Friday, July 31, 2009

Will demographics resolve issue of Karabakh?

EurasiaNet Insight has published an interesting article about the dwindling pool of potential conscripts for the Armenian army. One plan to address the problem would remove university enrollment as reason for exemption from military service. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan has been growing in military strength.

It makes me wonder. Wouldn't Armenia have been better off negotiating from a position of strength? The country's military position is bound to weaken, given demographic factors and Azerbaijan's continuing petro-dollar fueled investment in military hardware. What sort of agreement will Armenia agree to when its hand is weaker? Or will internal politics in Azerbaijan move its rulers to force the issue? Nothing like a good war to distract people from corruption at the top!

EurasiaNet Eurasia Insight - Armenia: Military Planners Confront Conscript Shortfall, Mull an End to College Exemption

And here is an article about the current stalemate in peace talks.....


Onnik Krikorian said...

Well, it would be nice if youth in Armenia reacted against the move to either change the rules or possibly even extend conscription and start to realize that the unresolved conflict does actually adversely affect their lives.

In the past, students have protested when the government considers changing exemption and always has the government caved in out of fear of activating youth. This time, however, the demographic crisis must make it harder to do now.


Hmm... but removing waiver for university students does not solve the problem, because it does not increase the people eligible for the draft. Some people who enter universities are temporarily exempted, while others who finish universities do take their place. Some kind of balance - in any way, to decide whether those people should serve immediately or with a four year delay change nothing.

Maybe time to draft women also?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing a nice article.