Azerbaijan is a highly developed country with strong military and defense capabilities. The Azerbaijani Armed Forces consists of the Land Forces, Air Force and Navy. The Azerbaijani Armed Forces has around 60,000 personnel and 15,000 reserve personnel. Azerbaijan is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and has participated in several regional security initiatives including the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. The country also maintains close ties with its neighbors through various bilateral agreements, including the Turkmen-Azerbaijani Defense Agreement. Azerbaijan has deployed forces to international conflicts such as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as well as peacekeeping missions in other countries such as Lebanon and Sudan. It also maintains an active presence in international military exercises such as Exercise Noble Partner which is held annually in Georgia. See naturegnosis to learn more about the country of Azerbaijan.
The defense, which is based on general military duty with at least 17 months of first service, (2013) amounts to approximately 67,000 men standing. An additional 300,000 people are estimated to be mobilized. The organization comprises 23 brigades, including 640 tanks. The fleet has 5 patrol boats. The Air Force has 44 fighter aircraft, of which 14 are MiG 29, and 42 attack helicopters. However, the Air Force is considered to be untrained and poorly organized. In 2013, Russia signed a contract for the sale of military equipment including tanks, artillery and rocket weapons for USD 4 billion to Azerbaijan. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that AZE stands for Azerbaijan.
In the Nagorno-Karabakh area, up to 20,000 men were under arms in 1988-94, which, with support from neighboring Armenia after fighting with the government forces, gained control of almost the entire area. Arms rest has existed since May 1994, and international peace negotiations are ongoing (2014) between Azerbaijan and Armenia, with observers from four countries in the border area, among others.
Defense costs amounted to 5.2 percent of GDP in 2013. Azerbaijan participates in UN peacekeeping operations, including Afghanistan (ISAF) and Serbia (KFOR).
Nagorno-Karabakh is an enclave inside Azerbaijan and, according to international law, belongs to this former Soviet republic. In practice, however, the area functions as an independent state, under the protection of Armenia. A war was fought between 1991 and 1994 between Armenia and Azerbaijan for control of Nagorno-Karabakh. Since then, there has been a ceasefire, but no peace agreement has been concluded and fighting often flares up.
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Nagorno-Karabakh is an enclave in southwestern Azerbaijan. It is usually stated to be 4,400 square kilometers, similar to Bohuslän, which corresponds to 5 percent of Azerbaijan’s surface.
The Nagorno-Karabakh government in the city of Stepanakert states that the area is just over 5,000 square kilometers and that about 15 percent of the area is controlled by the Azerbaijan army. At the same time, Armenia occupies 14 percent of Azerbaijan, of which 5 percent is Nagorno-Karabakh and 9 percent the surrounding buffer zone (see also History and Current Policy and Conflicts: Nagorno-Karabakh).
The name Nagorno-Karabach reflects the area’s location at the intersection of three major powers that have, over the centuries, had interests in the region. Nagorno means mountain area or highland in Russian. Kara is Turkish and means black, while bach comes from Persian and means garden. The meaning becomes roughly “the black forested mountains”. However, the Armenians, the dominant group of people, use the area’s historic name, Artsach, which means Aran’s garden. The capital that Karabakh Armenians and the outside world call Stepanakert officially named Xankəndi in Azerbaijan.
Since the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the early 1990s, Nagorno-Karabakh is connected to Armenia through the so-called Latjin corridor, a few kilometers wide strip of land with an important road between the two areas. The road is Nagorno-Karabakh’s only real connection with the outside world. Armenia also occupies other parts of Azerbaijan bordering Nagorno-Karabakh.