Skirmishes over Nagorno-Karabakh explained

Nagorna-Karabakh, sitting in both Armenia and Azerbaijan, is controlled by Azebaijan. Armenia is fighting for it and both countries have their bigger and stronger allies – Russia and Turkey. Former CIA Chief of Station, Brad Johnson, discusses the nature of conflict and players’ motives. Brad is President of Americans for Intelligence Reform, a non-profit and source for info not seen on mainstream media.


brad johnson july 13th uh yet another
00:03
regional border disputes happening this
00:05
one you know is i
00:06
the first question is are the two
00:08
countries you’re going to discuss are
00:09
they both muslim countries
00:11
who’s backing which countries does have
00:13
anything to do with islam
00:14
or is this just an ancient geopolitical
00:17
sort of eastern european balcony thing
00:22
uh i this is uh the countries that we’re
00:25
discussing here are azerbaijan
00:26
and armenia and uh there was uh
00:30
uh there’s a disputed region uh that’s
00:33
called nagorno-karabakh
00:35
this had been under uh azerbaijani
00:38
control
00:39
and was taken by armenia and one of the
00:43
flare-up wars that took place after the
00:45
breakup
00:46
of the soviet union now uh it does it’s
00:50
this goes back certainly to the ottoman
00:52
empire and azerbaijan
00:54
and azerbaijanis are basically turkish
00:57
people
00:58
and that remained in that region after
01:01
the collapse of the ottoman empire
01:03
and so it’s it’s a majority
01:07
uh azerbaijan are are turkish people
01:10
muslim
01:11
and armenia is a
01:14
christian country they are armenian
01:16
orthodox
01:17
although they are not uh part of the
01:21
orthodox church like if you take uh
01:24
russian orthodox uh serbian orthodox
01:27
greek orthodox you take the other
01:28
orthodox churches they’re
01:30
interrelated as orthodox uh but the
01:33
armenian church is not recognized as
01:35
orthodox by the orthodox church they
01:37
split off and are their own
01:39
orthodox church and they control some of
01:41
the
01:42
uh uh christian sites in
01:46
uh jerusalem and things like that
01:48
there’s sort of like a third force if
01:49
you will you’ve got the orthodox
01:51
the catholic and the armenian orthodox
01:52
so probably more than anyone wanted to
01:54
ever know about that
01:55
but what happened in this border
01:57
skirmish is the same scenario that we’re
01:59
seeing play out
02:01
with turkey in a number of areas and
02:04
this is something i’ve mentioned
02:05
repeatedly in a lot of different
02:07
interviews but turkey is trying to
02:08
re-establish the ottoman empire it’s
02:10
playing out in greece and in libya and
02:12
other places in the world
02:14
this is one more so turkey is backing
02:17
azerbaijan
02:18
who then has re uh essentially
02:22
attacked into nagorno-koro karuba the
02:25
disputed region
02:27
trying to take it back and so far this
02:30
appears to have been repulsed by the
02:31
armenians
02:33
and the armenians are backed by russia
02:36
so the armenians are not particularly
02:39
friendly to the united states they’re so
02:40
so they’ve got a great relationship with
02:43
russia
02:44
azerbaijan are more friendly to the
02:46
united states but are
02:48
are far more closely tied to uh turkey
02:51
and so this is that same uh
02:54
kind of surrogate war playing out there
02:57
so azerbaijan their military
03:00
capabilities have been slowly growing
03:02
where the economy of armenia has been
03:04
relatively stagnant they’re
03:06
they’ve got a lot of problems with
03:07
corruption and these sorts of problems
03:09
so the economy
03:10
hasn’t really taken off as you find in a
03:12
number of other former soviet republics
03:14
so they’re a little bit stagnant by
03:16
comparison so over time
03:18
azerbaijan has been gaining enough
03:20
strength to begin to challenge
03:22
this is the first step in that challenge
03:24
this is
03:25
going to continue in that area and
03:27
azerbaijan the turkish backing is
03:29
bound and determined to take back
03:32
nagorno-karabakh
03:33
there are some natural resources in that
03:35
area it’s a beautiful beautiful region
03:38
very picturesque not particularly
03:40
populated
03:41
there’s not a lot there but it is a
03:44
pretty region with with
03:46
some uh natural resources timber and
03:49
different things of that nature i don’t
03:50
know how much by way of minerals i don’t
03:52
think
03:52
too much although a couple of things so
03:55
it’s not a big industrial region with a
03:58
lot of wealth and value
04:00
but it is something they’re definitely
04:01
going to fight over and it’s it’s
04:03
it remains to be seen how much backing
04:05
armenia can get out of russia and that’s
04:07
going to be the key
04:08
if they don’t get uh substantial aid out
04:11
of russia
04:12
to fight back against azerbaijan and
04:15
backed by turkey
04:16
then they’ll lose it eventually because
04:17
the population and azerbaijan is growing
04:20
the
04:20
are the one in armenia is stagnant at
04:22
best and their capabilities are growing
04:25
so
04:26
eventually they’ll get to the point
04:27
where they are their army’s big enough
04:28
and well-equipped enough well-trained
04:30
enough that they are
04:31
that they’ll break through the armenian
04:32
lines and take back nagorno-karabakh
04:34
uh without something else to impact it
04:37
so the only way that can be done i think
04:39
is again is if russia intervenes in the
04:41
medium term to build them back up so
04:44
opening salvo
04:45
this is again that same war playing out
04:48
and it’s the two opponents here
04:50
russia and turkey and these are the
04:51
surrogates fighting over
04:52
nagorno-karabakh
04:54
so this will be the third regional
04:56
conflict in which turkey
04:58
and russia are backing opposite sides
05:00
very interesting so i
05:01
i got to ask you this one question
05:03
hopefully you know we can point form
05:05
this
05:06
um but turkey did i mean they’ve been
05:09
threatening for years and years
05:11
as a kind of a geopolitical joker card
05:14
uh they’ve been threatening to turn the
05:15
hagia sofia
05:17
into a mosque and then never doing it
05:19
they do brinksmanship with it having
05:21
prayers outside of it and talking about
05:23
doing it
05:24
and the other day last week they
05:25
actually pushed the button
05:27
and it’s now officially been turned into
05:28
a mosque and it’s official and prayers
05:30
are going on inside and they’re going to
05:32
renovate i’m sure
05:33
and uh that feels like that could be
05:38
that was more than a provocation the
05:39
provocation was threatening to it
05:41
but this was doing it do you think
05:42
that’s going to have consequences
05:47
well yes certainly it’s a stick in the
05:50
eye
05:50
of russia the orthodox church the
05:54
eastern
05:54
christian christian dumb if you will uh
05:58
so yes i think it is something that’s
06:01
that is
06:01
uh provocative and will will have some
06:04
consequence and maybe
06:06
this raised level of pushback on the
06:09
part of russia
06:10
is is is as a result at least in part of
06:14
things
06:14
like that and i think one of the things
06:18
you’re going to see very quickly
06:21
excuse me is uh the the man
06:24
when the ottoman empire fell the man to
06:27
re-establish
06:28
uh government and authority in turkey
06:31
was uh
06:32
ataturk and uh that’s not his
06:36
birth name that was the name he took
06:37
upon which i believe it’s like father
06:39
something like that and so ataturk’s
06:42
tomb
06:43
is also in the capital city of ankara in
06:46
in turkey and i’ve been there a couple
06:48
times it’s a big
06:50
serious beautiful mausoleum-esque
06:53
sort of uh tomb for him there or a
06:56
memorial there for attiture
06:59
and i guarantee you this uh former
07:01
christian church
07:03
being converted to a mosque is one of
07:06
the steps that he’s taking to
07:08
reestablish the ottoman empire and one
07:11
of the things he has to do
07:12
is the first chance he gets he’s going
07:14
to move or get rid of or somehow destroy
07:18
the tomb of ataturk in ankara the
07:19
capital because that again
07:21
is a stick in his eye and he’s not going
07:23
to be able to tolerate those things and
07:25
this is
07:25
one of those things where he we see
07:29
him he’s more and more encouraged by a
07:31
lack of pushback
07:33
to continue to do more and more and more
07:35
which let me say
07:36
uh every every dictator to be born
07:40
uh on earth and and get into power and
07:43
and try to push for more and more and
07:44
more power they’re all the same
07:46
and these are the same behaviors we saw
07:48
by hitler until he just went absolutely
07:50
ballistic and created a whole new world
07:52
war that on a massive scale
07:54
and he just he kept expanding expanding
07:57
and expanding
07:58
and you know taking austria taking part
08:01
of czechoslovakia
08:02
all these things that he was able to do
08:04
but essentially because he was unchecked
08:06
they’re all the same and that’s
08:07
precisely what we’re seeing act out now
08:09
by a number of different people but
08:11
certainly prominently
08:13
um what we’re seeing take place in
08:15
turkey by the president there so
08:17
this is a danger this is one of those
08:18
things we’ve got to watch out for yeah
08:20
you’re right his
08:21
his aggressive nature and his
08:23
provocative
08:24
provocative acts are getting more and
08:26
more aggressive because
08:27
uh who did anything about any of this
08:30
stuff you know nobody’s pushing back on
08:32
any of it i mean you don’t even really
08:33
hear it discussed on mainstream media
08:35
i was outside of our interviews and a
08:37
few other people that
08:38
point out the importance of this it’s
08:40
ignored now
08:41
inside the orthodox church that has not
08:43
been ignored
08:45
and uh but what can they do
08:48
so well i mean they could they could not
08:50
they could knock down a few mosques
08:52
in fact i think greece is planning on
08:53
doing that in athens so
08:57
yeah well that doesn’t smooth road to
08:59
peace does it so yeah i mean but that’s
09:02
uh
09:02
well hopefully we’ll see we’ll see some
09:05
uh people always talk about this with
09:06
president trump they want some
09:08
you know adult leadership in the room
09:10
and i wish we could see that in turkey
09:12
but
09:12
uh not gonna happen because in turkey to
09:14
try and do that sort of thing and just
09:15
get you shot in the back of the head
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[Music]
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you
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