Here’s the full version of the remarks that I gave to Azerbaijan’s Caliber.az, which were included in their article titled “Does US support Armenia’s revanchist fantasies?”
The US’ goal is to “lure” Armenia away from Russia and the Moscow-led CSTO mutual defense alliance of which it’s a part, to which end it’s now focusing on the military dimension of this plan via the means that were recently agreed to. American policymakers appear to have concluded that Armenia’s defeat in Karabakh created an opportunity for them to expand their influence in that country at Russia’s expense by exploiting widespread but misplaced resentment against Moscow in the aftermath of that conflict.
Many Armenians fell under the influence of their diaspora’s propaganda alleging that Russia was responsible for the defeat and that this justifies distancing their country from it, but the reality is that the CSTO’s mutual defense obligations don’t extend into Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory. Nevertheless, this false perception pervades across society and has been taken advantage of by America to make its latest military moves in Armenia.
The US’ strategic goals are several. First, it wants to worsen Armenian-Russian relations in general, with the second goal being to do so in particular when it comes to their military cooperation. The third one builds upon this and concerns the American-Armenian cooperation that was just agreed to, which could pose challenges to Russian-Armenian cooperation due to the US’ planned involvement in that country’s command and control systems. Simply put, the US might be able to spy on Russia through Armenia.
This isn’t a conspiracy theory like some critics might instinctively claim but based on the US’ concerns about some of its own partners’ military cooperation with Russia. America has previously claimed that those like India and Turkiye that purchase its rival’s S-400 air defense systems might open themselves up to the possibility of Russia secretly collecting intelligence on their military cooperation with the US. It was upon this pretext that it sanctioned Turkiye and halted some forms of cooperation between them.
Regardless of whether these specific concerns are valid or not, the fact of the matter is that they were publicly expressed by American policymakers and are relevant when it comes to Russian interests regarding that country’s newfound military cooperation with Armenia. Having explained that, the fourth strategic goal that the US is seeking to advance involves turning Armenia into its bastion of regional influence. It already hosts one of its largest embassies in the world, so this is the next phase of that plan.
Finally, if the US successfully worsens Armenian-Russian relations in general and regarding their military cooperation in particular so as to gradually turn that country into its bastion of regional influence, then it’ll eventually need to reassert its influence over Georgia in order to complete this geopolitical project. That country’s incumbent government is very pragmatic and refuses to impose sanctions against Russia despite the US’ demands, which has caused some trouble in bilateral relations over the past year.
So long as Georgia proudly retains its strategic autonomy in what many have described as the New Cold War, then the US cannot maximally exploit Armenia as its bastion of regional influence, ergo the need to either coerce Tbilisi into doing its bidding or carry out regime change against it if this isn’t possible. Only then can the US be assured of unrestricted military access to Armenia and the strategic leverage this could provide vis-à-vis Iran, Russia, Turkiye, and even Azerbaijan.
It’ll be difficult for those four affected countries to counter the US’ geopolitical project in Armenia, but closer military-strategic coordination between them – however difficult this may be to achieve regarding Azerbaijan and Turkiye’s related ties with Iran – could help mitigate some of the damage. If the US continues to gradually expand its influence over Armenia in all domains, especially the military one, then regional stability could be threatened if it one day decides to support that country’s revanchist fantasies.
Caliber.az included these remarks in their article titled “Does US support Armenia’s revanchist fantasies?”