Armenians in Iraq

by Nathan Hamm on 10/8/2004 · 1 comment

Over at Blogrel, Matt wonders what Armenia gets out of agreeing to deploy troops to Iraq.

Well, I’m not privy to any special information, but I can speculate. And, my best speculation is that it the motivation is somewhat similar to the second pillar of US-Mongolian defense relations. As Robert Kaplan put it,

Preparing the Mongolian military to play an active role in international peacekeeping, in order to raise its profile in global forums and thus provide Mongolia with diplomatic protection from its large, rapacious neighbors. The dispatch of Mongolian troops to post-Saddam Iraq elicited shrill cries of annoyance from Russia and China, but it was the first building block of this pillar.

I don’t think the value of this goal can be understated for Armenia. As little as I do actually know about the place, I know that it is mired in an unresolved conflict with Azerbaijan — a conflict in which it might not help to curry a little favor with a superpower who might be willing to weigh in at some point in the future.

Also, if I remember correctly, Armenia is a member of Partnership for Peace, and I’ve noticed a keen interest in other participating states to achieve some level of interoperability with US forces. I’m sure that such participation is remembered as well when aid talks are underway.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 1 comment }

upyernoz October 8, 2004 at 6:42 pm

armenia has even more of its interest tied into iraq than mongolia does with international peacekeeping. armenia is in the same neighborhood as iraq, has a major political rivalry with turkey and would be concerned if the turks have too much influence on future iraq, and a cultural connection to many of the iraqi christians

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