It is no secret that the year 2010 was one of scandal and controversy surrounding incidents of abuse in the Armenian army. A spate of hazings, assaults, and non-combat violence in both Armenia and Artsakh were reported on heavily in the media.
Such occurrences are cause for concern for any conscientious and patriotic Armenian. Not only is it a national tragedy anytime an Armenian soldier, for any reason, is wounded or killed but these developments have also raised the specter of disillusionment toward the country’s military institutions among segments of the Armenian public.
Unfortunately, an incompetent administration in Yerevan has failed to root out these problems adequately. At the end of the day, it is the state which is responsible for the condition of its soldiers. Rather than a few marginal punishments of officers and a penchant toward military celebrations, the fundamental reforms and atmosphere needed to prevent such misdeeds from ever occurring seem to be lacking.
In this context, it is incumbent upon us, the Armenian people, to stand with the men fortified on the frontlines for the protection and security of our homeland. We must reinforce and strengthen the Republic of Armenia’s army by lending every means of support at our disposal.
Coupled with this is the need to reaffirm our sense of unity in regards to the armed forces, while at the same time calling for a truly democratic, people’s army in Armenia; an army which unites both soldiers and society around the concept of moral virtue and sacrifice for the homeland; an army which holds its figures accountable and does not tolerate any form of abuse; an army which stresses sacrificing for the nation above all other values; and an army which strives to empower its soldiers around a true sense of brotherhood and leading by example, consciously imparting the heroic traditions of our history (such as the liberation struggle of Artsakh) as the guiding light of its character.
It is the obligation of all Armenians to ensure the well-being and high morale of our soldiers. We must internalize the true spirit of solidarity required in those critical junctures of battle and secure it for all seasons.
2011 must be the year of ensuring our nation’s security. The creation of an impenetrable harmony among army and nation is a critical component toward this end.