The Trump Administration’s $100 million security and military aid package to Baku largely funds joint U.S.-Azerbaijani Iran-facing initiatives – while enabling new offensive capabilities and freeing up other military resources for the Aliyev regime’s ongoing aggression against Artsakh and Armenia – according to a review, this week, of detailed budget breakdowns provided by the Congressional Research Service, the Armenian National Committee of America said.
The largest share of U.S. security assistance to Baku is the Administration’s allocation of $101.5 million in FY18 and FY19 for “Section 333 Building Partner Capacity” assistance for “Maritime Security for the Caspian Sea and Southern Border Security programs.” This section, of the National Defense Authorization Act, was established in FY17 to build the capacity of foreign national security forces, including for “maritime and border security operations” and “military intelligence operations.” Between FY04 and FY09, Azerbaijan received approximately $64 million in “Caspian Sea Maritime Proliferation Prevention Program (Cooperative Threat Reduction),” and roughly $10 million in FY11 “Section 1206 Global Train and Equip” assistance.
“We are troubled that the Trump Administration’s $100 million security aid package to Baku adds substantial new equipment, tactical abilities, and offensive capacities to the Azerbaijani arsenal, while freeing up its state resources for renewed cross-border action against Artsakh and Armenia,” said ANCA Government Affairs Director Tereza Yerimyan. “American taxpayers shouldn’t be asked to provide a single dollar in military aid to an overtly and unapologetically aggressive Aliyev regime that – as recently as a week ago in Munich, Germany – renewed threats to attack Artsakh and publicly laid claim to Yerevan and all of Armenia as Azerbaijani territory. The Trump Administration should either stop sending military aid to Baku or start matching every dollar they send to Azerbaijan with another to Armenia.”
In testimony submitted to the House Appropriations Committee this week, the ANCA requested a provision in the foreign aid bill requiring that: “No funds appropriated or otherwise made available under this Act may be provided to the Government of Azerbaijan until the President determines, and so reports to the Congress, that the Government of Azerbaijan is taking demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.”
This testimony, submitted by Government Affairs Director Tereza Yerimyan, supported this request by citing Azerbaijan’s obstruction of the Royce-Engel Peace Proposals, opposition to the U.S.-Artsakh Travel and Communication Resolution (H.Res.452), and continued cross-border attacks against Artsakh and Armenia.