Armenia and the United States Conduct “Eagle Partner” Exercise Amid Regional Tensions


In a time of elevated tensions in the South Caucasus, particularly between Armenia and its neighboring country Azerbaijan, Armenia and the United States have kicked off a 10-day military training exercise named “Eagle Partner.” The exercise is small in scale but significant in strategic implications, involving 85 U.S. soldiers and 175 Armenian servicemen. It is being held at two training grounds near Yerevan, Armenia’s capital.


Objectives of the Exercise

According to the Armenian Defence Ministry, the primary aim of “Eagle Partner” is to elevate the level of interoperability of Armenian units slated for international peacekeeping missions. The exercise will also serve as a platform for exchanging best practices in control and tactical communication among participating troops.


Regional Implications

Though the exercise is designed to prepare the Armenian military for peacekeeping missions, it comes amid escalating regional tensions. Armenia and Azerbaijan have a long history of conflict, having fought two wars since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Just this past week, both nations have accused each other of building up troops near their shared border, fueling anxieties of a renewed conflict.


Russia’s Stance

This joint exercise has elicited a reaction from Russia, which considers itself the key security guarantor in the region and maintains a military base in Armenia. Moscow is likely viewing this U.S.-Armenian cooperation with skepticism, given the geopolitical underpinnings.


The U.S.-Armenia Relationship

The “Eagle Partner” exercise marks a momentous occasion in U.S.-Armenia relations, as it signifies a willingness on both sides to strengthen their military collaboration. This engagement may also be a subtle yet important shift in the power dynamics of the South Caucasus, particularly in the context of Armenia’s traditionally close relationship with Russia.


While small in scale, the “Eagle Partner” exercise could have profound geopolitical implications, particularly in a region as volatile as the South Caucasus. At the very least, the joint operation underlines the complexities of alliances and rivalries in a region fraught with historical and contemporary tensions.

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