A new program is promoting the closer integration of Armenia’s military and society. The initiative is raising concerns among some observers that the country, already one of the most heavily militarized in the world, is giving the army too much influence over the shaping of its future.
Defense Minister Vigen Sargsian launched the program, known as the “Nation Army Concept,” in October. The concept, as it has been articulated thus far, is vague but seemingly far-reaching: it appears to potentially allow for the total mobilization of society in the service of national security. “All the governmental bodies, civilians and anybody else must correctly carry out their role in the defense of the country,” Sargsian said in rolling out the program.
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Gayane Abrahamyan is a freelance reporter and editor in Yerevan.