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The Second Nagorno-Karabakh War, Two Weeks In
Posted by: freeradical
Date: October 14, 2020 09:34PM
Thank God we haven't gotten involved here. It's none of our damn business. The one saving grace about Trump is that he understands this.

This is a good summary of how things really are there.

I think that Sultan Recep has bitten off a bit more than he can chew, and that he's overextended. We'll see.



This is a brief operational analysis of the current fighting and the military balance between the two sides. Azerbaijan’s initial combined arms offensive against Armenian lines was not successful in breaking through and securing territorial gains, but its forces have pushed back Armenian defenses in the south, along two vectors near the Iranian border. Azerbaijani forces have made minor gains to the north, and in a third sector of the line, but these aredifficult to discern due to the prevalence of false claims on both sides. Outside of the southern thrust, Azerbaijan has moved the line several few kilometers near Madaghiz and Merdinli.

Azerbaijan’s drone fleet has been pummeling Armenian forces, which are protected by antiquated air defenses. Both sides have employed large caliber rocket systems, cluster munitions, and tactical missiles against each other’s critical infrastructure. Armenia’s armor and air defenses are steadily wearing down but Azerbaijan has not been able to turn tactical successes into substantial operational gains. Ground assaults have proven costly, and rather than a blitzkrieg it has become a war of attrition. This conflict offers useful insights on the character of modern war, though mostly at the tactical level, which should be consumed judiciously...

...The lessons from this conflict are consistent with those of other wars in the latter 20th century: It is much better to have a smaller ground force that is well defended from the air, than a vast armored force that is completely exposed to sensors and airpower from above. Well prepared defenses, if insufficiently protected or camouflaged from the air — which is increasingly difficult — are naturally vulnerable. The diffusion of remotely operated systems will outpace that of air defenses or specialized counter-drone systems, rendering older generations of air defense largely obsolete. Drones and loitering munitions will be, for some time, cheaper to acquire than the requisite defenses. And one can distribute forces, but they should be concentrated for assaults. There is no way getting around canalizing terrain, at least not until the battlefield features hover tanks. That tanks are vulnerable to anti-tank weapons should come as no surprise, but other vehicles, which trade survivability for maneuverability, seem to fare no better against anti-tank guided missiles. Vulnerable or not, it is unclear what other vehicle can achieve the tank’s mission on the battlefield.

Finally, fetishizing combat video feeds plays to a Western intellectual preference for the tactical, and system on system evaluations, while ignoring the basic fact that Azerbaijan has not been able to attain a significant operational success. This perhaps is the most important lesson of the conflict: Tactical successes, which may appear impressive, can fail to add up to an operational breakthrough. In such cases, military strategy turns to the old familiar: a battle of attrition.
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Re: The Second Nagorno-Karabakh War, Two Weeks In
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 15, 2020 10:04AM
Thank God we haven't gotten involved here. It's none of our damn business. The one saving grace about Trump is that he understands this.
1- No Russian interests
2- No Trump properties
3- No military industrial complex lobbying for arms sales
4- NATO Ally Turkey is involved, but Trump hates NATO because Russia.

That said, its a war. And any war is a tragedy. The Russian/ Ukranian war is still going on, and Trump isn't doing anything there.
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Re: The Second Nagorno-Karabakh War, Two Weeks In
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: October 15, 2020 10:41AM
I know someone from Azerbaijan, and as best I understand her take:

1. Very significant civilian casualties in Azerbaijan.
2. Turkey has a real grudge against Armenia.
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