Azerbaijan’s second Karabakh strategy highlights modern tactics

Forbes reports Azerbaijan’s 44 Day War 

…Meanwhile, The Diplomat says Taiwan can learn a few things from the Second Karabakh conflict 

Rachel Brooks

March 27, 2021 

A close up of drones used in modern warfare decoy air force. “IAI Harop UAV” by Ashwin Kumar is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In a moment of press relations progress between the western media and the Southern Caucasus nation, Forbes reported Azerbaijan’s 44 Day War and outcome as the victor. The news outlet noted that Armenia went into the 2020 conflict with the expectation that it might continue with the same duration as the First Karabakh conflict of 1988-1994 era. At the outset of the 44-Day war, Armenia had an arsenal of Russian-manufactured T-72 battle tanks at its disposal. The Armenian tank arsenal was destroyed in mass numbers during the events of the 44 Day conflict.  

However, in the interim between 1994 and 2020, Azerbaijan had invested heavily in its defense department. Likewise, Eric Chan with The Diplomat reported that Azerbaijan went into the conflict prepared for trench defense, yet approached the new conflict with “flexible thinking.” Eric Chan noted the learning curve that Azerbaijan’s strategy, which employed the use of drones and decoys as well, could provide to Taiwan in the threat of modern warfare. 

“These forces were then correspondingly demoralized by a way of war that had nothing to do with the old Soviet firepower-attrition method that gave Armenia the victory in 1994,” wrote Chan.

“The Armenians were fixed and then destroyed – not just in position, but mentally as well.’

The Diplomat then called Azerbaijan’s drone strategy “the game of drones” and noted its prominent importance in strategy for the 44 Day conflict. Chan noted that Taiwan could learn to “play the game of drones” for its own tactical advantages.

The Diplomat then called Azerbaijan’s drone strategy “the game of drones” and noted its prominent importance in strategy for the 44 Day conflict. 

“Published writings from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) reciprocate with a focus on the Joint Firepower Strike use of massed missiles to destroy Taiwan airpower and paralyze defensive capability,” wrote Chan. 

He then noted the important lesson of the Karabakh conflict in the theater of an air force supplement. Azerbaijan reportedly employed the use of the Israeli-manufactured “suicide drone” for decoy aircraft to achieve this purpose.  

“However, the first and most obvious lesson of the Armenia-Azerbaijan war is that through massed unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), it is possible for ground forces to cheaply replicate elements of a robust air force at a localized level,” wrote Chan. 

In the article “The Last Azerbaijan-Armenia War Changed How Small Nations Fight Smaller Battles,” the reporter Paul Iddon attributed Azerbaijan’s victory to a strategy of future war prep. Iddon called Azerbaijan’s victory a “devastating and decisive” defeat of Armenian forces, in a conflict that reached its eventual climax with a Russian-brokered ceasefire.