NATO's Reaction to Iskander: Important Consensus for Armenia

    • Comments - 13 October 2016, 14:15
Recently Reuters has informed that Russia has deployed Iskander M rockets in Kaliningrad, which has worried Poland, and the Polish armed forces have been brought to “permanent readiness”.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had reacted to this information. He said that Russia’s actions fit in the logic of Russia’s recent behavior. Stoltenberg also said that NATO does not support the new race of arms.

The interesting thing in this story is that NATO Secretary General has responded to the information on deployment of Iskander in Kaliningrad while the West did not react to the information on supply of Iskander to Armenia.

There may be an opinion that Iskander in Kaliningrad may worry the West because it is located at Europe’s doorstep but not in the case of Armenia. However, this would have been a primitive observation because in this respect the West should not be worried about the escalation and the war threat in regard to the issue of Artsakh because it is far from Europe.

Iskander is not just a weapon but also a policy that defies borders. Hence. The issue is not the distance from the border or geography but geopolitics. And in this case, the lack of the reaction of the West in the context of response to Kaliningrad allows concluding that the presence of Iskander in Armenia’s arsenal is an expression of the geopolitical consensus without which the supply of Iskander to Armenia and an announcement about which will hardly be possible.

And perhaps this very circumstance has worried Azerbaijan, announcing that the international community is against Azerbaijan. The point is that Iskander is a weapon to restrain a large-scale war, naturally Iskander is not applicable in such local wars as the war in April.

However, the issue is that Azerbaijan has fully realized the importance of Iskander, the purpose of the statement about it and the silence of the West, i.e. the actual consensus. Because this consensus is “applicable” to a local war. In other words, as a weapon, Iskander restrains a large-scale war, and as a geopolitical consensus it restrains or blocks the possibility of recurrence of a local war.

This is the thing that has caused Aliyev’s dissatisfaction with the international community, serving as an occasion or a reason to state that the international community is against Azerbaijan.

Because, in the end, the questions and behavior of the international community both before and after April have not changed much, the content and logic have not changed. The change was the statement on Iskander, its demonstration and the solid silence of the international community, as evidence to the achievement of a certain geopolitical consensus over security and stability in Armenia, thereby in the Caucasus.

The centers of power were certainly induced to a consensus by the Armenian armed forces, which stood the April war, forcing Azerbaijan, at least in the current stage, to revise the priority and logic of its steps and prioritize the implementation of its commitment to supply arms to Armenia. Earlier there was no consensus due to the circumstance that Russia’s regional policy provided for nourishment of Azerbaijan’s belligerent diplomacy for maturing and implementing the “Kazan plan”, which was actually thwarted by the joint resistance of the Armenian armed forces and the Armenian public.

It is another issue how long-term and stable this consensus will be, considering the establishment of a new level of resistance between the West and Russia. At the same time, no matter how interrelated the geopolitical issues and realities are, they are increasingly subject to separate review, provided the current state of things.

In this situation, the duration of the consensus demonstrated at the military parade on the Armenian Independence Day depends on the adequacy of the Armenian national policy rather than geopolitical resistance, to the extent the problems put forth and solved after April will be adequate to the issue that the Armenian army resolved in April.

In this sense, at least at the level of rhetoric, perhaps for the first time the idea embedded in the nation-army formulation has been put forth officially for the first time which is an indicator of geopolitical and domestic governance. The new minister of defense has done this. This is not a new model in the world and this is not an overly militarized model, as it may seem at first sight. It is a model of organization of national life and national policy, a model of state governance in which case only Armenia can combine efficiently and interrelatedly the problems of security and modernization, turning them to complementary, not opposite factors.

Of the course, the problem is to what extent the will to bring this model into being will be demonstrated, and whether there will be capability, considering that it will require necessary change to establish domestic consensus. The existence of a geopolitical consensus has created an opportunity for a stable and consistent process towards domestic consensus. The duration of the geopolitical consensus will depend on the outcome of the process aimed at internal consensus.