Military Doctrine of the Republic of Azerbaijan

South Caucasus and Caspian Sea region being a sensitive and complicated area from the geo-political, geo-strategic, geo-economic and geo-cultural point of view, open for foreign influences in a great extent. Military doctrines of regional countries and their defense and military policies implemented based on these doctrines also play significant role in establishment and development of regional peace and stability, as well as on the contrary in violation of stability, in creation of tension and confrontations, crisis and conflicts in the whole region.

Military doctrine being an officially announced system of views in state’s military security field. determines political-military, political-strategic and political-economic basis of its military security, including the directions of combat preparation of state and armed force, methods and forms of its implementation.

The provisions of military doctrine of every state may alter depending on thorough change of military security environment, military-political situation, as well as on internal political development and radical changes regarding strategic choice. In this regard, revision and update of military doctrine from time to time is expectable. In order to evaluate influence of military doctrinal views on establishment of peace and stability, development of freedom and democracy, people welfare integration in South Caucasus, first of all military doctrines’ of the region countries (Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan), as well as military doctrines of Russia, Iran and Turkey, which have traditional interests in the region should be studies and evaluated in this regard.

The Center of Military Analyses and Research has prepared the document “Military doctrines of regional countries – stability or the threat of confrontation?” by support Open Society Institute – Assistance Foundation. Today we publish the
Military Doctrine of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Military Doctrine of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani Republic (AR) is only state, which did not make its strategic choice in the region. Although AR proclaimed its main target to Euro-Atlantic integration in its military security concept adopted in 2007, together with not transition to democracy, it also has not announced target to become a member of neither NATO, not EU yet. Azerbaijani hesitations regarding strategic choice are also reflected its Military Doctrine (after this, it will be called “Military doctrine”), adopted in a hurry without any public and parliament discussions.

Military doctrine “analyzes conditions, processes and factors creating threats and preventing implementation of security environment and national interests of Azerbaijani Republic (the article 1.5), as well as bases on the principle of necessary and efficient defense” (the article 1.7).

Analyze of existed state of regional security environment, including security environment of Azerbaijan:

– its gradual complication and aggravation, especially after Georgia crisis in 2008, its becoming more complicated and aggravated;

– increase and strengthening of military existence and participation of Russia in the region, which is political-military ally of aggressor Armenia, at the same time it is the leader of regional military block – CSTO;

– arming of Armenia, defense of its land and air borders by Russia

– Continuation of Dagliq Qarabag conflict, war situation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, increase of violation of ceasefire;

– Continuation of instability in S. Caucasus, RF gathering of armed forces in this region under the name of fight against terrorism;
– violation of its naval and air borders by Iran Islam Republic’s (IIR), which is its south neighbor, pursue militarist policy, steadily develops missile and nuclear programs;

on the other hand, Azerbaijan, which although being in war, has no military-political ally, is not a member of any military block, has weak, undeveloped strategic and military potential and unable to settle sharp military security problems since restoration of its independency.

Azerbaijan’s pursued policy in this field openly demonstrates not answering to the indicated below provisions of its military doctrine.

This situation does not give an opportunity to balance the sharply violated regional strategic and military-strategic state, to create efficient situation for settlement of the conflicts, as well as to improve security environment.

Strategic hesitations of Azerbaijani Republic, which is in the border with authoritarian Russia in the north, authoritarian Armenia in the west, totalitarian Iran in the south, despite announcing about the choice of democratic way of development, its taking opposite way acting in the same line of policy together with authoritarian regimes instead of being in the same way with its natural allies, democratic Turkey and Georgia, on the one hand, have a negative influence on development of democracy and security in the region, on the other hand, it does not meet the requirements of the article 2.10 (security environment of the Republic of Azerbaijan is determined with various interrelated factors in present existed global and regional levels and in future factors which may be emerged) of its military doctrine.

Strategic hesitations of AR in its military doctrine on the one hand, does not give an opportunity to get sufficient strategic potential, on the other hand, not only demonstrate disloyalty to all sides, as well as opens a way to doubtful attitude of its natural, potential allies. This situation, of course, also does not serve to strengthening of regional peace and stability, security.

It is stated in the article 2.14 of MD that, “Occupation of some part of the territory of Azerbaijani Republic by Armenian Republic, carrying out of ethnic cleansing policy in the regions of Armenia, where Azerbaijanis lived before and continuation of aggressor action resulted with destruction of economic and social infrastructure are the main factor having negative influence on national security of Azerbaijani Republic”.

In the article 2.16 of the document is truly noted that, “Occupied territories’ by Armenian Republic temporarily remaining out of the control of government bodies of Azerbaijani Republic damages not only on national security, but have a serious negative influence of regional security as well. This situation become worse as a result of inefficiency of international union’s efforts in the settlement of the problem”.

The provision regarding “continuation of stirring up the separatist tendencies in different regions of Azerbaijan by separate forces” is also reflected in the article 2.17 of MD. Certainly, though it is not openly noted here, but considering of RF and IIR together with Armenia is apparent.

From these indicated reasons, Armenian Republic’s noting as one of the main foreign factors having negative influence on national security of Azerbaijani Republic may be considered right from the viewpoint of enumerating of open and direct foreign threats. However, if to take into consideration, Russian role both in creation of conflicts and their managing, support of Armenian separatism, or in arming of aggressor Armenia and its throughout support, at the same time the scale of its negative influence on strategic development of the region, including Azerbaijan, it is the main factor with deep strategic character having a negative influence on national and military security of Azerbaijani Republic. Regarding this, even mentioning of RF among the foreign threats for any reason is one of the main problems in views system of official Baku in military security field and demonstrates strategic uncertainty of its political elite once more.

In the article 2.18 of MD, it is noted among “the other various foreign factors complex having a direct or possible influence on national security of the Republic of Azerbaijan” that, ….significance and the role of military power in international relations, in implementation of political and economic interests increases distinctly”. In the article 3.2 of the document among the military and political threats:

“-violation of regional military balance and going beyond the defense proficiency, including creation of military bases in the region or directly near the state borders and water territories of Azerbaijani Republic, gathering of army groups, increase of weapons and other military participation;

– violation of Azerbaijani Republic’s state borders by military units and armed groups, intensification of border debates or conflicts take place.

However, if to take into account, coming of open and potential foreign threats as well as
military threats directed to Azerbaijan mainly from RF, Iran and aggressor Armenia, it is not reflected the ways of neutralization of this complex of foreign factors in the military doctrine. This is an approach with negative effect not only on stability and security of Azerbaijan, its long-term development, but as a whole of the region. According to the 4.25 article of MD, defense policy of Azerbaijani Republic with the purpose of military security guarantee of the state, is formed on the basis of military, political, economic and social measures and serves to creation of efficient internal and foreign conditions for implementation of national interests of Azerbaijani Republic.

Creation of efficient internal and foreign condition in the modern world, especially in Euro-Atlantic space, to which Azerbaijan intends to integrate (according to National Security Concept) first of all, is implemented by the way of democratic development, democratic reforms and as it is noted in the article 4.26 of that document, “carrying out of non-military measures – establishment, development and strengthening of friendship, partnership or alliance relations with neighbor and other countries”.

It is noted in the MD that “Defense policy basis on system analysis of military-political condition in the region and its development tendencies, evaluation of real and potential military threats complex against (directed – author) Azerbaijani Republic and in order to guarantee military security takes into consideration objective demands and real opportunities, including the country’s geographic position and territorial landscape” (article 4.27).

The present security and foreign policy of AR, including foreign military policy, the character of its relations with natural and potential allies (first of all, Turkey, Georgia, U.S., NATO and EU) together with not meeting the below indicated provisions of MD and its national interests, also does not serve to the regional stability, security and democracy development.

According to the article 4.29 of MD, “Azerbaijani Republic does not allow placing of foreign military bases within its territory, except the cases stipulated in the international treaties, which it supports. However in case of fundamental changes in military-political conditions, Azerbaijani Republic has a right to place foreign military bases within its territory or temporarily to allow foreign military participation in other form”.

After the Georgian crisis (2008) and 25-years extension of contract term (2010) of military base placed in Armenia by Russia, although this fundamental alteration made in AR MD opened the way of necessary steps in the direction of creation of military-political balance in the region, not implementation of these steps until today increase concerns in front of growing threats. We should also note that even concluding of treaty about “Strategic partnership and mutual assistance” (2010) between AR and Turkey, did not have a significant effect on the actual situation.

According to the article 5.42 of MD, “committing of aggression against Azerbaijan by any state (excluding Armenian Republic) at the current stage is in the low level”.

Azerbaijan’s being in war situation with Armenia, which is military-political ally of RF, easy potential of again stirring up the conflict, Russian military aggression against Georgia under the pretext of regional conflict in 2008 and as a whole, increase and reinforcement of its military presence in S. Caucasus, as well as despite of all international community calling, Iranian development of its nuclear program and in the case of aggravation of military-political situation in the region and around the region because of rapidly spreading of national movement started in Muslim world, assessment of less probability level of military threat coming from Russia is a serious military-political mistake. This situation is a serious threat not only for Azerbaijan, but also as a whole for regional stability and security.

By the way, the same mistaken assessment cost very expensive for neighbor Georgia. It was necessary to get lesson from this for Azerbaijan as well without wasting time.

The Center of Military Analyses and Research