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NEWS | Oct. 1, 2020

Why Armenia and Azerbaijan Are on the Brink of War

By Jeff Mankoff Foreign Affairs

Demonstrators holding Azeri and Turkish flags shout slogans during a protest against Armenia near the Consulate of Azerbaijan in Istanbul, Turkey, Sept. 29, 2020.
Demonstrators holding Azeri and Turkish flags shout slogans during a protest against Armenia near the Consulate of Azerbaijan in Istanbul, Turkey, Sept. 29, 2020.
Demonstrators holding Azeri and Turkish flags shout slogans during a protest against Armenia near the Consulate of Azerbaijan in Istanbul, Turkey, Sept. 29, 2020.
Azeri Demonstrators
Demonstrators holding Azeri and Turkish flags shout slogans during a protest against Armenia near the Consulate of Azerbaijan in Istanbul, Turkey, Sept. 29, 2020.
Photo By: Reuters/VOA
VIRIN: 201001-D-BD104-001

On September 27, significant fighting broke out between the militaries of Armenia and Azerbaijan, two states that have been locked in an intractable conflict over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh since the last days of the Soviet Union. Domestic political factors in both countries militate against compromise. The international context surrounding the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has also shifted in ways that complicate efforts to peacefully address the underlying dispute. In particular, Turkey’s growing involvement in a conflict in which Russia has long been the dominant player risks both giving the protagonists—especially Azerbaijan—an incentive to keep fighting and opening up a new front in the Turkish-Russian rivalry that has already engulfed Syria, Libya, and to a lesser extent Ukraine.

Read the rest at Foreign Affairs - 

Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, Center for Strategic Research at National Defense University.