Photo Credit – Wikimedia

Salami Chef of the Caucus by Dhanuka Dickwella

Salami is undoubtedly a great food of choice for millions around the world. There are many regions famous for this lovely food & among them Azerbaijan is certainly not. But they nevertheless are mastering a Salami slicing of their own in the Caucasus.

Salami tactics from a strategic perspective is the way of achieving one’s goal bit by bit. One slice at a time. This method has been used globally by various powers to undermine their oppositions & achieve a total dominance of their spheres of interest.

This is exactly what is unfolding in the Karabakh region. As mentioned by the earlier Article “The Azeri Gambit” , the Azeri regime is slowly but gradually & steadily progressing with their long plan.

As predicted, first there was a small incursion into the Armenian held parts followed by gunfire , casualty reporting & the media circus. The Armenians were named the aggressor & the victim was none other than the provocateur himself – Azerbaijan. Then there was the strategic observation. Observing the reactions from concerned parties. Armenians, Russians, European Union, United Nations, United States & the international community in general. Based on the analysis of the reactions the Azeris decided to launch the unprovoked attack on an Armenian position.

The attack was brazen, unprovoked, captured in high resolution videos, released to the media by the Azeri defense establishments. There were deaths & injuries of Armenian servicemen. Unleashing the attack is one thing but audacity of releasing it through official channels is something completely different. Why did the Azeris go into such levels of openly admitting to it. This is exactly where the Salami tactics would appear. There will be many more such attacks in time to come & Azeris will report it just as they did this one to give an impression that is the new normal of Karabakh. It is just another day of attack & the business goes as usual.

Now they are openly asking for “demilitarization of the Armenians in Karabakh. They are not concealing the final goal. They want to create completely vulnerable, defenseless, surrounded & traumatized citizens at the mercy of the Russian Peace Keeping force. The attacks will go in parallel to their daily demand of a demilitarized Artsakh. Finally they will create a narrative as “ until Artsakh army is disbanded & demilitarized their forces will be targeted. This will be the Elephant in the room. Russian media outlets reported this demand in a further sign of a doomed future.

The first attack will be used as a case study by the Azeris to observe the world reaction & to assess its future plans. This was carried out at one of the most chaotic times of modern history so the reactions were very watered down , mild & next to unimportant. There were a couple of American senators who spoke out against the attack & went further condemning it. There were calls for calm & restraint but was there a global outrage & total condemnation of the unprovoked , unjust attack on Armenians ? Did the EU impose a travel ban on the preparators or threatened sanctions on Azeris if they continue this path ? No. The news slipped away after 24 hours & despite efforts by the Armenian public to keep it a float was not fruited.

Azeris will keep killing & maiming the Armenians in Artsakh. Always a step short of an all out assault. So the reactions of the stakeholders will always be the same. Calls for calm & restrain & a set of isolated condemnations. There will be no need for heavy handed diplomacy or military actions against the Azeris since it’s one attack at a time. Azeris will come up with their own terms & conditions for a halt of the attacks. In exchange for a totally demilitarized Artsakh. This is where this game of chicken is heading towards. In exchange for total calmness of the fronts, the Armenians in Artsakh will be asked to give up their own defenses. Then there will be one final push where Azeris will finish off the Karabakh issue once & for all.

It is a fact that neither the European Union nor the Americans can help the Armenians in a sensible manner. Only the Russians can make a real call on this. They seem to be working with an understanding with the Azeris though. Are the Russians culpable in this ? Will the Russians throw the Armeinas under the bus ? Well not unless they get a sweet deal as sweet as this one and a strategic posturing that is really worth it. The Russians’ complicity with the Turkish administration is what is worth a proper observation. Russians could be lured into a much worth deal in Syria, Libya or even the Ukrainian conflict. A Turkish pullout of Syria & a demilitarized & subjugated Idlib will be worth for Rusiians in exchange for a demilitarized Artakash. It is always where the stakes are higher.

The question is whether or not the Armenians decide to ignore & live with such a dangerous reality that seems to be unfolding right in front of their eyes. Will they wake up now & start to do something about it is totally in the interest of that nation’s future survival. Otherwise it will be a day late and a Dollar short for the Armenians in this century.

By Dhanuka Dickwella

Graduated from the university of Colombo with a masters in International Relations. Have worked in a number of fields including travel, event management & political campaign management. Contributed to social welfare , youth upbringing & education through my own social foundation. Was a self made - grassroot politician. Held the position of a deputy chair of a political caucus , the chair of the graduates association of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party in the District of Kegalle. Served the people of Kegalle District as a council member. Passionate writer, blogger & political analyst. Currently working as a strategist for a global digital health initiative. A father of a loving daughter. Above all - a proud & a patriotic Sri Lankan.

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