Thursday, September 24, 2015

Gaming Out Nagorno-Karabakh

I provided the following feedback on Stratfor's article, Gaming Out Nagorno-Karabakh. The article ends with "Send us your thoughts on this report.". I obliged them with:

I don't know who wrote your Gaming Out Nagorno-Karabakh article, but while appearing to be an analytic piece, in reality it accommodates what Azerbaijan demands and assumes that Azerbaijan has some kind of upper hand in events associated with Nagorno-Karabakh. You might recall Azerbaijan lost the right of sovereignty over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, notwithstanding having more fighters, foreign fighters, armament, and the support of powerful international oil investment structures.

While you suggest and generally state that Azerbaijan has some kind of intrinsic dominance in these affairs, I am sure you noted how yesterday Azerbaijan snipers killed three Armenian women – in Armenia proper – two of them very elderly, 84 and 90 years old. If soldiers killing old ladies at a distance is indicative of a strategic advantage I would suggest Strafor think again. What you perhaps didn't know is that the Armenian retaliation rendered the destruction of the Azerbaijani base and casualty count estimated on the order of 15:1. Perhaps Baku cares less about how many of their soldiers and civilians die, but Armenians do. This is not a “Game”.

I would suggest, rather than pleasing George Friedman and DC's Beltway with the tone of your analytic piece, you might give a moment of thought of the reaction to the quality of the risk analysis you undoubtedly provide your hydrocarbon-centric subscribers when Azerbaijan's transport pipelines are summarily destroyed in an escalation of hostilities. Armenia's rockets can also hit Baku's oil fields. Why these simple facts are ignored is telling. Ask yourself who would gain with the destruction of Azerbaijan's oil extraction and transport capabilities, and the tone of your analysis would change.

Yerevan, Armenia

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