty spots higher.

    Clearly, you need to put a lot more thought into how you’re calculating for the institutional and cultural factors, it’s great that you’ve attempted to include them since no one else does, but the means by which you’ve attempted to account for them are totally inadequate and in some cases just bizarre.

    What relevance does the experience of Genghis Khan have to the modern Mongolian army? If you’re giving them a bonus for that, might as well give the Italians one for the Roman army then too, and the Dutch for their Golden Age navy, and the Spanish for the tercio and the Armada. Scrap that as well as the bonus you gave to the Germans. The Wehrmacht is gone. NATO and the Soviets drilled the Germans into their own schools of warfare.

    If you want to start using this metric for all these other projects, stop and take the thing a little more seriously. Address these problems first. Your assessment still puts way too much weight on equipment and spending and not enough on the institutional factors and quality of manpower – hence why you’ve overrated powers like Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Libya and underrated others like Cuba, Ethiopia, Pakistan, and South Africa.
     

    Also:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/top-10-militaries-2015/#comment-1194650

    As to how I’d go about creating a chart like this, I really think military power needs to be separated into two different ratings – one for national defense and one for power projection.

    A national defense chart would be an indicator for how well the country could resist a foreign invasion. As a standard metric, you could ask how well it could withstand a full-scale invasion by American armed forces since they are the world’s most powerful for overseas invasions.

    Russia, China, and India would obviously top the list. And it would likely see Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Brazil, and North Korea ending up higher on the chart than Great Britain, France, and Germany, with their well-equipped but undersized defense forces.

    The European military powers would fare much better on the power projection rankings, on the other hand, and America would have an overwhelming advantage over China and Russia here that it would not have on the national defense chart. A power projection chart ought to measure more than just number of amphibious warships and transport aircraft, however.

    The Iranian Qods Force, for example, is a tool of power projection that gives Iran an asset many other nations in its weight class do not have. So too is a military-industrial complex like that of Sweden, Israel, Iran, or North Korea, or a stockpile of surplus weaponry like Ukraine or Libya once had, which offers the potential to influence a conflict that that country could never otherwise get its forces into. And so is the ability of Saudi Arabia or Pakistan or even Qatar to plague their foes with jihadis.

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  • @ilkarnal
    Indications are that the Armenians did quite well - if the Azerbaijanis had done well the front would have collapsed and Aliev wouldn't be retreating to diplomatic measures. Another case where the prediction of the 'comprehensive military power index' was dramatically reversed. The Yemeni war is an example of a far more dramatic reversal. A better predictor of future performance is past performance. Expect losers to keep losing, expect winners to keep winning.

    If you have further ambition than forecasting the continuation of trends, I think you need a different tack. Recognize that war is overwhelmingly about two things - people and geography. Capital matters but has severe diminishing returns, to the point where it actually doesn't matter for any place where the people are worth a damn - worthwhile people get worthwhile military capital, because in the scheme of things weaponry is very very cheap. Even (economically) worthless people living in sand hovels manage to get more than enough weaponry.

    "Whatever happens, we have got the maxim gun, and they have not." <---- these days are over. The most cost-effective and deadly piece of equipment in the world today is a rifle. It has held the crown for centuries. Going up against people without rifles, your superior technology is as important as a manpower or strategic advantage. Going up against people with rifles - you're almost on even ground, technologically speaking. You'd better be smarter than them, or outnumber them, if you want to win. The reason the west won victory after victory was that 1) the most basic and important military capital had not completely proliferated and 2) it was smarter and better organized than its opponents. When it went up against equally smart and equally organized enemies who had much less military capital but had the basics, it lost (Korea, Vietnam.)

    When you are fighting on the enemy's land, you need some sort of severe advantage. In a world saturated with military technology, this only comes in the form of being smarter than your opponent or more numerous than your opponent. Better equipped simply isn't worth thinking about by comparison - a smart opponent will have the equipment they need, and they will part ranks instead of getting gored by your elephants. Even a dumb opponent will have enough to make you bleed severely if you don't translate your greater intelligence into better strategy.

    There are 'counters' to men with rifles, thinking hypothetically. Men with rifles can't do much to battened-down tanks, for example. But it's never actually just 'men with rifles.' Basic recoilless rifles, IEDs, the many places where tanks have trouble maneuvering, and the massive logistics tail a tank requires are all weaknesses. If they genuinely plan to fight a battle against your tanks with their riflemen, then that falls under you 'outsmarting' them, or them outdumbing you. In this day and age, you will never get a free win from a capital advantage over a worthy opponent.

    So you have to look at the people and where they fight. You have to make judgements. The Americans are big but lazy and extremely arrogant, the Vietnamese are small but determined and smart, the Vietnamese are fighting on home turf, give it to the Vietnamese. The Americans are (see above,) the Iraqis are small and stupid, the Iraqis are not fighting on home turf (IMPORTANT!) give it to the Americans. Same as before, but the Iraqis are fighting on home turf - both deserve to lose, so both probably will. The Saudis are soft, lecherous pond scum, the Houthis are brave and rugged, and the Houthis are fighting on home turf. Give it to the Houthis.

    The Armenians are smart and tough, the Azerbaijanis are bigger but stupider, the Armenians are fighting on home turf, give it to the Armenians.

    Real AI would completely change this around. As of right now the combat value of a completely computer controlled (not remotely controlled) vehicle is negative. When that changes, everything turns upside-down. Capital becomes all-important. But if we're asking whether that's the case now, recent results speak loud and clear.

    I left my own critique of Anatoly’s ‘Comprehensive Military Power’ index back on the original topic. Was a bit disappointed he never got around to addressing of the criticisms that were left on it.

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/top-10-militaries-2015/#comment-1194628

    Anatoly,

    I like what you’ve tried to do here and you have taken things a step forward from Global Firepower by attempting to incorporate some factors they ignore like troop quality and technological differences. However, you made a lot of arbitrary decisions and assumptions that have ended up giving you some very flawed results. Work on fixing and improving your CMP model before you rush forward to apply it everywhere.

    Saudi Arabia higher than Turkey, Israel, Iran, and Pakistan? LOL!

    Sure, they bought a bunch of expensive aircraft. But there is a world of difference between a collection of aircraft and an Air Force. Israel has an Air Force, Pakistan has an Air Force, Iran had an Air Force and still has the institutional knowledge and skills, just not the materiel anymore. Saudi Arabia has a collection of aircraft that it relies entirely on foreign contractors to maintain, flown by amateurish, untested pilots.

    The Saudi ground forces are a joke as well. The officer corps is arrogant, ignorant, lazy, and undisciplined, the soldiers soft and unmotivated. Parade ground army at its finest. Turks, Israelis, Pakistanis, and Iranians would all make mincemeat of it in actual combat.

    Singapore higher than Vietnam, North Korea, and Egypt? LOL!

    Singapore spends a ton of money on its troops, has the best equipment, they’re highly disciplined, etc. Match one brigade of Singaporeans up against one brigade from any of these countries, or one naval squadron against another, and I have every confidence the Singaporeans would thrash them.

    I would have grave doubts about the one brigade from Singapore defeating ten brigades from any of the above. Singapore’s air force and navy would also have only a handful of ports and airfields in close proximity to one another to operate from, targets that even a low-tech enemy with no air superiority could still bombard with ballistic missiles or raid with special forces.

    Mexico higher than South Africa or Sweden? LOL!

    These countries have military-industrial complexes. South Africa makes a full range of armored fighting vehicles and artillery. Sweden builds cutting-edge fighters and naval vessels. Mexico makes small arms, jeeps, and coast guard boats. Mexican military has never had the professionalism of either, the combat experience of the South Africans, or the experience of planning for defense against Soviet Russia like Sweden.

    Ukraine above Taiwan, Pakistan, and Australia? LOL!

    Ukraine’s mechanized forces are woeful to a degree that would make even Saddam cringe. Ukrainian logistics are a joke on par with Nigeria’s. They have a ton of leftover Soviet equipment, they have leftover Soviet military industry, yet both have been so neglected and underfunded that the whole structure is rotten. Awful leadership from the high command on down to the units in the field, morale is terrible, nothing works as it’s supposed to.

    Azerbaijan above South Africa? LOL!

    Portugal above Syria? LOL!

    Uzbekistan above Finland? Gonna guess LOL!

    Eritrea ten places above Ethiopia? LOL!

    The Eritreans are tough bastards and fielded strong infantry against them, but the Ethiopian infantry are pretty tough themselves. Ethiopia has a population dozens of times larger and could just pummel them into submission with human wave attacks, they also have more tanks, artillery, and aircraft. Ethiopia should be ahead with a slight edge.

    Libya above Ethiopia? LOL!

    Libyan armed forces were a joke even when Gaddafi was running the show and Libya was a coherent state with a big stockpile of Soviet arms. They lost a war to Chad, got a whole expeditionary force with tanks, armored vehicles, and air support destroyed, actually destroyed in pitched battle, by Chadian irregulars with pickup truck technicals.

    Ethiopia on the other hand has been fielding 100,000-strong armies with guns since the days of Adowa. Ethiopians are fighters, Libyans are runners. Simple as that. Now that Gaddafi’s gone, the whole state has imploded, the arsenal’s been dispersed among the clans and half the continent, and Ethiopia could roll through and occupy the whole place were it geographically situated to. They’ve occupied Eritrea and Somalia in the past and those people are way tougher and better guerrillas than Libyans.

    Lithuania ahead of Ethiopia? LOL!!!

    Let’s see how long Lithuania’s toy army would last on deployment to Somalia.

    Cuba at #122 behind the likes of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Botswana, Cameroon, Zambia, and Congo? LOL!!!!!

    Sure, the funding’s dried up since the Soviet Union broke apart, the equipment has fallen apart, the conscription’s been scaled way back. But this is a military that received half a century of Russian training and advising and had decades of experience in expeditionary deployments in Africa and the Middle East.

    You’re comparing that against the likes of what? The first half of those are toy militaries, the second are militias in uniform, only good for harassing the citizens and useless against any serious and armed oppposition.

    Cuba should be about thirty spots higher.

    Clearly, you need to put a lot more thought into how you’re calculating for the institutional and cultural factors, it’s great that you’ve attempted to include them since no one else does, but the means by which you’ve attempted to account for them are totally inadequate and in some cases just bizarre.

    What relevance does the experience of Genghis Khan have to the modern Mongolian army? If you’re giving them a bonus for that, might as well give the Italians one for the Roman army then too, and the Dutch for their Golden Age navy, and the Spanish for the tercio and the Armada. Scrap that as well as the bonus you gave to the Germans. The Wehrmacht is gone. NATO and the Soviets drilled the Germans into their own schools of warfare.

    If you want to start using this metric for all these other projects, stop and take the thing a little more seriously. Address these problems first. Your assessment still puts way too much weight on equipment and spending and not enough on the institutional factors and quality of manpower – hence why you’ve overrated powers like Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Libya and underrated others like Cuba, Ethiopia, Pakistan, and South Africa.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Vendetta
    Also:
    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/top-10-militaries-2015/#comment-1194650

    As to how I’d go about creating a chart like this, I really think military power needs to be separated into two different ratings – one for national defense and one for power projection.

    A national defense chart would be an indicator for how well the country could resist a foreign invasion. As a standard metric, you could ask how well it could withstand a full-scale invasion by American armed forces since they are the world’s most powerful for overseas invasions.

    Russia, China, and India would obviously top the list. And it would likely see Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Brazil, and North Korea ending up higher on the chart than Great Britain, France, and Germany, with their well-equipped but undersized defense forces.

    The European military powers would fare much better on the power projection rankings, on the other hand, and America would have an overwhelming advantage over China and Russia here that it would not have on the national defense chart. A power projection chart ought to measure more than just number of amphibious warships and transport aircraft, however.

    The Iranian Qods Force, for example, is a tool of power projection that gives Iran an asset many other nations in its weight class do not have. So too is a military-industrial complex like that of Sweden, Israel, Iran, or North Korea, or a stockpile of surplus weaponry like Ukraine or Libya once had, which offers the potential to influence a conflict that that country could never otherwise get its forces into. And so is the ability of Saudi Arabia or Pakistan or even Qatar to plague their foes with jihadis.
     
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Randal

    Real AI would completely change this around. As of right now the combat value of a completely computer controlled (not remotely controlled) vehicle is negative. When that changes, everything turns upside-down. Capital becomes all-important.
     
    Most likely only a matter of time. And probably less time than most people would think.

    But that's hardly a comforting thought. First, the people wielding the technology will be the political/social elites in the west, first and foremost, and their interests are self-evidently not the interests of the nations they manipulate. Behind them will come the leadership elites of countries like China, Russia and other foreign countries. They don't have the interests of US sphere nations in mind, either.

    Second, how long will such combat equipped AIs be under control anyway?

    [Most likely only a matter of time. And probably less time than most people would think.]

    Most likely not. Look beyond the foolish hype.

    Read More
    • Agree: Vendetta
    • Replies: @Randal
    I don't think I've noticed any particular hype, so looking beyond it isn't a problem for me.

    Ever increasing computer capacity in ever smaller hardware, together with ever greater amounts spent on artificial intelligence software, suggests to me that a computer system competent to operate a military drone independently is pretty much inevitable at some point in the next decade or three, unless you have some sort of faith-based refusal to admit even the possibility. Of course, it's also possible it could turn out to be just too difficult engineering-wise, like fusion power generation so far, and be put back decade after decade, but I see no reason to assume that, either.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @ilkarnal
    Indications are that the Armenians did quite well - if the Azerbaijanis had done well the front would have collapsed and Aliev wouldn't be retreating to diplomatic measures. Another case where the prediction of the 'comprehensive military power index' was dramatically reversed. The Yemeni war is an example of a far more dramatic reversal. A better predictor of future performance is past performance. Expect losers to keep losing, expect winners to keep winning.

    If you have further ambition than forecasting the continuation of trends, I think you need a different tack. Recognize that war is overwhelmingly about two things - people and geography. Capital matters but has severe diminishing returns, to the point where it actually doesn't matter for any place where the people are worth a damn - worthwhile people get worthwhile military capital, because in the scheme of things weaponry is very very cheap. Even (economically) worthless people living in sand hovels manage to get more than enough weaponry.

    "Whatever happens, we have got the maxim gun, and they have not." <---- these days are over. The most cost-effective and deadly piece of equipment in the world today is a rifle. It has held the crown for centuries. Going up against people without rifles, your superior technology is as important as a manpower or strategic advantage. Going up against people with rifles - you're almost on even ground, technologically speaking. You'd better be smarter than them, or outnumber them, if you want to win. The reason the west won victory after victory was that 1) the most basic and important military capital had not completely proliferated and 2) it was smarter and better organized than its opponents. When it went up against equally smart and equally organized enemies who had much less military capital but had the basics, it lost (Korea, Vietnam.)

    When you are fighting on the enemy's land, you need some sort of severe advantage. In a world saturated with military technology, this only comes in the form of being smarter than your opponent or more numerous than your opponent. Better equipped simply isn't worth thinking about by comparison - a smart opponent will have the equipment they need, and they will part ranks instead of getting gored by your elephants. Even a dumb opponent will have enough to make you bleed severely if you don't translate your greater intelligence into better strategy.

    There are 'counters' to men with rifles, thinking hypothetically. Men with rifles can't do much to battened-down tanks, for example. But it's never actually just 'men with rifles.' Basic recoilless rifles, IEDs, the many places where tanks have trouble maneuvering, and the massive logistics tail a tank requires are all weaknesses. If they genuinely plan to fight a battle against your tanks with their riflemen, then that falls under you 'outsmarting' them, or them outdumbing you. In this day and age, you will never get a free win from a capital advantage over a worthy opponent.

    So you have to look at the people and where they fight. You have to make judgements. The Americans are big but lazy and extremely arrogant, the Vietnamese are small but determined and smart, the Vietnamese are fighting on home turf, give it to the Vietnamese. The Americans are (see above,) the Iraqis are small and stupid, the Iraqis are not fighting on home turf (IMPORTANT!) give it to the Americans. Same as before, but the Iraqis are fighting on home turf - both deserve to lose, so both probably will. The Saudis are soft, lecherous pond scum, the Houthis are brave and rugged, and the Houthis are fighting on home turf. Give it to the Houthis.

    The Armenians are smart and tough, the Azerbaijanis are bigger but stupider, the Armenians are fighting on home turf, give it to the Armenians.

    Real AI would completely change this around. As of right now the combat value of a completely computer controlled (not remotely controlled) vehicle is negative. When that changes, everything turns upside-down. Capital becomes all-important. But if we're asking whether that's the case now, recent results speak loud and clear.

    Real AI would completely change this around. As of right now the combat value of a completely computer controlled (not remotely controlled) vehicle is negative. When that changes, everything turns upside-down. Capital becomes all-important.

    Most likely only a matter of time. And probably less time than most people would think.

    But that’s hardly a comforting thought. First, the people wielding the technology will be the political/social elites in the west, first and foremost, and their interests are self-evidently not the interests of the nations they manipulate. Behind them will come the leadership elites of countries like China, Russia and other foreign countries. They don’t have the interests of US sphere nations in mind, either.

    Second, how long will such combat equipped AIs be under control anyway?

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    [Most likely only a matter of time. And probably less time than most people would think.]

    Most likely not. Look beyond the foolish hype.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • the conflict in Donbass has again been simmering up (recent reports from NVF troops indicate intense Ukrainian Army attempts to seize the E50 highway from Donetsk to Gorlovka and dozens of deaths on both sides).

    Interesting piece from Patrick Armstrong on the implications of the recent announcement of the reactivation of 1GTA, if that is indeed to be more than a bit of jingoist theatre.

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/04/russia-prepares-for-a-big-war-the-significance-of-a-tank-army.html

    As well as being an indicator that Russia has decided it needs to prepare for a big war with NATO, it also occurs to me that 1GTA would be just what would be needed to take on the task of actually invading Ukraine, should that prove necessary after all (if, for instance, a President Clinton were to go all in on arming the Kiev regime for a proxy war). I daresay all the Russophobes claiming that Russia has already invaded Ukraine would be pleased to finally find themselves telling the truth. Stopped clocks, and all that.

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  • Azerbaijan is meant to be holding the Grand Prix in Baku in a short time. Odd timing for them to initiate a war, and risky too as they suck at fighting. For all they knew, Armenia could have bombed Baku and that would be the end of Azerbaijan hosting this important event.

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  • And where Hyundai Azera came from?

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  • @Seamus Padraig
    Thanks for a very informative briefing, Anatoly.

    All the more so if in addition to the factors listed above Azerbaijan also enjoys support from a Turkey (and even Ukraine? Though tying the clashes around Yasinovataya to this would be a long stretch, and is probably connected mainly to Poroshenko’s visit to the US) whose relations with Russia have collapsed in recent months.
     
    Just one question--and this may be outside of you area of expertise: What is Iran's position on this dispute? I know that the Russians generally favor the Armenians. Although the Azeris speak a Turkic language, they are majority Shi'ite, I believe, and the southern part of their historic realm falls inside of Iran. I have also been told that the leadership of the Islamic Revolution--including the famous Ayatollah Khomeini--is disproportionately ethnic-Azeri (a sore point among some ethnic-Persians). Is Iran backing Azerbaijan then? Or are they neutral?

    What prompts the question is my belief that Washington and Tel Aviv could only benefit if Iran and Russia--the two sponsors of Syria--have a sudden falling out. Of course, you're also absolutely right to point out the Turkish and Ukrainian angles.

    Some background info:

    Armenians and Persians/Iranians are genetic cousins.
    Long story, but a while back, Armenians adopted Christianity, and Persians, originally Zoroastrian, adopted Islam.
    Republic of Armenia and Islamic Republic of Iran have very cordial, friendly relations.
    Lots of projects together of economic/development nature in the works.
    Every year, about this time, Iranian New Year of Novruz, 1,000s Iranian tourists flood into Armenia – to relax and let loose a little.
    (no Islamic religious police to watch over them).

    During the NKR war of liberation (1991-1994), Iran was officially neutral due to religious sensitivities, but provided crucial humanitarian aid to (Christian) Armenians. Some other things, not publicized. Iranians/Persians are geo-political rivals with Turks.
    Like Armenians, Persians are an ancient sedentary civilization, indigenous to the region, for 5,000+ years.

    As to ‘Azerbaijan’:

    The fake country was created in 1918 by a collusion of Bolsheviks, Turks, and Imperial British.
    The name ‘Azerbaijan’ was deliberately chosen, to lay claim to Northern Iranians regions named ‘Azarbaijan’ (with an ‘a’).
    All parties coveted a piece of Iran. Sure enough, the State of Azerbaijan today claims that Northern Iranian provinces of East and West Azarbaijan are, quote, ‘Southern Azerbaijan’ territories.

    Azerbaijan’s indigenous ethnic peoples, e.g. Talysh, are of Iranian stock. Caucasus Turks are invaders from East and Central Asia.
    Descendants of nomad Turkic tribes that invaded Caucasus. The indigenous peoples of Azerbaijan are oppressed by Caucasus Turks, who have the power.

    The name ‘Azeri’ is a made up name: there is no such ethnos as ‘Azeri’.
    The people of Northern Iranian provinces are Turkish speaking ethnic Iranian/Persian.
    They are not Turks.

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  • @ilkarnal
    Indications are that the Armenians did quite well - if the Azerbaijanis had done well the front would have collapsed and Aliev wouldn't be retreating to diplomatic measures. Another case where the prediction of the 'comprehensive military power index' was dramatically reversed. The Yemeni war is an example of a far more dramatic reversal. A better predictor of future performance is past performance. Expect losers to keep losing, expect winners to keep winning.

    If you have further ambition than forecasting the continuation of trends, I think you need a different tack. Recognize that war is overwhelmingly about two things - people and geography. Capital matters but has severe diminishing returns, to the point where it actually doesn't matter for any place where the people are worth a damn - worthwhile people get worthwhile military capital, because in the scheme of things weaponry is very very cheap. Even (economically) worthless people living in sand hovels manage to get more than enough weaponry.

    "Whatever happens, we have got the maxim gun, and they have not." <---- these days are over. The most cost-effective and deadly piece of equipment in the world today is a rifle. It has held the crown for centuries. Going up against people without rifles, your superior technology is as important as a manpower or strategic advantage. Going up against people with rifles - you're almost on even ground, technologically speaking. You'd better be smarter than them, or outnumber them, if you want to win. The reason the west won victory after victory was that 1) the most basic and important military capital had not completely proliferated and 2) it was smarter and better organized than its opponents. When it went up against equally smart and equally organized enemies who had much less military capital but had the basics, it lost (Korea, Vietnam.)

    When you are fighting on the enemy's land, you need some sort of severe advantage. In a world saturated with military technology, this only comes in the form of being smarter than your opponent or more numerous than your opponent. Better equipped simply isn't worth thinking about by comparison - a smart opponent will have the equipment they need, and they will part ranks instead of getting gored by your elephants. Even a dumb opponent will have enough to make you bleed severely if you don't translate your greater intelligence into better strategy.

    There are 'counters' to men with rifles, thinking hypothetically. Men with rifles can't do much to battened-down tanks, for example. But it's never actually just 'men with rifles.' Basic recoilless rifles, IEDs, the many places where tanks have trouble maneuvering, and the massive logistics tail a tank requires are all weaknesses. If they genuinely plan to fight a battle against your tanks with their riflemen, then that falls under you 'outsmarting' them, or them outdumbing you. In this day and age, you will never get a free win from a capital advantage over a worthy opponent.

    So you have to look at the people and where they fight. You have to make judgements. The Americans are big but lazy and extremely arrogant, the Vietnamese are small but determined and smart, the Vietnamese are fighting on home turf, give it to the Vietnamese. The Americans are (see above,) the Iraqis are small and stupid, the Iraqis are not fighting on home turf (IMPORTANT!) give it to the Americans. Same as before, but the Iraqis are fighting on home turf - both deserve to lose, so both probably will. The Saudis are soft, lecherous pond scum, the Houthis are brave and rugged, and the Houthis are fighting on home turf. Give it to the Houthis.

    The Armenians are smart and tough, the Azerbaijanis are bigger but stupider, the Armenians are fighting on home turf, give it to the Armenians.

    Real AI would completely change this around. As of right now the combat value of a completely computer controlled (not remotely controlled) vehicle is negative. When that changes, everything turns upside-down. Capital becomes all-important. But if we're asking whether that's the case now, recent results speak loud and clear.

    The Azeris did gain ground, though.
    I suspect the Azeri government did not want more than a splendid little victory.

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  • @Seamus Padraig
    Thanks for a very informative briefing, Anatoly.

    All the more so if in addition to the factors listed above Azerbaijan also enjoys support from a Turkey (and even Ukraine? Though tying the clashes around Yasinovataya to this would be a long stretch, and is probably connected mainly to Poroshenko’s visit to the US) whose relations with Russia have collapsed in recent months.
     
    Just one question--and this may be outside of you area of expertise: What is Iran's position on this dispute? I know that the Russians generally favor the Armenians. Although the Azeris speak a Turkic language, they are majority Shi'ite, I believe, and the southern part of their historic realm falls inside of Iran. I have also been told that the leadership of the Islamic Revolution--including the famous Ayatollah Khomeini--is disproportionately ethnic-Azeri (a sore point among some ethnic-Persians). Is Iran backing Azerbaijan then? Or are they neutral?

    What prompts the question is my belief that Washington and Tel Aviv could only benefit if Iran and Russia--the two sponsors of Syria--have a sudden falling out. Of course, you're also absolutely right to point out the Turkish and Ukrainian angles.

    Iran from memory I think backs Armenia for I think economic reasons, cultural reasons and national reasons. Armenia trades with Iran and wasn’t interested in jumping aboard the west policies to isolate Iran. Iranian Armenian are the largest christian community in Iran. Also I think Iran probably doesn’t look to fondly on Azerbaijani irredentism especially with the co-operation with the EU and the US in sanctions.

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  • g2k says:
    @Seamus Padraig
    Thanks for a very informative briefing, Anatoly.

    All the more so if in addition to the factors listed above Azerbaijan also enjoys support from a Turkey (and even Ukraine? Though tying the clashes around Yasinovataya to this would be a long stretch, and is probably connected mainly to Poroshenko’s visit to the US) whose relations with Russia have collapsed in recent months.
     
    Just one question--and this may be outside of you area of expertise: What is Iran's position on this dispute? I know that the Russians generally favor the Armenians. Although the Azeris speak a Turkic language, they are majority Shi'ite, I believe, and the southern part of their historic realm falls inside of Iran. I have also been told that the leadership of the Islamic Revolution--including the famous Ayatollah Khomeini--is disproportionately ethnic-Azeri (a sore point among some ethnic-Persians). Is Iran backing Azerbaijan then? Or are they neutral?

    What prompts the question is my belief that Washington and Tel Aviv could only benefit if Iran and Russia--the two sponsors of Syria--have a sudden falling out. Of course, you're also absolutely right to point out the Turkish and Ukrainian angles.

    Iran is totally neutral if not very slightly pro Armenia. Azeri nationalists have separatist aspirations in northern Iran (a few were protesting outside downing street last time I walked past it a couple of years ago), but nothing has come of their efforts.

    Kazakhstan is mildly pro Azerbaijan, which will potentially cause big problems for Russia if this thing erupts to such an extent that Russia is forced to act in any way.

    Georgia is mildly pro Azerbaijan, it has large numbers of Azeris and Armenians on its territory that surprisingly get on ok there (well at least not as badly as you would think). Armenians are subject to mild to moderate persecution from the government, Azeris are largely ignored.

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  • Indications are that the Armenians did quite well – if the Azerbaijanis had done well the front would have collapsed and Aliev wouldn’t be retreating to diplomatic measures. Another case where the prediction of the ‘comprehensive military power index’ was dramatically reversed. The Yemeni war is an example of a far more dramatic reversal. A better predictor of future performance is past performance. Expect losers to keep losing, expect winners to keep winning.

    If you have further ambition than forecasting the continuation of trends, I think you need a different tack. Recognize that war is overwhelmingly about two things – people and geography. Capital matters but has severe diminishing returns, to the point where it actually doesn’t matter for any place where the people are worth a damn – worthwhile people get worthwhile military capital, because in the scheme of things weaponry is very very cheap. Even (economically) worthless people living in sand hovels manage to get more than enough weaponry.

    “Whatever happens, we have got the maxim gun, and they have not.” <—- these days are over. The most cost-effective and deadly piece of equipment in the world today is a rifle. It has held the crown for centuries. Going up against people without rifles, your superior technology is as important as a manpower or strategic advantage. Going up against people with rifles – you're almost on even ground, technologically speaking. You'd better be smarter than them, or outnumber them, if you want to win. The reason the west won victory after victory was that 1) the most basic and important military capital had not completely proliferated and 2) it was smarter and better organized than its opponents. When it went up against equally smart and equally organized enemies who had much less military capital but had the basics, it lost (Korea, Vietnam.)

    When you are fighting on the enemy's land, you need some sort of severe advantage. In a world saturated with military technology, this only comes in the form of being smarter than your opponent or more numerous than your opponent. Better equipped simply isn't worth thinking about by comparison – a smart opponent will have the equipment they need, and they will part ranks instead of getting gored by your elephants. Even a dumb opponent will have enough to make you bleed severely if you don't translate your greater intelligence into better strategy.

    There are 'counters' to men with rifles, thinking hypothetically. Men with rifles can't do much to battened-down tanks, for example. But it's never actually just 'men with rifles.' Basic recoilless rifles, IEDs, the many places where tanks have trouble maneuvering, and the massive logistics tail a tank requires are all weaknesses. If they genuinely plan to fight a battle against your tanks with their riflemen, then that falls under you 'outsmarting' them, or them outdumbing you. In this day and age, you will never get a free win from a capital advantage over a worthy opponent.

    So you have to look at the people and where they fight. You have to make judgements. The Americans are big but lazy and extremely arrogant, the Vietnamese are small but determined and smart, the Vietnamese are fighting on home turf, give it to the Vietnamese. The Americans are (see above,) the Iraqis are small and stupid, the Iraqis are not fighting on home turf (IMPORTANT!) give it to the Americans. Same as before, but the Iraqis are fighting on home turf – both deserve to lose, so both probably will. The Saudis are soft, lecherous pond scum, the Houthis are brave and rugged, and the Houthis are fighting on home turf. Give it to the Houthis.

    The Armenians are smart and tough, the Azerbaijanis are bigger but stupider, the Armenians are fighting on home turf, give it to the Armenians.

    Real AI would completely change this around. As of right now the combat value of a completely computer controlled (not remotely controlled) vehicle is negative. When that changes, everything turns upside-down. Capital becomes all-important. But if we're asking whether that's the case now, recent results speak loud and clear.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser
    The Azeris did gain ground, though.
    I suspect the Azeri government did not want more than a splendid little victory.
    , @Randal

    Real AI would completely change this around. As of right now the combat value of a completely computer controlled (not remotely controlled) vehicle is negative. When that changes, everything turns upside-down. Capital becomes all-important.
     
    Most likely only a matter of time. And probably less time than most people would think.

    But that's hardly a comforting thought. First, the people wielding the technology will be the political/social elites in the west, first and foremost, and their interests are self-evidently not the interests of the nations they manipulate. Behind them will come the leadership elites of countries like China, Russia and other foreign countries. They don't have the interests of US sphere nations in mind, either.

    Second, how long will such combat equipped AIs be under control anyway?
    , @Vendetta
    I left my own critique of Anatoly's 'Comprehensive Military Power' index back on the original topic. Was a bit disappointed he never got around to addressing of the criticisms that were left on it.

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/top-10-militaries-2015/#comment-1194628

    Anatoly,

    I like what you’ve tried to do here and you have taken things a step forward from Global Firepower by attempting to incorporate some factors they ignore like troop quality and technological differences. However, you made a lot of arbitrary decisions and assumptions that have ended up giving you some very flawed results. Work on fixing and improving your CMP model before you rush forward to apply it everywhere.

    Saudi Arabia higher than Turkey, Israel, Iran, and Pakistan? LOL!

    Sure, they bought a bunch of expensive aircraft. But there is a world of difference between a collection of aircraft and an Air Force. Israel has an Air Force, Pakistan has an Air Force, Iran had an Air Force and still has the institutional knowledge and skills, just not the materiel anymore. Saudi Arabia has a collection of aircraft that it relies entirely on foreign contractors to maintain, flown by amateurish, untested pilots.

    The Saudi ground forces are a joke as well. The officer corps is arrogant, ignorant, lazy, and undisciplined, the soldiers soft and unmotivated. Parade ground army at its finest. Turks, Israelis, Pakistanis, and Iranians would all make mincemeat of it in actual combat.

    Singapore higher than Vietnam, North Korea, and Egypt? LOL!

    Singapore spends a ton of money on its troops, has the best equipment, they’re highly disciplined, etc. Match one brigade of Singaporeans up against one brigade from any of these countries, or one naval squadron against another, and I have every confidence the Singaporeans would thrash them.

    I would have grave doubts about the one brigade from Singapore defeating ten brigades from any of the above. Singapore’s air force and navy would also have only a handful of ports and airfields in close proximity to one another to operate from, targets that even a low-tech enemy with no air superiority could still bombard with ballistic missiles or raid with special forces.

    Mexico higher than South Africa or Sweden? LOL!

    These countries have military-industrial complexes. South Africa makes a full range of armored fighting vehicles and artillery. Sweden builds cutting-edge fighters and naval vessels. Mexico makes small arms, jeeps, and coast guard boats. Mexican military has never had the professionalism of either, the combat experience of the South Africans, or the experience of planning for defense against Soviet Russia like Sweden.

    Ukraine above Taiwan, Pakistan, and Australia? LOL!

    Ukraine’s mechanized forces are woeful to a degree that would make even Saddam cringe. Ukrainian logistics are a joke on par with Nigeria’s. They have a ton of leftover Soviet equipment, they have leftover Soviet military industry, yet both have been so neglected and underfunded that the whole structure is rotten. Awful leadership from the high command on down to the units in the field, morale is terrible, nothing works as it’s supposed to.

    Azerbaijan above South Africa? LOL!

    Portugal above Syria? LOL!

    Uzbekistan above Finland? Gonna guess LOL!

    Eritrea ten places above Ethiopia? LOL!

    The Eritreans are tough bastards and fielded strong infantry against them, but the Ethiopian infantry are pretty tough themselves. Ethiopia has a population dozens of times larger and could just pummel them into submission with human wave attacks, they also have more tanks, artillery, and aircraft. Ethiopia should be ahead with a slight edge.

    Libya above Ethiopia? LOL!

    Libyan armed forces were a joke even when Gaddafi was running the show and Libya was a coherent state with a big stockpile of Soviet arms. They lost a war to Chad, got a whole expeditionary force with tanks, armored vehicles, and air support destroyed, actually destroyed in pitched battle, by Chadian irregulars with pickup truck technicals.

    Ethiopia on the other hand has been fielding 100,000-strong armies with guns since the days of Adowa. Ethiopians are fighters, Libyans are runners. Simple as that. Now that Gaddafi’s gone, the whole state has imploded, the arsenal’s been dispersed among the clans and half the continent, and Ethiopia could roll through and occupy the whole place were it geographically situated to. They’ve occupied Eritrea and Somalia in the past and those people are way tougher and better guerrillas than Libyans.

    Lithuania ahead of Ethiopia? LOL!!!

    Let’s see how long Lithuania’s toy army would last on deployment to Somalia.

    Cuba at #122 behind the likes of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Botswana, Cameroon, Zambia, and Congo? LOL!!!!!

    Sure, the funding’s dried up since the Soviet Union broke apart, the equipment has fallen apart, the conscription’s been scaled way back. But this is a military that received half a century of Russian training and advising and had decades of experience in expeditionary deployments in Africa and the Middle East.

    You’re comparing that against the likes of what? The first half of those are toy militaries, the second are militias in uniform, only good for harassing the citizens and useless against any serious and armed oppposition.

    Cuba should be about thirty spots higher.

    Clearly, you need to put a lot more thought into how you’re calculating for the institutional and cultural factors, it’s great that you’ve attempted to include them since no one else does, but the means by which you’ve attempted to account for them are totally inadequate and in some cases just bizarre.

    What relevance does the experience of Genghis Khan have to the modern Mongolian army? If you’re giving them a bonus for that, might as well give the Italians one for the Roman army then too, and the Dutch for their Golden Age navy, and the Spanish for the tercio and the Armada. Scrap that as well as the bonus you gave to the Germans. The Wehrmacht is gone. NATO and the Soviets drilled the Germans into their own schools of warfare.

    If you want to start using this metric for all these other projects, stop and take the thing a little more seriously. Address these problems first. Your assessment still puts way too much weight on equipment and spending and not enough on the institutional factors and quality of manpower – hence why you’ve overrated powers like Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Libya and underrated others like Cuba, Ethiopia, Pakistan, and South Africa.
     
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    Indications are that the Armenians did quite well – if the Azerbaijanis had done well the front would have collapsed and Aliev wouldn’t be retreating to diplomatic measures. Another case where the prediction of the ‘comprehensive military power index’ was dramatically reversed. The Yemeni war is an example of a far more dramatic reversal. A better predictor of future performance is past performance. Expect losers to keep losing, expect winners to keep winning.
     
    This was clearly a limited attack, to:

    (1) Probe Armenian defences;
    (2) Lay the groundwork for a diplomatic offensive;
    (3) Both
    (4) Local commander acting on his own initiative - though this is the least likely variant;

    So that clash proves absolutely nothing.

    Ultimately, the CMP is just a way of visualizing military strength in a somewhat objective manner. But its absolutely clear that even without it the military gap between Armenia and Azerbaijan has widened greatly since 1994.

    When it went up against equally smart and equally organized enemies who had much less military capital but had the basics, it lost (Korea, Vietnam.)
     
    No, it didn't. The US achieved its objectives in Korea, and in Vietnam its defeat was not military but political. As I explicitly mentioned in the original post, the CMP model breaks down in conditions of asymmetric warfare.

    @ Vendetta,

    I will address your criticisms eventually.
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  • @Yevardian
    Anyone know the connection (if any) between Albania and Caucasian Albania that reached critical enrichment levels? Or is it simply a linguistic coincidence.

    Get ready for Rehmat to say something offensively stupid about Armenian oppression of the poor, blameless, Mahometans.

    1... 2... 3...

    {Anyone know the connection (if any) between Albania and Caucasian Albania }

    No connection.
    A mis-identification by, if I remember correctly, Romans in their time, and it took root.
    The correct historic names in various languages are: Old Armenian: Aguank. Parthian: Ardhan. Middle Persian: Arran.

    The indigenous people eventually disappeared as distinct people: no one really knows what happened. It is thought that they blended into the larger Armenian population in the area (Artsakh’s Armenians), but there is no hard evidence at this time. They were Christians, before they melted away.

    {Get ready for Rehmat to say something offensively stupid…}

    I am ready.

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  • Thanks for a very informative briefing, Anatoly.

    All the more so if in addition to the factors listed above Azerbaijan also enjoys support from a Turkey (and even Ukraine? Though tying the clashes around Yasinovataya to this would be a long stretch, and is probably connected mainly to Poroshenko’s visit to the US) whose relations with Russia have collapsed in recent months.

    Just one question–and this may be outside of you area of expertise: What is Iran’s position on this dispute? I know that the Russians generally favor the Armenians. Although the Azeris speak a Turkic language, they are majority Shi’ite, I believe, and the southern part of their historic realm falls inside of Iran. I have also been told that the leadership of the Islamic Revolution–including the famous Ayatollah Khomeini–is disproportionately ethnic-Azeri (a sore point among some ethnic-Persians). Is Iran backing Azerbaijan then? Or are they neutral?

    What prompts the question is my belief that Washington and Tel Aviv could only benefit if Iran and Russia–the two sponsors of Syria–have a sudden falling out. Of course, you’re also absolutely right to point out the Turkish and Ukrainian angles.

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    • Replies: @g2k
    Iran is totally neutral if not very slightly pro Armenia. Azeri nationalists have separatist aspirations in northern Iran (a few were protesting outside downing street last time I walked past it a couple of years ago), but nothing has come of their efforts.

    Kazakhstan is mildly pro Azerbaijan, which will potentially cause big problems for Russia if this thing erupts to such an extent that Russia is forced to act in any way.

    Georgia is mildly pro Azerbaijan, it has large numbers of Azeris and Armenians on its territory that surprisingly get on ok there (well at least not as badly as you would think). Armenians are subject to mild to moderate persecution from the government, Azeris are largely ignored.
    , @With the thoughts you'd be thinkin
    Iran from memory I think backs Armenia for I think economic reasons, cultural reasons and national reasons. Armenia trades with Iran and wasn't interested in jumping aboard the west policies to isolate Iran. Iranian Armenian are the largest christian community in Iran. Also I think Iran probably doesn't look to fondly on Azerbaijani irredentism especially with the co-operation with the EU and the US in sanctions.
    , @Avery
    Some background info:

    Armenians and Persians/Iranians are genetic cousins.
    Long story, but a while back, Armenians adopted Christianity, and Persians, originally Zoroastrian, adopted Islam.
    Republic of Armenia and Islamic Republic of Iran have very cordial, friendly relations.
    Lots of projects together of economic/development nature in the works.
    Every year, about this time, Iranian New Year of Novruz, 1,000s Iranian tourists flood into Armenia – to relax and let loose a little.
    (no Islamic religious police to watch over them).

    During the NKR war of liberation (1991-1994), Iran was officially neutral due to religious sensitivities, but provided crucial humanitarian aid to (Christian) Armenians. Some other things, not publicized. Iranians/Persians are geo-political rivals with Turks.
    Like Armenians, Persians are an ancient sedentary civilization, indigenous to the region, for 5,000+ years.

    As to ‘Azerbaijan’:

    The fake country was created in 1918 by a collusion of Bolsheviks, Turks, and Imperial British.
    The name ‘Azerbaijan’ was deliberately chosen, to lay claim to Northern Iranians regions named ‘Azarbaijan’ (with an ‘a’).
    All parties coveted a piece of Iran. Sure enough, the State of Azerbaijan today claims that Northern Iranian provinces of East and West Azarbaijan are, quote, ‘Southern Azerbaijan’ territories.

    Azerbaijan’s indigenous ethnic peoples, e.g. Talysh, are of Iranian stock. Caucasus Turks are invaders from East and Central Asia.
    Descendants of nomad Turkic tribes that invaded Caucasus. The indigenous peoples of Azerbaijan are oppressed by Caucasus Turks, who have the power.

    The name ‘Azeri’ is a made up name: there is no such ethnos as ‘Azeri’.
    The people of Northern Iranian provinces are Turkish speaking ethnic Iranian/Persian.
    They are not Turks.

    , @Seamus Padraig
    Thanks to all who responded to my query above. I am not at all knowledgeable about Caucasian history and politics, so it's good to get some new perspectives on them. Western MSM only tells you what they want you to know.
    , @Pseudonymic Handle
    Iran is friendly with Armenia, Turkey is very friendly with turkish speaking Azerbaijan.
    Azerbaijan has some claims to iranian territory, while Armenia and Turkey have poor relations over the acknowledgment of the armenian genocide.
    The big Azeri military budget didn't only buy weapons, but it also created friends among their providers of weapons and trainers: Turkey, Russia and Israel.
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  • Simon Saradzhyan sums this up reasonably well (he comments/blogs on Russia stuff btw and is similar in tone to Adomanis and Aris)

    https://saradzhyan.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/escalation-of-hostilities-between-armenia-and-azerbaijan-increase-probability-of-full-blown-war/

    To summarise, a common or garden skirmish/ceasefire violation, the kind that’s been happening ever since the end of the war, that got out of hand. The big problem is that heavier and more destructive weapons are being used in these violations (heavy artillery rather than small arms), which have greater potential to start off a chain of events that leads to full scale war, and of course cause more misery to both sides even if they don’t.

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  • Anyone know the connection (if any) between Albania and Caucasian Albania that reached critical enrichment levels? Or is it simply a linguistic coincidence.

    Get ready for Rehmat to say something offensively stupid about Armenian oppression of the poor, blameless, Mahometans.

    1… 2… 3…

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    • Replies: @Avery
    {Anyone know the connection (if any) between Albania and Caucasian Albania }

    No connection.
    A mis-identification by, if I remember correctly, Romans in their time, and it took root.
    The correct historic names in various languages are: Old Armenian: Aguank. Parthian: Ardhan. Middle Persian: Arran.


    The indigenous people eventually disappeared as distinct people: no one really knows what happened. It is thought that they blended into the larger Armenian population in the area (Artsakh's Armenians), but there is no hard evidence at this time. They were Christians, before they melted away.

    {Get ready for Rehmat to say something offensively stupid...}

    I am ready.

    , @Rehmat
    I'm shocked Moshe that you Israeli hackers value my opinion so much....

    Armenian are native Christians and not European Jews living on Muslim-Christian Palestinian land since 1948.

    Armenian communities live in Iran, Syria, and Egypt - and all hate the Zionist entity.

    Islamic Iran happens to be an ally of Armenia over its disputed territory.

    Brussels-based Israel advocacy group 'European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center (ESISC)' in a report has warned the western nations that the Iran-Armenia closer relation not only poses a great threat to US-Israel regional ally Azerbaijan but such close cooperation was destined to dilute impact of western (US-EU-UN) sanctions against Iran.

    The report says that Iran-Armenia alliance helps Armenia to prolong its occupation of Azerbaijan’s Christian-majority enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh republic, by refusing to withdraw its troops despite four UN resolution. Wow! Four resolutions! What about over two dozen UN resolutions calling upon Israel to withdraw its forces from West Bank and East Jerusalem which it occupied in 1967?

    Shalom - Bet to meet soon.

    https://rehmat1.com/2013/01/29/iran-armenia-the-unkosher-alliance/
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  • In recent days, some Armenians have been up in arms over increases in electricity tariffs by the evil Russian-owned electricity monopoly that will bring them up to... well, a level slightly higher than in Russia and about 2-3x lower than in most EU countries (don't you love comparative context?). Discourse in both Russia and the...
  • @Glossy
    "Nuland: Good. I don’t think Klitsch should go into the government. I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea.
    Pyatt: Yeah. I guess… in terms of him not going into the government, just let him stay out and do his political homework and stuff.


    A few moments later:

    "I think Yats is the guy who's got the economic experience, the governing experience.

    What does this sound like to you? Who is she to say who should and shouldn't go into the government of another country? And "Klitsch" really didn't go into the government after that conversation. "Yats" did.

    Who is she to say who should and shouldn’t go into the government of another country?

    Who are you to say she shouldn’t have a preference? If the Russian state has interests and the right to pursue them so does the American.

    That’s not to say I believe the American state has correctly identified its best interests, only that there’s nothing untoward about having them.

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  • Some things to keep in mind about Armenia.

    1) The government is dominated by Karabakhtsy, people from Karabakh, and has been since the turn of the century. The last two Presidents have been Karabakhtsy, as are the most powerful people in their Cabinets.

    The Yerevantsy dislike and despise the Karabakhtsy as dumb country cousins, and they resent the fact that they’ve come up to Yerevan to become rich and powerful at the Yerevantsy’s expense. So that’s a major driver here. A secondary factor is lingering resentment over the unhappy events of March 2008; even Yerevantsy who didn’t support the protesters are still unhappy that the protesters were simply gunned down.

    2) The current government is completely committed to the Russian alliance, which as Anatoly point out makes perfect strategic sense. But it comes with some price tags attached. A lot of state-owned enterprises have been sold to Russia over the years — in fact, at this point Russians own everything from the rail system to the largest power plant. There’s some understandable nationalist resentment over that, and then of course Russia gets blamed when services are bad, prices are raised, etc.

    3) The Gyumri Massacre. This is crucial. It’s not so much the murders themselves (though that story is gruesome enough) as the response of both governments. If the Russian and Armenian governments had been deliberately trying to piss off public opinion in Armenia, they could hardly have done a better job. The incident also plays into negative Armenian stereotypes of Russians as violent, dangerous alcoholics. (Armenians are convinced that they’re innately or genetically able to handle their liquor much better than Russians.) The resentment over this is still fresh and is definitely an underlying reason for the protests, even if nobody is talking about it.

    4) A few years ago, that military spending graph was absolutely terrifying to Armenians. As you’d think, right? But in the last couple of years it’s started to have the opposite effect. Why? Because a lot of Armenians have decided that Aliyev will never dare to push the button and start another war. The military buildup is a sham — it’s just to silence domestic critics, make friends abroad with weapons purchases, and put more money in the pockets of the Aliyev family and their friends. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong; just that a certain number Armenians have started to think that way.

    Doug M.

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  • @Glossy
    I would have expected Vicky's cookies to be used for goading Azeris into attacking Armenians more than for intra-Armenian strife. And maybe that really is their main destination on that particular front, but the conflict is still frozen.

    Aliyev is more like a king than like a politician. He inherited power from his father and would like to pass it on to his children. So he shouldn't be into loot-it-while-you-can kind of thinking. Saakashvili sacrificed the long-term interests of Georgia for his foreign masters and then ran away abroad. That's not how hereditary rulers think.

    It's not that Alieyv wouldn't like to chase Armenians out of Karabakh. But with Russia supporting Armenia an attempt to do that would probably end in an 08/08/08 type fiasco, and that would be bad for Azerbaijan, so he's not biting. So Vicky's cookies have to be spent on this color rev idea instead.

    At least that's how I'm interpreting this.

    Sounds plausible – a not very enthusiastic Plan B using not very enthusiastic players.

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  • The movement is fizzling already. I guess no-one who is used to Armenian sweets can be impressed by Nudleman’s cookies.

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  • […] Why Russia and Saudi Arabia Are Resetting Relations. 15. The Unz Review: Anatoly Karlin, Why Armenia Isn’t Ukraine (Probably). 16. Kyiv Post: Soviet social guarantees for employees scare away investors, often backfire. 17. […]

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  • @Philip Owen
    A review of US Embassy cables on the Cablegate web site shows very little involvement in the 2004 Ukrainian election and the Orange Revolution. They gave a hearing to NGO's reporting their insights as the real opinion of Ukraine. They paid for a 100,000 USD exit poll after the election. That was not as active as Russia which sent Putin to make a speech before the election.

    The Colour Revolutions, including Occupy Wall Street and similar efforts in the UK owe their similarity to exchange of ideas. In particular to reading and discussing of the works of Srdja Popovic and an American whose name I forget who wrote a manual on overthrowing dictatorships aimed at Myanmar. There are even University courses in non violent revolution these days. Peace Studies is a favourite cover. Colour Revolution US Embassy plot. Not even in Ukraine where any passing oligarch's security team may have read the book. Nuland's big threat was to bring John Kerry over to speak for her chosen candidate.

    Georgia had protests about electricity prices in the 1990's. In Georgia, the citizens, faced with price rises to replace capital equipment, suspected that factories were given lower rates than the public. It was a very sensitive issue. A foreign firm was bought in to manage the system. No web links.

    In particular to reading and discussing of the works of Srdja Popovic and an American whose name I forget who wrote a manual on overthrowing dictatorships aimed at Myanmar.

    The name you’re probably looking for is Gene Sharp: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Sharp

    Anyway, don’t be naïve. Just because the State Dept. was more on the down-low in Kiev during the ‘Orange Revolution’ of 2005 doesn’t tell us a lot. George Soros, who’s a major player in Ukraine, was always pushing the same agenda with his ‘Open Society Institute’ going back 20 years ago. He does that on his own nickel, so add that to Vicky Nuland’s 5 billion.

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  • @Immigrant from former USSR
    I just watched the whole 1-hour documentary suggested above by Niccolo Salo.
    The oligarchs from whatever place, including ones from Russia,
    never were much of interest for me,
    but info in this particular documentary about Berezovskiy
    and his specific involvement in Ukrainian affairs looks quite plausible to me.
    I did not watch the other two 1-hour films (to which there are links in the 1-st film)
    about two other oligarchs: Khodorkovskiy and Luzhkov.

    The documentary on Luzhkov is the weakest and least important of the three.

    The one on Khodorkovsky takes a significant turn as it is virulently anti-Putin, mirroring the fact that he was Western Finance’s trojan horse in Russia as opposed to Berezovsky who simply could not be trusted outside of a few bought-for politicians in the UK.

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  • @Niccolo Salo
    Watch this excellent British-produced documentary about Boris Berezovsky from several years back. It goes into length in respect to his involvement in the attempt to move Ukraine away from Russia.

    This documentary would never get made today simply because it makes Putin look like a good guy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLPxyDlQfBc

    Berezovsky had his hands all over the Orange Revolution. The notion that it was purely organic is naive.

    I just watched the whole 1-hour documentary suggested above by Niccolo Salo.
    The oligarchs from whatever place, including ones from Russia,
    never were much of interest for me,
    but info in this particular documentary about Berezovskiy
    and his specific involvement in Ukrainian affairs looks quite plausible to me.
    I did not watch the other two 1-hour films (to which there are links in the 1-st film)
    about two other oligarchs: Khodorkovskiy and Luzhkov.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    The documentary on Luzhkov is the weakest and least important of the three.

    The one on Khodorkovsky takes a significant turn as it is virulently anti-Putin, mirroring the fact that he was Western Finance's trojan horse in Russia as opposed to Berezovsky who simply could not be trusted outside of a few bought-for politicians in the UK.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Philip Owen
    A review of US Embassy cables on the Cablegate web site shows very little involvement in the 2004 Ukrainian election and the Orange Revolution. They gave a hearing to NGO's reporting their insights as the real opinion of Ukraine. They paid for a 100,000 USD exit poll after the election. That was not as active as Russia which sent Putin to make a speech before the election.

    The Colour Revolutions, including Occupy Wall Street and similar efforts in the UK owe their similarity to exchange of ideas. In particular to reading and discussing of the works of Srdja Popovic and an American whose name I forget who wrote a manual on overthrowing dictatorships aimed at Myanmar. There are even University courses in non violent revolution these days. Peace Studies is a favourite cover. Colour Revolution US Embassy plot. Not even in Ukraine where any passing oligarch's security team may have read the book. Nuland's big threat was to bring John Kerry over to speak for her chosen candidate.

    Georgia had protests about electricity prices in the 1990's. In Georgia, the citizens, faced with price rises to replace capital equipment, suspected that factories were given lower rates than the public. It was a very sensitive issue. A foreign firm was bought in to manage the system. No web links.

    Watch this excellent British-produced documentary about Boris Berezovsky from several years back. It goes into length in respect to his involvement in the attempt to move Ukraine away from Russia.

    This documentary would never get made today simply because it makes Putin look like a good guy.

    Berezovsky had his hands all over the Orange Revolution. The notion that it was purely organic is naive.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Immigrant from former USSR
    I just watched the whole 1-hour documentary suggested above by Niccolo Salo.
    The oligarchs from whatever place, including ones from Russia,
    never were much of interest for me,
    but info in this particular documentary about Berezovskiy
    and his specific involvement in Ukrainian affairs looks quite plausible to me.
    I did not watch the other two 1-hour films (to which there are links in the 1-st film)
    about two other oligarchs: Khodorkovskiy and Luzhkov.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.