By Z. S. ANDREW DEMIRDJIAN
US Armenian Life Magazine
To secure peace is to prepare for war.
Carl von Clausewitz
(The father of modern military strategy)
Four hundred years ago before airplanes were invented, Leonardo da Vinci thought that people could learn to fly by watching and imitating birds. On his deathbed, he said he regretted that he never flew. If Leonardo de Vinci were to visit Earth today, he would be surprised about the speed and power of F-16 Strike Eagle Fighter jet and especially be amazed at the drone (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) capabilities without a pilot on board to navigate it. Unlike the distracted Armenian army brass, he would have immediately recommended the drone for the Italian armed forces.
While Azerbaijan was stockpiling its arsenal with the state-of-the art weapons for nearly 30 years, the Armenian leadership kept its head in the sand by being blinded by chauvinism that they could retaliate against Azerbaijan’s aggression by capturing the enemy’s territory all the way to Baku.
The cost of this kind of self-defeating complacency was the devastating Artsakh surrender on November the 9th of all seven regions of the buffer zone, including a chunk of one third of Artsakh’s (Nagorno-Karabakh’s) own territory in the bargain. Unlike in 1994 war with docile Azerbaijan, the Armenian forces could not crown the war in the Artsakh War of 2020.
The whole experience has shaken the Armenian nation on the Richter scale of over 8 point since the tragedy of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923.
Armenians everywhere in Armenia, Artsakh, and the Diaspora are in mourning and baffled at the unexpected bitter, humiliating defeat. The cost of being doggedly reactive had brought on grief, shame, and disillusionment of the dream of regaining Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) at last one of the provinces of Greater Armenia, whose status still remains in the balance.
To be proactive, Armenia has to learn from the lessons of being negligent to prepare for war against a combined enemy with superior weapons especially that of Turkey’s and Israeli killer drones with their expert remote pilots.
As we all know, ideas have changed the world, ideas can also advance Armenia. So, in this article, an idea is proposed to expedite the preparation of the Armenian forces in case of war in five or ten years.
In my previous articles published also in the USA Armenian Life Magazine, such as “The Mirage of Armenia’s Militarism,” “Armenia’s Defense Fund: Blood Money,” “A Strategy for National Security,” “The Weapon to Turn the Tide of War,” to cite a few, I have emphasized the necessity of getting ready to face a formidable enemy by arming with modern weapons to face a totally “new, improved” adversary.
Specifically, in “The Weapon to Turn the Tide of War,” I have presented a plan for Armenia to produce laser-based, precision drones for local and export distribution —and as a means to become ready against foreign aggression. Since military defense production and the establishment of an R&D (Research and Development) department take time and a large investment, the alternative is to purchase them as much as the national budget will allow. Therefore, in this article the advantages of outsourcing defense contracts will be advanced for solving Artsakh’s need for modern weapons.
Briefly, here are the main points of the plan to purchase modern weapons to get ready to face the enemy in the future:
I. The Statement of the Problem: The Dire Need for Modern Weapons or Survival.
Even if Armenia has the financial means to produce weapons, it does not have the scientific researchers or industrialists anymore. Even during the Soviet era, most of the brains had immigrated to Russia to work in the laboratories for innovation and inventions.
To be realist by shying away from chauvinism is to accept the fact that Armenia is unable to tackle the task of producing modern warfare armaments in a short period of time.
To avoid any possible delays and corruption, Diaspora should plan to help Armenia and Artsakh, not only with funds, but with also procuring the necessary weapons for them as efficiently and effectively as soon as possible.
Time is of the essence. Five years is a blink in time when you want to get ready to protect peace or to fight against next Azeri/Turkish aggression. On account of the exigency of the need for modern weapons for defense, the idea is to outsource Armenia’s defense contracts to China.
II. The Efficient Solution: The Advantages of Outsourcing.
Armenian Diaspora’s mediation is needed in planning and executing contracts with China for the manufacturing of weapons and equipment for Armenia’s and Artsakh’s armed forces.
Most Chinese manufacturers have sales offices around the world. As a result, it would be easy for the Armenian Diaspora to do business with them in the Western countries.
The Diaspora could order drones, for example, in finished, semi-finished, or unassembled conditions for Armenia and Artsakh. Also, there are transportation advantages to buy arms from China to be drop shipped to Armenia.
Additionally, nobody can beat the rock-bottom prices of China’s armament (military weapons and equipment).
The justification for the solution of obtaining drones and other arms from China is obvious. Drones of China have been tested to function well.
China has the industrial base. They have the intelligence gathering capability. No sooner an idea even at a concept stage comes into existence anywhere in the world, China is already producing it. For China, patent laws are enacted to be disregarded.
China is very advanced in nanotechnology as well. They aspire to be number one country in “nano” science and technology in the year 2025. They have over five major centers (cities) of nano science and technology development. Therefore, their weapons will be lighter, faster, and deadlier. Unfortunately, Armenia or Artsakh do not have a R&D center for military weapon production for the time being. They have to depend on imports until they get their act together.
China provides almost all the required armaments to the US. In fact, most of the United States’ military needs are obtained from China. This indicates that China is able to produce rather quality armaments to satisfy the need of the most powerful nation in the world.
One fifth (20%) of the world production is made in China. They have the industrial structure. They have the labor-based technology for producing arms at a fraction of what other countries would charge.
In sum, countries with outmoded weapons such as Armenia and Artsakh are, leave themselves open to disaster. We cannot afford to lose any more of our new generation defending the Homeland with “sticks and stones”.
The Armenian Diaspora must take an active role in the governance of the external affairs of our homeland. They should get organized, at least form an international committee to have a commanding control of signing outsourcing contracts with Chinese manufactures’ representatives. This does not mean we do not trust our next to kins in Armenia. It means collaboration for synergistic results.
We would be spinning our wheels on hoping the international community to judge the morality of President Ilham Aliyev,s actions. Besides, we should not waste time. For our national security, it is crucial that we avoid making the same deadly mistakes next time around. Our loss in lives and territory is large enough to sound a loud and sobering clarion to prepare for the next round of aggression. Next time, Armenian forces, armed with laser-based modern weapons, will crush the enemy without a shadow of a doubt.
Despite outmoded weapons, in spite of being outgunned and outnumbered, the Armenian brave soldiers put up a valiant defense against the coalition of the adversary, namely Turkey, Azerbaijan, and a host of other forces.. The proof is in the pudding: The war casualties of the adversary (2,800 deaths) were almost equal to that of Armenian forces (3,000 deaths). It has been an expensive victory for Azerbaijan. This indicates that had the Armenian soldiers the benefit of modern weapons, they would have come out victorious in no uncertain terms.
When President Ilham Aliyev states that “Karabakh is Azerbaijan,” it is not even a veiled threat. It should be a wakeup call for Armenians around the world to unite for the coming of another Azeri onslaught, through its “atmospheric river” storm brewed up by Turkey, ISIS jihadists, Syrian and Libyan mercenaries, and volunteers from other Muslim countries.
The tears of the Armenian mother are not dry yet on her face for her fallen soldier son. She solemnly hopes and prays not to lose another son in vain. Her cry for help is echoing in the four corners of the world.
Yes, we are our brother’s keeper. The Diaspora should step up to fill this gap in the preparation against any future aggression. Arming and equipping for war is essential for not repeating the disaster of Artsakh War of 2020.
The best method of defense is to proactively prepare for deterring war or to defeat serious aggression presented by Azerbaijani/Turkish combined forces. The resulting peace of mind and the healing of the wounded pride are sorely needed by the people of Armenia, Artsakh, and the Diaspora. They are anxious to know that what is left of their historical province of Artsakh is in secure hands of those brave soldiers prepared for war, peace, and the regaining of Armenian lost lands, especially Shushi —Armenia’s crown jewel city of its longstanding culture and heritage..