Tag Archives: Nagorno Karabakh

Dr. Vahan Dilanyan and Vilen Khlgatyan discuss Non-Kinetic Warfare in the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict

On March 19, Dr. Vahan Dilanyan, Chairman of Political Developments Research Center and Vilen Khlgatyan, Vice-Chairman of Political Developments Research Center and IWP Class of 2013, discussed “Non-Kinetic Warfare in the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict” at an event sponsored by the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies at The Institute of World Politics.

In remarks that were shared with attendees via video, Dr. Dilanyan referred to the dynamic risks associated with frozen conflicts highlighting the primacy of the factor of information in the analysis of conflicts. According to him, non-kinetic warfare in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is significantly different from the overall perception, since it invovles a combination of hatred propaganda, racism and murder promotion. Mentioning the extradited Azerbaijani murderer and Baku’s warlike rhetoric, he noted that the aforementioned create an information atmosphere of Armenophobia. “Thus, if the youth in Armenia and NKR determine their career path through having good education, then what are the youth in Azerbaijan to think if they see a murderer is given a hero’s welcome, a new title and the highest state support?” he said, adding: “similar racism was advocated in the Third Reich during the 1930s and 40s, and we saw where that anti-Jewish propaganda led.”

Among other dimensions of the information policy of Azerbaijan, Dr. Dilanyan outlined the closed culture, pointing to the recent US State Department report and the Aliyev regime’s mobilization of a war-prone society. Another feature is the formation of a victim identity, thus attempting to develop a moral high ground for another war against Nagorno Karabakh. Noting the Khojaly events, a self-inflicted wound against its own population, he also mentioned the recent news of an Azerbaijani family asking Armenian authorities for a political asylum.

He commented that the aforementioned develops a concern that the irrational facets of the advocated hatred culture in Azerbaijan serve as a basis for the development of a pathological cruelty which is one of the roots of terrorism; he also noted potential development of grassroots jihadists.  Referring to Armenia’s effective participation in counter-terrorism and peacekeeping missions, Dr. Dilanyan mentioned the institutional memory of the birth of terrorists in Azerbaijan, which comes from the participation of Afghan mujahedeen on the side of Azerbaijan during the Karabakh War.

Dr. Dilanyan said that Azerbaijan’s policy threatens the overall stability and security in the region. Before and during conflict settlement meetings, Azerbaijani troops implement military diversions on the borderline; shoot innocent people living near the border regions, and through this, cynically violate the humanitarian principles, which are affirmed in the Geneva Conventions and the Helsinki Final Act principle of refraining from the use of force and threat of use of force.

He then announced that the international community and namely the OSCE have been reluctant to openly condemn such behavior and the Co-chairmen’s policy of false parity or pampering of Azerbaijan risked fragile stability. “Just as the same Afghan mujahedeen, supported by the U.S. during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, promoted their jihad against atheist communists, and then a decade later struck the US on 9/11, similarly the currently supported elements may become authors of new terror attacks”, he said.

During the first part of his speech PDRC Vice-Chairman Vilen Khlgatyan referred to the historical, political, legal and socio-cultural roots of the Karabakh conflict.

In the context of the discussion on the essence and meaning of non-kinetic warfare, Mr. Khlgatyan outlined its information, political and psychological dimensions, which led to him present specific examples of appropriate policies implemented by the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides.

Talking about the “Safarov” profile of Azerbaijan, he noted the Aliyev’s regime’s spending of financial resources, in the context of which he mentioned the establishments of Aliyev statues in various cities, proposals of false resolutions of Khojaly events, and huge financial policies being implemented in various think tanks and media platforms.

Regarding the Khojaly, among other arguments, he mentioned the stance of Azerbaijan’s first president Mutalibov, who maintains that Khojaly was a false flag operation aimed at removing him from power.   Mr. Khlgatyan shared images of dead civilians which the Azerbaijani government claims are photos of victims from Khojaly, but in reality were photographs taken from Kosovo, Gaza, and Turkey.

Talking on the “one nation, two states” slogan, Khlgatyan noted that pan-Turkism strategy is still relevant, since Turkey and Azerbaijan maintain an embargo against Armenia and continue to hold hostile political positions against Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora.  Baku’s use of the Islamic factor was presented as well.  For example, to Western states, Baku claims it is a secular Muslim state, and tolerant of all peoples and faiths, but to the Islamic world, chiefly via the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Aliyev regime presents itself as a pious Muslim state engaged in a conflict against infidel Christian Armenians.

As a logical continuation of war-prone behavior, Mr. Khlgatyan outlined the unprecedented increase of the Azerbaijani military budget, which aims to bankrupt Armenia and get official Yerevan to make concessions at the negotiation table.  However, this policy has failed because it has only increased Armenia’s perception as a fortress under siege, and because Russia has helped Armenia maintain a balance of forces so as to keep the status quo intact in the South Caucasus.

Among the examples of non-kinetic warfare conducted by the Armenian side, Mr. Khlgatyan noted the usage of Armenian terms instead Turkish/Azerbaijani and Soviet geographic place names: for example Artsakh instead of Karabakh.  He also mentioned the associating of Azerbaijanis with Turks, the ultimate “other” for Armenians in the national narrative, which can be seen in the portrayal of the victory of Karabakhi forces in the Karabakh War as halting a second genocide against Armenians.  And finally, he discussed the Talysh radio broadcasts from Karabakh that aim to present much needed cultural nourishment to the captive peoples of Azerbaijan, in this case the Talysh of southeastern Azerbaijan.

Please click here to download the PowerPoint presentation from this lecture.

Non-Kinetic Warfare in the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict

You are cordially invited to a lecture on the topic of 

Non-Kinetic Warfare in the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict

Dr. Vahan Dilanyan
Chairman, Political Developments Research Center

Vilen Khlgatyan
Vice-Chairman, Political Developments Research Center

Wednesday, March 19
2:00 PM

The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
Parking map


This lecture is sponsored by the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies.

Kosciuszko Chair Logo

Since ancient times, political leaders have known that the most ideal way to win a conflict is to subdue one’s enemy without the use of force. They have also realized that external conflicts are a convenient method to distract the citizenry from socio-political or economic ills.

For 20 years, a ceasefire has held between Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh), joined by Armenia. Though dozens of soldiers from both sides are killed every year as a result of ceasefire violations, the most dynamic facet of the conflict in recent years has been the non-kinetic (information, psychological, and political warfare) aspect of the war.

Dr. Dilanyan and Mr. Khlgatyan will outline the various methods and discuss the specific examples that the opposing parties have used to further their strategic aims. And ultimately what effect these agitations have upon the conflict resolution process spearheaded by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairman countries (USA, France, Russia).

Vahan Dilanyan, Ph.D. is a recognized expert on Armenian foreign policy, conflict resolution and regional security, with a focus on the FSU territory and the Middle East. He serves as the Chairman of the Political Developments Research Center (PDRC), a think-tank based in Yerevan.

Dr. Dilanyan is the author of numerous articles published in popular media and professional publications and a frequent public speaker around the country and abroad.

Vilen Khlgatyan is Vice-Chairman of Political Developments Research Center (PDRC), a virtual think tank based in Yerevan, Armenia. He attended Webster University, where he double majored in International Relations and International Business, and graduated in Spring 2010. He spent a semester studying in Vienna, Austria, where he also attended OPEC and OSCE workshops.

In 2013, he graduated from The Institute of World Politics, where his studies focused on national security and the geopolitics of energy. He wrote his honors thesis on the “Geopolitics of Energy in the South Caucasus.”

Mr. Khlgatyan was a campaign staffer for Congressman Russ Carnahan of Missouri’s 3rd District, who sat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.