On April 16, 2013, Foreign Policy Journal published an article by Aram Avetisyan, Counselor at the Office of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in the United States. Named “In Search of Effective Deterrence”, the publication covers major risks for renewed war in the South Asia and the South Caucasus.
In both cases, bellicose statements and aggressive rhetoric by regimes of Kim Jong Un of North Korea and Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan pose the major threat to regional stability and security.
The full text of the article is provided below:
The recent threats of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un about attacks against the U.S. and its ally South Korea continues to be a source of global concern. A new wave of aggressive rhetoric elevated tensions to a high level in the South Asian region, including a risk of nuclear strikes. Regardless of how serious those threats may be, they do threaten stability and regional security, leading to escalation and increasing possibility of war.
The irresponsible and unpredictable North Korean totalitarian regime continuously uses escalating rhetoric as a political instrument blackmailing the world. The aggressive rhetoric and threats of new war have become more pronounced since the young dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, came to power after the death of his father in 2012.
American and international figures have reacted. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Pyongyang’s threats of military action against South Korea and the United States “provocative, dangerous and reckless.” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (originally from South Korea) described the North Korean behavior as being on a “collision course with the international community”. Condemnations came from many other countries as well.
At the other side of Asia, in Azerbaijan, another dictator who also inherited power from his father, Ilham Aliev, continuously uses bellicose rhetoric and threatening to restart a war against its neighboring Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Aliyev and his regime are known as one of the most corrupted in the world. Fueled by revenues from oil production, Aliyev and family have stashed their cash in the offshore zones.
Like North Korea’s, Azerbaijan’s warmongering should not be ignored since a new war in the South Caucasus could also turn quite catastrophic. Taking into consideration the arms build-up launched by Azerbaijan and its continuing weapons accumulation, a new war could devastate a whole region and cause dire humanitarian consequences for all sides of the conflict.
If the international community desires peace and stability in the South Caucasus, it should take Azerbaijan to task for North Korean style rhetoric. Azerbaijan’s Aliev should as also stop his hate rhetoric, and prepare his country for peace by ruling out military solutions and refraining from threats to use force as urged by the United States and the rest of international community. Otherwise, while brandishing their arms, dictators of all kinds will continue to blackmail the world while seeking to keep their compatriots captive in their dictatorial systems.