September 29-October 5, 2022 | Issue 20 - Weapons & Tactics
Yannik Hunold, Isaiah Johnson, Martina Sclaverano, W&T
Argyrios Chatziilias, Editor; Manja Vitasovic, Senior Editor
Disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh
Date: September 29, 2022
Location: Yerevan, Armenia
Parties involved: Armenia; Armenian Government; Armenian armed forces; Azerbaijan; Russia; India; China
The event: Armenia has purchased missiles, ammunition, and multiple barrel rocket launchers from India after recent clashes with Azerbaijan that occurred around the contested Nagorno-Karabakh border region. This is the first time India exported their domestically produced rocket launchers. India has previously sold radar systems to Armenia in 2020. The weapon deal with Armenia showcases India’s efforts to establish itself as a weapon-exporting country as the government announced that it will be selling weapon systems worth over four billion USD by 2025.
Analysis & Implications:
The weapon deliveries to Armenia will almost certainly undermine the cease-fire in place with Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan will almost certainly perceive the delivery as a threat. There is a roughly even chance for new violent clashes in the shared border region if Azerbaijan attempts to destroy the new rocket launchers. Following the weapon deliveries, the establishment of a permanent peace treaty between the warring parties is unlikely, as the military build-up will almost certainly increase tensions.
Armenia will likely continue to purchase Indian weaponry to reduce its dependence on the Soviet Union era, and on Russian-manufactured weapon systems. Armenia will almost certainly try to secure constant weapons deliveries from India and other countries in the future, as Russian supply will very likely become less reliable after its military involvement in Ukraine and the Western sanctions on its defense industry. Indian-designed weapons will very likely require additional training for Armenian soldiers used to Soviet-era Russian-designed equipment. These new weapons systems will almost certainly reduce interoperability between Russian and Armenian forces, likely signaling a change in Armenian military doctrine.
India will almost certainly continue to export weapons to Armenia, likely to become a major weapons exporter. Former Soviet Union states in central Asia that still rely on older Soviet and Russian equipment, are likely trade partners for India. These countries will unlikely be able to buy sophisticated weapon systems from established exporters like the US or Germany and will very likely be inclined to purchase the more affordable weaponry from India. India will almost certainly attempt to negotiate with countries threatened by China, likely especially those located in the South China Sea in light of the recent Chinese territorial claims.
Date: September 30, 2022
Location: Kaaj education center, Kabul, Afghanistan
Parties involved: Taliban; Afghan government; Islamic State of Khorasan Province; Afghani citizens; Hazara minority
The event: A bomb was detonated in the Kaaj education center in Kabul, in a neighborhood mainly inhabited by the Hazara minority. There is at least 25 dead, most of which are young women who were in the center practicing simulations for the college entrance exam. No organization has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, although the ISKP is most likely responsible. The ISKP has already conducted several attacks, including suicide bombings against Hazara communities in Kabul, and other remote regions, to which the Taliban government reportedly did not react.
Analysis & Implications:
Afghan Taliban government will very unlikely implement counter-terrorism measures to protect other Hazara facilities. As the Taliban government historically opposed female education, they will very unlikely condemn this attack and will unlikely invest in preventing similar ones in educational centers. There is a roughly even chance that the ISKP will continue targeting neighborhoods composed of minority groups in Kabul, likely to expand their influence and challenge the Taliban government. If the ISKP targets Sunni-majority areas, the Taliban will likely feel more threatened, and will likely counterattack by targeting ISKP leaders and operative bases.
Failure to prevent terrorist attacks against the Hazara community will almost certainly undermine Hazara’s support of the Taliban. Religious and ethnic minorities in Afghanistan will very likely attempt to obtain weapons, likely to ensure their own protection. Taliban will likely see minorities’ arming themselves as a challenge to their legitimacy and will likely try to subjugate them with violence.
The Hazara community will likely try to impose makeshift security systems, likely to become more proactive in providing security to their neighborhoods. Hazara community leaders will likely organize neighborhood watches to surveil the high-risk facilities in their settlements, which are likely targets for further ISKP attacks. Hazara communities will likely attempt to interrogate local residents, likely to try to identify and protect themselves against ISKP collaborators. Hazara militias will likely gain members, who will almost certainly attempt to guard Hazara communities and mosques at times of worship with armed patrols.
 “Map of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as of September 2022” by Golden licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0
 India signs deal with Armenia for export of missiles, weapon systems, Business Standard, September 2022 https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/india-signs-deal-with-armenia-for-export-of-missiles-weapon-systems-122092900208_1.html
 At least 25 dead after suicide bomb blast at educational center in Kabul, CNN, September 2022 https://edition.cnn.com/2022/09/30/asia/kabul-explosion-education-center-intl-hnk/index.html