Why everything about the way we report on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is wrong – http://wp.me/p6N1ln-mi
Every time we tweet, retweet, write a blog post, or publish an article about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, we become unwilling combatants in a decades long war that, if we’re being honest with ourselves, we know very little about. The so-called ‘frozen conflict’ (a cleverly configured yet analytically useless oxymoron if there ever was one) is less about the contested territory that spawned it, and more about deflecting attention away from two illiberal regimes that have grown disparagingly repressive and inattentive to the needs of their people. In this sense, the attention we give it, void any meaningful details about the conditions on the front, or developments leading to its resolution, end up boosting, in one way or another, these regime’s efforts to one-up each other in the world of social media and world opinion.
Both the Azerbaijani and Armenian governments have spent enormous sums on building up their armed forces, while their economies have grown increasingly fragile, and their populations despondent about the status quo. Azerbaijan has squandered more than $20 billion on defense spending over the last decade. By some accounts, its annual spending is greater than Armenia’s entire state budget. Meanwhile, Armenia has been forced to accept Russian military assistance and military bases on their territory in order to keep up with their neighbor in the vain hope that a Russian presence will act as a deterrent. Each side is locked into a dangerous and illusory game that spending more, or acquiring the latest technology, will give them the edge over the other. It won’t.