Iran’s policy in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

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Iran’s policy in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

 

By worior@Military.ir

Introduction:

T his article is written from a strategic point of view on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and the possibilities and consequences related to the future of the region. Any war in any part of the world will be doomed to defeat without the support and determination of the nation or the people who are at war, so the war in Nagorno-Karabakh is highly dependent on demographic issues and public opinion.

The issue of territorial conquest:

The feudal wars have long been obsolete, and the United Nations and the international community have struggled to cope with border changes through military strikes. Accepting the change of borders of countries through military aggression is something that can have reciprocal consequences for the countries that accept those changes: the most important one is becoming a custom that can happen again for every other country. Regardless of the historical validity of these border disputes, the winner of the conflict, after the victory, must do much effort in the field of international relations to attract public opinion and politicians from different countries to formally accept the new borders, especially permanent members of The UN Security Council and perhaps the reaction of these members to accepting this new frontier will be so long as to create an opportunity for reciprocity and another war.

Azerbaijan's current military strategy in Nagorno-Karabakh:

Whatever the combat methods of the parties in this conflict, they will follow countable rules, not because they are easily predictable, but because there are many historical experiences with such conflicts. Demographically, the Nagorno-Karabakh region has a predominantly Armenian population. Azeris will not be able to prosper without the support of public opinion and popular support in the region, and even if they succeed, they will not be able to preserve the conquered lands. Therefore, it is obvious that the demographic composition of the region will change first, and this is not possible all at once, nor in a short battle. Rather, a protracted war, with direct burning of cities, the killing of Armenians, and the forced migration of the population living in these areas, could be the strategy chosen by the Azeri side, and this form of continuous conflict would continue with the settlement of Azeris in the region. To change the population from Armenian to Azeri and Turkish, in order to create the conditions for permanent settlement in a very possible decisive battle, or at least through a democratic process such as voting and self-determination by the residents in favor of the Baku government. The methods discussed above have already been used by Israel and have a long history, to the point that Machiavelli in "The Prince" has explicitly spoken of forced migration and change of territorial population by rulers. And perhaps the reason for Azerbaijan's closeness to Israel in obtaining military equipment and consulting on the reconstruction of its army can be found above.

Armenia's defense strategy:

So far, what Armenia has shown is to rely on traditional combat tactics in mountainous areas, such as deploying artillery, entering cities, using short-range and middle-range missiles, and shouting its propaganda around the world about legitimacy and the fight against Azerbaijani terrorism. The policy is obvious due to the existence of a population base in Artsakh. Armenia is moving very fast towards possible oppression and defeat and the need for help. Such a situation would help Armenia to attract international aid from the relatively wealthy Christian states, as well as to provoke international pressure on Azerbaijan to end the war, given its disputed territories.

Logical incrementalism:

Logical incrementalismsays that there is not exactly one grand and general strategy, but rather a possibly courageous initial decision and then strategies that are learned and implemented along the way.

The point of wars is unpredictability, it is not usually clear what the enemy has concealed, it is not clear what reaction he will show, and so on. So that means there can be no grand strategy for the war.

Based on the above, in any war, the results cannot be counted accurately from the beginning, they have said that what can be said about the future is its lack of accurate prediction. But based on the available evidence, experience, and knowledge, and compared to the past, the military exercises of Azerbaijan and the military purchases of the two countries; it is predictable that a medium-term war and then a final battle was the initial strategy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, although such an event may never come true. However, it is a requirement to have a logical strategic interpretation at the beginning of the war, although it is not a grand strategy. Any strategy to enter into any conflict will also require a strategy to exit. The next strategies are those that are learned on the battlefield and are all sub-strategies that have emerged and are not far from the main path and the overall goal. In the current situation, because the Republic of Azerbaijan is intensifying this war at this time, this country has the initiative and gradually you see Armenia reacting to the initiatives of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is the main decision-maker in ending the war or changing its nature. If Azerbaijan had experienced a ballistic missile strike in Baku in response to few simple drones, the war wouldn't escalate. But when Armenia's response was logical and limited to the same level of confrontation with the enemy in the war zone, it means that how much the war intensifies, the two sides will intensify their actions, this is what will be learned in the continuation of the battle and the constant repetition of such events takes the form of teachings that become the martial culture of both sides.

The need for an exit strategy is first posed to prevent a permanent war, attrition, or withdrawal from the conflict at the right time, then based on the successes or failures achieved under the influence of the front and public opinion will change. Therefore, the biggest pillar of the two sides' front is not on the ground, but in their media and global propaganda. It is successful in the propaganda of the two sides that will advance the war and even regulate the level of violence or action against the occupation of the territory and even the extent of the burning of each other's capitals.

The future of conflict procedures in Nagorno-Karabakh:

Azerbaijan has made good progress on the southern front, but the following points are important:
- As mentioned, it is difficult for Azerbaijan to make successful progress in areas that do not have demographic support, and if it progresses, it will be more difficult to maintain and exploit progress. So it makes sense to choose to move south.
It may want to reach Nakhchivan with a quick attack, for two reasons:

Completing the territorial connection.

Preventing Armenia from entering Nakhchivan in the face of a possible response scenario.
It is important to note that in northern Iran Azeris and Turks have a higher cumulative percentage than Azeris in the Karabakh region. Therefore, it is possible that the Azerbaijani and Turkish armies will directly or indirectly shake hands in the region through the Nakhchivan region. (Turkish air support, infantry including Turkish special forces in the guise of Pan-Turk and Neo-Ottoman terrorists, and the Azerbaijani army from the east)

The rapid invasion in mountainous areas is not easily possible and only could be done at high speed through the Aras River, due to this, the border villages of Iran such as Asheghloo, Ozan, Kranlu, etc. are threatened by Azeri invasion and Armenians are likely to respond in those areas.

In the case of fabricated riots and a crisis of resource scarcity and demonstrations, the conditions are good for the infiltration of intelligence units of Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, to exploit the unrest. And in the continuation of Iran's response to suppressing protests or riots, there will be consequences such as foreign influence and interference, even in the short term.

What strengthens the atmosphere of crisis for guerrilla warfare and social unrest is that the two countries will soon lose many of their armored weapons, so the Armed Forces of these countries will recruit people. This causes regular armies to become dispersed armies with high dimensions of paramilitary power, turning to paramilitary equipment such as Technicals, MANPADS, and portable anti-tank missiles.

The state of war with the use of militants, causes a large amount of individual war equipment to enter the northern regions of our country. War using militias also requires extensive efforts of psychological operations and political propaganda.

In the medium term, all of the above may force Iran to enter into a hybrid war centered on Turkey and Azerbaijan.
In Armenia, Pashinyan will increasingly identify himself as counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, and Islamic fundamentalist police in the Caucasus region. He will be able to provide the necessary resources to continue the war from wealthy Christian countries and through many churches. And perhaps this war will open the way for evangelical ideas to enter Armenia. The government of Yerevan is under siege by Turkey and Azerbaijan and will feel very insecure, so it will run after Iran and Russia, and strengthen its air, missile, and defense forces.

Both countries have lost and will continue to lose many armaments. The desire to compensate for armored equipment and the demand for missile and other equipment will increasingly create a large arms market in the Caucasus region. Both countries will move toward localizing weapons and becoming missile powers, which will severely affect Iran's missile advantage.

Yerevan does not have great inherent economic advantages, and if it sees its security lost, it will face severe social damage, so the Pashinyan government will do everything to prevent this situation, including leasing military bases to the United States and NATO, and the replacement of Turkey today. Such a move would both provide the necessary security and become a safe place for foreign investment. The United States may be seeking to punish Turkey today and withdraw from Incirlik and the Nuclear sharing and may turn to Yerevan. A Yerevan where the Pashinyan government has come to power based on anti-Russian slogans.

- This will be very harmful to Russia, especially given the problems with Georgia, so Russia will not allow it, and this does not mean allowing the expansion of relations with Armenia and its constant presence. On the other hand, it will create many problems for Iran, especially since Israel has gained widespread influence in Azerbaijan, and if Armenia also leans towards the United States, the anti-Iranian base of Israel and the United States will be a field of peace, war and all developments in the Caucasus for many years.

Azerbaijan:

- Azerbaijan will use the power of Islamic countries such as Pakistan, Islamist terrorists around the world, so it needs Turkey's experience in managing and integrating these guerrillas, as far as possible to continue the war directly Turkey.

- The country will consume a large number of weapons by the end of the war, and after the war will enter into a cold arms confrontation with Armenia. If Armenia strengthens its airpower, Azerbaijan will not be able to do so.

- Azerbaijan now has a weak and old air force that does not show enough offensive and operational strength. The Russians are unlikely to want to strengthen the Azeris on a strategic level, such as the air force, against the Armenians. To sell arms to Azerbaijan against another Christian state, however, Western fighters are also much more expensive than Russian ones, and Azeris are unlikely to be able to afford them.

- Considering the above two cases, it seems that the Azeris seek to provide short-range and medium-range surface-to-surface missile s in the form of launching a production line. They will buy a cruise and ballistic missiles from Turkey.

Iran:

Whatever Iran's policy, it will be subject to the complex actions of the two countries to enter the conflict or support one side. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan to make Iran in position of choice, staying in only one side. This is difficult, even in mind. Iran must avoid it

- The political elites of Azerbaijan and Turkey speak openly about their intention to enter Iran, but in terms of action, they are not currently in a position to do anything except in the event of severe political weakness and power vacuum in Iran. For this reason, Iran must act quickly to prevent the formation of an anti-Iranian alliance centered on the "Turkish army", which, if Azerbaijan succeeds, becomes a dominant military-political ideology.

- Iran and Armenia can participate in the formation of a limited military force for counter-terrorism operations in the border areas

Conclusion:

If we divide the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict today into military and psychological dimensions, it should be said that this relationship will be 20-80. Military action that leads to failure will have many serious political consequences. The Pashinyan government has come to power through widespread protests and street riots, and defeat in the military will be a defeat for him in politics and public opinion. The implementation of political maneuvers is also for his survival. On the other hand, Baku is not much different. If we want to consider the economic and strategic criteria for the conquest of territory in Nagorno-Karabakh, what remains after this war in any way will not create a special advantage from these two perspectives. Therefore, the war in Qarabaq is a purely political matter and is done to gain political honors in order to have a military or economic basis.

Proposed tactical and policy measures for Iran:

In the tactical part:
Rapid implementation of anti-guerrilla and anti-insurgency maneuvers in the border areas of the country in the following style:
Practice establishing and moving to a pocket of 5 to 10 border villages in one direction, so that several mobile teams enter the villages in the border areas in specific geographical segments, and measure and manage the establishment of fixed units.

Mobile units enter the rural areas first without military appearance, then to practice military supply and then completely military to provide the possibility of establishing fixed teams with equipment, establish communication with the population, and leave for the next village Consecutively, after the establishment of fixed units. The fixed teams enter the rural areas by establishing field hospitals, Red Crescent bases, and assistance, practice social communication activities in a certain time and wait for the second arrival of the mobile teams on the scheduled date.

The mobile teams enter in parallel to help collect equipment. And at the end, they exercise the escort maneuver to a safe distance Reason for performing the above tactical maneuver is that separatists, militias, guerrillas, and hybrid armies can carry out a combined plan of action through psychological operations, political propaganda, and financial support alongside their regular armies. First by infiltration, then by building bridges, and They then began to destabilize rural areas, creating emotional problems, then urging residents not to cooperate with the central government, first by inciting and then by threatening. In an atmosphere of insecurity, rural people avoid intelligence and security cooperation with central governments and may even be attracted to these groups, unless they feel a safe environment and a dominant power by the central government able to support them or destroy anti-government movements.

On the other hand, in the event of violence, and foreign intervention in the border areas that are relatively safe today, an untrained force or a force that has not experienced its area of operation can hardly communicate with the people And take action under normal untrained conditions in crises.

Public opinion in rural border areas, which are highly vulnerable to various security threats, quickly react if they have sympathy and coordination with insurgent operational cores for the day of the uprising (as happened in Iraqi cities such as Ramadi, Mosul, and Tikrit). They will make mistakes that will be traceable. The Foundation for Border Hybrid Operations is carried out through killings and assassinations in the name of governments (such as the actions of OIPFG guerrillas in Kurdistan) and then forming the resistance cells. In the case of rapid, domineering, and untimely government action, the situation will get out of control or intensify. However, this hasty and domineering action is somewhat necessary and intimidating for the infiltrating nuclei, and the calculations of chance, especially the exploitation of the previous infiltrations or their previously established communication bridge.

In the strategic part:

If we divide the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict today into military and psychological dimensions, the psychological part is very strong . Military action that leads to failure will have many serious political consequences. The Pashinyan government has come to power through widespread protests and street riots, and defeat in the war will be a defeat for him in politics and public opinion. There is also a political maneuver for his survival. Baku is not much different. Considering the economic and strategic criteria for the conquest of territory in Nagorno-Karabakh, what remains after this war in any way will not create a special advantage from these two perspectives. Therefore, the war in Karabakh is purely political and is done to gain political honors to have a military or economic basis.

During and after this war:

Armenia:

- Pashinyan will increasingly identify himself as a counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency and Islamic fundamentalist police in the Caucasus region. - He will be able to provide the necessary capital to continue the war from rich Christian countries and through many churches. And perhaps this war will open the way for evangelical ideas to enter Armenia.

- The government of Yerevan is under siege by Turkey and Azerbaijan and will feel very insecure, so it will run after Iran and Russia, will greatly strengthen its air, missile and defense forces.

- Both countries have lost and will continue to lose a great deal of armaments. The desire to compensate for armored equipment and the demand for long-range missiles will increasingly create a large arms market in the Caucasus region. Both countries will move toward localizing weapons and becoming missile powers, which will severely affect Iran's missile advantage.

- Yerevan does not have great inherent economic advantages, and if it sees its security lost, it will face severe social damage, so the Pashinyan government will do everything to prevent this situation, including leasing military bases to the United States and NATO, and replacing itself of Turkey. Such a move would provide the necessary security and make it a safe place for foreign investment. The United States may be seeking to punish Turkey and withdraw from incirlik and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and may turn to Yerevan. Yerevan where the Pashinyan government has come to power based on anti-Russian slogans.

- This will be very harmful for Russia, especially given the problems with Georgia, so Russia will not allow it, and this does not mean allowing the expansion of relations with Armenia and its constant presence. It will create many problems for Iran, especially since Israel has gained wide influence in Azerbaijan and if Armenia leans towards the United States, the anti-Iranian base of Israel and the United States will be a field of peace, war and all developments in the Caucasus for many years.

Azerbaijan:

- Azerbaijan will use the power of Islamic countries such as Pakistan, Islamist terrorists around the world, so it needs Turkey's experience in managing and integrating these guerrillas far as possible to continue the war directly by

- The country will consume a large amount of weapons by the end of the war, and after the war will enter into a cold arms confrontation with Armenia. If Armenia strengthens its air power, Azerbaijan will not be able to do so.

- Azerbaijan now has a weak and old air force that does not show enough offensive and operational strength. The Russians are unlikely to want to strengthen the Azeris on a strategic level, such as the air force, against the Armenians. They have already sold expensive and strategic Su30 fighter jets to Armenia and made Armenia their customer. Western countries are also unlikely to want to sell arms to Azerbaijan against another Christian state. However, Western fighters are also very expensive and Azeris are unlikely to be able to afford them.

- Considering the above, it seems that the Azeris would seek to provide short-range and mid-range surface-to-surface missiles in scale of a production line. So they will buy cruise and ballistic missiles from Turkey.

Iran:

-Iran's policy, will be subject to the complex actions of the two sides to enter the conflict or support one side. Even in a very difficult circumstances, Iran must avoid it. - The political elites of Azerbaijan and Turkey speak openly about their intention to enter Iran, but in terms of action they are not currently in a position to do anything except in the event of severe political weakness and power vacuum in Iran. For this reason, Iran must act quickly to prevent the formation of an anti-Iranian alliance centered on a "Pan-Turk army", which, if Azerbaijan succeeds, becomes a dominant military-political ideology.

- Iran and Armenia can participate in the formation of a limited military force for counter-terrorism operations in the border areas.

 

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