Operation Iron Fist: Lessons from the Second Karabakh War

This discussion paper analyses the contemporary background to the Karabakh War and focuses on the lessons learned.

A few central lessons can be drawn from the Second Karabakh War. First, the military techniques, preparation and extensive use of new military technologies, such as drones, played a decisive role in the conflict. Secondly, global diplomacy was greatly tested throughout the course of the conflict. New alliances were formed while old ones were questioned, and traditional mediators, such as the OSCE, arguably lost a degree of prestige. An important takeaway relates to the notion of ‘frozen conflicts’. The world witnessed a military solution – rather than a diplomatic one – to a frozen conflict, a reality that marks a new phase in discussions regarding the future of the region and co-existence between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

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