Creating a community of national security experts in Armenia
The 2020 Artsakh War revealed an outdated and languishing security sector in Armenia combined with major shortcomings in defense policymaking. As Armenia continues navigating the shifting winds of regional powers and alliances—and considers its options for reform—national security journalism and research warrants greater attention. This is critical to assessing the post-war performance and reforms of Armenian security agencies, as well as the country’s rapidly changing threat landscape.
By all accounts, the Armenian government’s tepid response to its mounting defense challenges (i.e. stalled military reforms and insufficient border safeguards) has raised many questions about its capacity to protect its citizens from aggressive foes and formidable adversaries in the region.
Armenia’s security quandary is further compounded by a lack of transparency surrounding defense matters, preventing serious political discourse on potential policy options. Remedying these deficits and improving Armenia’s defense posture begins with cultivating a cadre of highly trained national security professionals who can share information across the spheres of interest and authority.
It is time to dig deep to uncover where the fault lines exist and what underlying deficits in the overall system contributed to the devastating loss of the Second Artsakh War.
JUSTICE ARMENIA SECURITY REFORM PROJECT FELLOWSHIPS
The aim of the Justice Armenia Security Reform Project is to sprout a vibrant community of thinkers, researchers, analysts and journalists in Armenia to conduct a comprehensive assessment of Armenia’s complex national security profile and help answer some of these questions.
Fellows with the Security Reform Project will survey the national security landscape through multiple lenses: military, diplomatic, socio-economic, and budgetary. In the process, they will also build a database of information and expert sources, which can be shared with other concerned stakeholders and colleagues involved in monitoring and responding to a rapidly evolving national security landscape.
To this end, the Security Reform Project will support a new generation of professionals in Armenia who possess the relevant expertise, skillsets and resources necessary to research and critically probe national security phenomena. As each fellowship is completed, a comprehensive presentation of findings and suggested solutions will provide a framework for successive researchers and analysts to build on.
These fellowships would seek to address the enduring information vacuum dogging Armenia’s defense ecosystem. (The recent conflict demonstrated the dangers posed by such transparency deficits.) The fellowship would encourage coverage of neglected topics (i.e. defense acquisitions and policymaking), while enabling fellows to apply their journalistic and research skills in the security sphere.
Through these fellowships, experts in national security can explore prospects for a course correction to help overcome current challenges that put the homeland at an existential turning point. They will not only focus on the problems but also take inventory of Armenia’s inherent assets and potentials to re-emerge stronger, more confident and secure, based not on illusions and rhetoric but hard fact and verifiable, transparent insights.
AREAS OF INQUIRY
Military Policymaking and Reforms
Defense Innovation and Technology Policy
Military Policymaking and Reforms
International Defense Cooperation
Artsakh and Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict
Short-form articles of up to 2500 words once or twice a month
Long-form articles of up to 5000 words every quarter
Periodic public and roundtable discussions
Each fellowship will last for one year
Selection of fellow will be made jointly by a respected media outlet/research institution and advisory committee of Justice Armenia
Bi-weekly coordination meetings with Justice Armenia coordinating team and any additional fellows during which specific areas of focus are formulated
Training and technical support to be provided as needed