Reversing Decline of Armenia’s National Power Versus Azerbaijan and Ensuring Armenia’s Viable Lasting Statehood

Below is the memo, which I co-wrote with my Armenia-based colleagues, whose names I am not at will to release, in the first half of 2016 to alert the leadership of Armenia on the almost continuous decline of Armenia’s national power versus Azerbaijan since both nations acquired independence after the demise of the Soviet Union. The memo was then submitted by one of my co-authors for then-president of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan to ponder in July 2016. As that co-author informed me, President Sargsyan did read an Armenian language summary of the memo and liked it. However, and unfortunately, little, if anything was done to implement the memo’s recommendations meant to help prevent further decline of Armenia vis-à-vis Azerbaijan even though the memo warned that inaction could eventually lead to the demise of the Armenian statehood.

As someone who (1) conceived the idea for such a memo, wrote 90% of the narrative and did part of the calculations; (2) waited not until it became clear that its recommendations would not be acted upon, but also until the hostilities subsided, I feel I can now share our work with you.

The purpose of me doing so is not to tell anyone “I told you so.” Nor is it to claim that Sargsyan somehow is the sole person responsible for Armenia’s failure to develop enough strength to defend Karabakh against its nemesis. In my view, a confluence of structure and agency explain this failure and when it comes to agency, Armenia’s present leadership cannot pretend its failures and mistakes did not play a role in this unpalatable, to put it mildly, outcome. (While all these factors merit a thorough investigation so that lessons can be inferred and applied to to reduce probability of another loss, that’s not for me, but rather for the people living in Armenia and Karabakh to do so if they want to do so.)

Rather by sharing this memo I wanted, among other things, to highlight the real imbalance of power between Armenia and Azerbaijan to those who have, perhaps, been misled by the window-dressing of the kind we have all seen during this conflict. As for the primary goal of sharing this memo, it is to state that it is, perhaps, still not too late for all of us – who care about Armenia – to join forces to build  a successful and viable Armenian state – to start working towards fulfilling that hope, no matter how the past hostilities may seem to have impacted the odds.  For as the memo concludes: “Future generations will not forgive us if we don’t do our best…therefore, carpe diem!”

Reversing Decline of Armenia’s National Power Versus Azerbaijan and

Ensuring Armenia’s Viable Lasting Statehood

Mr. President.

The Armenian nation is now living in one of the brightest periods of its millennia-long history. For centuries, the Armenians had struggled to preserve their stateless nation, enduring unimaginable hardships, including attempted extermination, at hands of some of the rulers of the states they had lived in. All that changed in the 1990s when the Armenians established their state. It is our hope that the Republic of Armenia will not only continue to exist for centuries to come, but that it will also prosper to the benefit of its citizens. Unfortunately, the current environment, in which Armenia finds itself, is not conducive for its development, but it is the one in which the Armenians will have to live in for the foreseeable future, it seems.   Sustaining a nation’s power at levels sufficient for deterrence of full-scale external aggression is a key condition for preservation of that nation’s statehood in a hostile environment, especially, in times of global interregnum, when effectiveness of collective security mechanisms wanes. This deterrence, which we define as a nation’s ability to guarantee imposition of unacceptable costs on potential aggressor, cannot be either sufficient or credible, unless the nation has a thriving population capable of generating wealth and motivated to so because it shares the gains generated. The authors of this paper believe that the less numerous and less prosperous a nation’s population becomes relative to its adversaries with time, the more its national power shrinks and the greater the difficulty that state has deterring aggression. Moreover, an absolute decline of size and wealth of population can eventually lead to implosion of the state even in absence of an external aggression, in the view of the authors, who have interviewed experts on post-Soviet states from Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgetown University, Moscow Higher School of Economics, and other research organizations in the course of their research. Therefore, creating internal conditions for increasing the size and quality of Armenia’s human capital is key to survival and development of state and the Armenian state is no exception, in the view of the authors, one of whom has also met with Dr. Daron Acemoglu and discussed the contents of this paper with this MIT professor.

This paper seeks to answer the following questions: (1) has the national power of Armenia declined relative to that of Azerbaijan, which is most likely to go to war with Armenia, since their independence from the Soviet Union, and (2) if, yes, then what internal conditions need to be created to stop and reverse this relative decline before this hypothetical decline in national power begins to threaten the existence of the Armenian statehood?  To answer the first of these two questions, we have employed a variety of methods of measuring nations’ power, which we have found to be frequently used in literature on the subject and which include methods developed by Western, Asian and Russian scholars, to gauge where post-Soviet Armenia stands in terms of national power when compared to Azerbaijan.  Results of the application of the multi-variable methods indicate that Armenia has been declining vis-à-vis Azerbaijan since both nations achieved independence from the Soviet Union.   Moreover, forecasts by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund show that the gap between Azerbaijan and Armenia will continue to widen in such key components of national power, as the size of economy and population.  The probability that the projected further widening of the gap between the national power of Armenia and that of Azerbaijan will lead to Armenia’s defeat is not negligible, in our view.  Nor is the probability that depopulation of Armenia may lead to a de-facto or de-jure end of Armenia’s existence as a sovereign state even in absence of external aggression negligible.  To answer the second question (whether Armenia’s relative decline can be reversed) we have explored what some of the best thinkers and policy-makers have recommended ensuring sustainable development of nations, focusing on those of their proposals that are applicable in the case of Armenia, in our view. Our recommendations for Armenia are foremost based on (1) Daren Acemoglu’s and James Robinson’s proposition that inclusive economic and political institutions are key to nations’ rise and prosperity, which these two professors have put forward and proved in their seminal volume on “Why Nations Fail,” and on (2) the lessons we have derived from what remains, perhaps, the world’s most successful exercise in nation-building: establishment and development of Singapore. 

To be clear, we do not want to sound alarmist. We do not believe that chances of Armenia failing as a state as result of external aggression or internal implosion are high. However, as we have stated above, this probability is not negligible while, as you know, the risk equals probability multiplied by consequences. The consequences of losing the Armenian state would be catastrophic for the Armenian nation, in our view. Therefore, we believe it is imperative to reduce the risk of such a development by lowering the probability.  Now is Armenia’s one chance in many centuries to retain a sustainable independent state for centuries and it would be unforgiveable and tragic to squander this truly unique, vital opportunity to ensure continued existence and development of the Armenian nation.  And it is imperative to seize that chance to sustain the Armenian state, or Armenians may not get a second chance for centuries to come, if at all, given the slow, but ultimately inevitable assimilation of Armenian Diasporas in other countries. 


As stated above, we have employed a variety of single-variable and multi-variable methods of measuring national power that have been developed by Western, Asian and Russian scholars. In doing so we used data from such reliable international organizations, as the World Bank and United Nations (though some of the measurements were constrained by absence of data for particular years).

The first single-variable method of measuring national power, which we have used, is measurement of GDP PPP in constant dollars.[1] This method showed Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s GDP expand by 254% and 247% respectively in 1992-2015. However, while Armenia’s GDP grew at a slightly faster rate, it still was 676% smaller than that of Azerbaijan as of 2015. One could gauge resources that each nation can mobilize for inter-state war if he or she were to compare not just GDPs, but also populations: Azerbaijan’s total population will continue to exceed that of Armenia by 320% in 2015-2020 while the male population of Azerbaijan will continue to exceed that of Armenia by more than 360% with the gap projected only to grow further, according to the World Bank’s projection.[2] The second single-variable method which we have used, is measuring energy consumption to gauge nations’ powers. This method has been proposed by Russian scientist Pobisk Kuznetsov and we will further refer to it to as the energy consumption method. Application of this single-variable method shows Armenia’s national power increased by a healthy 17% in 1992-2015 while Azerbaijan’s power declined by a 43%. Such a trend should generate optimism, as it shows Armenian nation have been progressing in that area. However, one should still keep in mind that Azerbaijan’s energy consumption stopped falling and started growing in the 1990s and that Azerbaijan still consumed 100% more energy than Armenia in 2005. As important, while capable of giving scholars of national power a rough idea of changes in dynamics of some of the elements of this power, such single-variable approaches, as measurement of GDP and population, cannot paint the whole picture for those who want to gain a more comprehensive understanding of whether nations are declining or rising or stagnating relative to each other. To gain such understanding, we have employed modifications of three multi-variable measurement methods of measuring national power and one well-established methods of measuring nations’ technological prowess. Results of application of all these multi-variable methods show Armenia has declined vis-à-vis Azerbaijan ever since the two nations gained their independence in the early 1990s.

One multi-variable method, which has been frequently applied by Western scholars of national power, is the so-called Composite Index of National Capability (CINC). CINC constitutes the mathematical mean of the ratios of country’s performance to world’s total: military expenditures, military personnel population, energy consumption and steel production. We introduced two modifications into this method to account for its flaws. First, we have replaced the measurement of the steel production with the measurement of value added manufacturing to account for the post-industrial trends in the global economy. Second, we  have calculated the geometric mean rather than the because the arithmetic mean of the ratios because the latter produces inaccurate results for measurement of country dyads when overall number of countries, data on which is available for calculation of global totals, changes. The resulting measurement of the Geometric Indicator of National Capability (GINC) shows that that Armenia’s national capability grew by 2% in 1992-2015 while Azerbaijan’s national capability grew eight times faster over the same period of time, increasing by 16%.  Armenia’s national capability stood at 0.04 (all figures in the text rounded up to the second decimal), which was the same as of Georgia’s national capability, but 300% smaller than Azerbaijan’s national capability of 0.12 as of 2015.  It is important to note here that even if we to apply the original CINC method, ignoring its flaws, it would still show Armenia declining versus Azerbaijan.  

Another method, which we use in this study, has been developed by Chin-Lung Chang of Taiwan’s Fo-guang University for measuring what he defined as China’s Composite Index of National Power versus other great powers. Chin-Lung has calculated this index as the arithmetic mean of the ratios of individual countries’ indicators to the world’s total in the following three categories:  critical mass (population and land area); economic strength (GDP); and military strength (military expenditures). We have modified this method to reflect the post-industrial developments. First, we have reduced the proportional weight of the economic strength and military strength in the total index by half and in doing so we cast more positive light on Armenia, which trails Azerbaijan in both categories. Second, we added a fourth ratio: innovative strength, using the number of patents filed by residents and non-residents as the proxy of measuring this strength. Again, just like it was the case with CINC, we have introduced this second modification to account for the global post-industrial trends. We have called the modified method: the Composite Index of Smart National Power (CISNP). The results of calculating CISNP of Azerbaijan and Armenia in 1992-2015 were not in Armenia’s favor. While, if measured with use of CISNP, Armenia’s national power increased by 9% in 1992-2015 to total 0.04 that year, Azerbaijan’s national power increased by 51% over the same period of time, totaling 0.14 (almost four times more than that of Armenia’s or Georgia’s) in 2015. That occurred even though we accounted for Azerbaijan’s loss of 7 districts adjacent to Karabakh in the calculations of the critical mass component.  

Finally, we used perhaps the best known of multi-variable methods of measuring national power. That method has been crafted by famous American scholar Ray S. Cline. [3] Cline’s formula for what we will further refer to as the Traditional Index of Perceived Power of Nations (TIPPN) is as follows:

Pp = (C + E + M) * (S + W)


Pp = perceived power.

C = critical mass= population + territory.

E = economic capability=GDP + GDP per capita + volume of foreign trade.

M = military capability = military personnel + defense expenditures.

S = strategic purpose.

W = will to pursue national strategy.

While we have calculated M; C; and E as ratios of country’s performance in these categories to that of USA’s, we have surveyed opinion of ten of country specialists and foreign policy experts to calculate the median values of S and W. Among others we have questioned individuals representing Harvard, MIT, and George Washington University, Washington-based Center for National Interest, Wheaton College, Georgetown University, [4] and Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Our calculations of TIPPN show Armenia’s power rise by 80% in 1995-2015. However, the same period saw Azerbaijan’s power rise by even more: 133%. As of 2015 Azerbaijan’s power (26.64) exceeded that of Armenia (11.31) by 233%. A calculation of TIPPN using means of S and W derived from the same surveys of the experts shows the gap between Azerbaijan’s and Armenia’s power expanding at an even greater rate.

Looking forward, the gap between the national power of Armenia and Azerbaijan may widen further if were to try to gauge the potential breath of that gap by analyzing IMF’s and World Bank’s a forecast for such key components of national power, as the size of GDP and population.  IMF forecasts that Armenia’s GDP will grow by 2.75% in 2017, 3% in 2018, 3.5% in 2019, and 3.5% in 2020. In contrast, Azerbaijan’s GDP will grow by 2.9% in 2017, 4.2% in 2018, 4.3% in 2019, and 3.4% in 2017.[5] The World Bank’s also projections show Armenia’s male population declining by 9% in 2016-2050 while Azerbaijan’s population will gain 11% in the same period.  If Armenia’s population currently equals 1/3rd of that of Azerbaijan, it will fall under 3 mn by 2050, equaling only a quarter of Azerbaijan’s population at that time, according to the World Bank. [6]

Recommendations for reversing Armenia’s decline:

As results of application of the aforementioned multi-variable methods and forecasts by the World Bank and IMF demonstrate, Armenia has trailed behind Azerbaijan in terms of national power and this gap may widen further, increasing probability that Azerbaijan may be tempted to try attack Armenia in hopes of taking Karabakh and adjacent territories rather than negotiate a peaceful resolution of the conflict over Karabakh.  Waiting for Azerbaijan to run out of oil and weaken cannot be a reliable strategy. Even if that were to happen in the next quarter of the century, Azerbaijan, sensing that its advantages in terms of national power over Armenia may erode, can strike as once the declining Sparta did against the rising Athens, falling in what has become known as the Thucydides Trap.  Moreover, even if Azerbaijan were to refrain from attacking Armenia, some of the current trends in Armenia, such as depopulation caused by declining birth rates and flight of human capital, may also come to threaten the Armenian statehood.

One way to reverse the negative trends is to foster development of inclusive economic and political institutions in the republic along the lines proposed by in Daron Acemoglu, whose work you have praised in the speeches that you delivered at MIT and Harvard during your Spring 2016 visit to the Boston area.  As Professors Acemoglu and Robinson convincingly demonstrate in their book on “Why Nations Fail,” nations do not prosper because of either their geographies or cultures. [7] Rather countries differ in success depending on whether their economic institutions are extractive or inclusive, according to Pr. Acemoglu and Pr. Robinson.[8] Inclusive institutions foster economic activities, leading to growth in productivity and, eventually, to prosperity.  These inclusive institutions are the opposite of monopolies and oligopolies, which arrest and reverse growth, as the two professors demonstrate convincingly by citing numerous historical examples. The authors of “Why Nations Fail” far from being along in holding a dim view of collusions in economy The economic science is even harsher on ‘unnatural’ monopolies and oligopolies, such as monopolies and oligopolies on imports or distribution of certain commodities and services. “Inclusive economic institutions that enforce property rights, create a level playing field, and encourage investments in new technologies and skills are more conducive to economic growth than extractive economic institutions that are tuned to extract resources from the many by’ the few and that fail to protect property rights or provide incentives for economic activity,” Acemoglu and Robinson write.[9] The two professors note that inclusive economic institutions need to be supported by inclusive political institutions, that is, those that distribute political power widely in a pluralistic manner and are able to achieve some amount of political centralization so as to establish law and order, the foundations of secure property rights, and an inclusive market economy.

Inclusive institutions cannot function well unless they are supported by an effective state apparatus. The state needs to guarantee a property rights, the law, public services, and the freedom to contract and exchange goods and services. The state has to maintain the coercive capacity to impose order, prevent theft and fraud, according to Acemoglu and Robinson. To function well, the society also needs other public services: roads and a transport network so that goods can be transported; a public infrastructure so that economic activity can flourish; and some type of basic regulation to pre- vent fraud and malfeasance. Though many of these public services can be provided by markets and private citizens, the degree of coordination necessary to do so on a large scale often eludes all but a central authority, according to Acemoglu and Robinson. The state is thus inexorably intertwined with economic institutions, as the enforcer of law and order, private property, and contracts, and often as a key provider of public services. Inclusive economic institutions need and use the state, according to Acemoglu and Robinson. “The key to understanding why South Korea and the United States have inclusive economic institutions is not just their pluralistic political institutions but also their sufficiently centralized and powerful states. A telling contrast is with the East African nation of Somalia” which is decentralized beyond reason, according to Acemoglu and Robinson.

Acemoglu and Robinson also note how important it is to watch for critical junctions constantly. They note how nuances, which seemed non-important at the time of their occurrence, can determine whether the nation will prosper or not for centuries. In their book the two professors cite the example of the 15th century when Spanish and French kings monopolized overseas trade while English could not because Elizabeth I was far less financially independent, so she had to beg Parliament for more taxes. These distinctions, which initially appeared small, started to matter a great deal in the seventeenth century as English traders enjoyed free hand and therefore out-traded Spaniards and French, generating much more wealth for England as a whole even if the Spanish and French kings enriched themselves at greater rate than their English counterparts. “Once a critical juncture happens, the small differences that matter are the initial institutional differences that put in motion very different responses. This is the reason why the relatively small institutional differences in England, France, and Spain led to fundamentally different development paths,” according to the authors of “Why Nations Fail.”

There are some obvious factors that would make the process of empowerment more likely to get off the ground. These would include the presence of some degree of centralized order so that social movements challenging existing regimes do not immediately descend into lawlessness; some preexisting political institutions that introduce a modicum of pluralism, so that broad coalitions can form and endure; and the presence of civil society institutions that can coordinate the demands of the population so that opposition movements can neither be easily crushed by the current elites nor inevitably turn into a vehicle for another group to take control of existing extractive institutions. But many of these factors are historically predetermined and change only slowly. Free media and new communication technologies can facilitate these changes, but they can help only at the margins, by providing information and coordinating the demands and actions of those vying for more inclusive institutions.  Acemoglu and Robinson conclude that “you cannot engineer prosperity,” but you can empower people to build it. Of course, transition to inclusive institutions encounters resistance. “Those who benefit from the status quo are wealthy and well organized, and can effectively fight major changes that will take away their economic privileges and political power.” [10] But a country’s political leadership, if it displays political will, can overcome such resistance and empower common people.  People should be empowered so that they can transform existing institutions into inclusive ones and do so peacefully rather than through revolutions because the latter backfire, according to Acemoglu and Robinson.  Building inclusive institutions in Armenia will not only increase prosperity, but will also reverse depopulation, which is caused not only by declining birth rates, but by outbound migration   that stems from lack of opportunities on the labor market and generally low living standards, in our view.

While Acemoglu and Robinson have outlined general theoretical concepts of how inclusive institutions can foster economic growth and prosperity in his writings, late father of modern-day Singapore Lee Kwan Yew has provided a practical example on how display of transformational leadership by nations’ leaders can lead to truly miraculous results in nation-building. We believe that Armenian policy makers may take cue from that that example, given certain economic and demographic similarities between Armenia and Singapore at the time of their independence (at the time of independence both nations had a population of several million and a GDP per capita of less than $600.) When Singapore first declared independence from Great Britain in 1963 and later from Malaysia in 1965, the environment around that state didn’t appear particularly promising either. Located on 63 islands and populated by different ethnic groups, Singapore had a number of powerful neighbors, some of which were quite hostile.  Yet, Singapore didn’t only survive as an independent state, but it also became one of the wealthiest nations in the world.  Its GDP per capita PPP in constant dollars soared from increased by more than 10805% from $516 in 1965 to $56,284 in 2014, according to the World Bank.

Of the key drivers of national growth and competitiveness identified by Lee, we believe the following four are of special relevance for Armenia: (1) standard of living, which depends on availability of resources, technological competence, educational standards and culture and discipline of workforce; (2) demographic growth driven not only by inbound migration, but also by pro-creation; (3) quality of manpower; and (4) economy “driven by new knowledge, new discoveries in science and technology.” [11] Nation’s success is particularly dependent on its ability to attract and retain talent, according to Lee. Lee’s warning should resonate strongly in Armenia, which has been bleeding talent for years. An estimated 1,000,000-1,600,000 people have emigrated from Armenia since 1991.[12] Many of those leaving Armenia are well educated and at the prime of their working abilities.  Armenia will lose what Lee has termed as the “final contest” with its neighbors if it doesn’t stop the brain-drain and start attracting talent, in our view.   The leadership of Armenia may consider adopting Lee’s following dictum as a motto in their effort to not only retain talent, but also draw such talents from the ranks of Christians from the war-plagued Middle East, for example: “My definition of a Singaporean…is that we accept that whoever joins us is part of us.  We need talent, we accept them.  That must be our defining attribute.” Armenian policymakers looking for outside-the-box ideas on how to both reverse the depopulation and make Armenia matter much more in the eyes of their Chinese counterparts can also take a cue from Beijing’s reaction to treatment of Chinese diasporas in third countries. If loss of income by several hundreds of Chinese traders caused by closing of a Moscow market warrants a note from China’s foreign ministry, then one might ask: Would China have a greater stake in Armenia’s security and prosperity if there were several thousands of Chinese peasants working on those Armenian (Karabakh) agricultural lands that suffer from shortage of labor?  We also believe that in order to retain talent in Armenia your government could expand programs, such as the Luys scholarship for Armenian students admitted to leading foreign institutions of higher learning, and complement them with creation of jobs, especially in the post-industrial sector of the economy.   Another key to a nation’s success is promotion of use of foreign languages, according to Lee. In fact, Lee insists on “making English the dominant language, as Singapore has.” While authors of this study would never propose that Armenia adopt English as first language, we do believe that universal and thorough knowledge of the English language, and preferably another lingua franca (such as Chinese), would significantly improve the quality of human capital in Armenia, allowing its companies to become more competitive in the age of globalization. 

Lee also believes that a nation’s success is also dependent on building and sustaining an effective system of public administration.  The effectiveness of that system can be ensured through attraction of top talent that is adequately compensated, whose performance is judged by merits of what they have achieved and who is subject to robust oversight, according to Lee. The current wages in Armenia’s public sector can hardly be described as competitive.  Wage increases in public sector should be accompanied with ridding of the state system of corruption and ensuring rule of law, according to Lee. As Lee noted, “there is a fundamental need for the rule of law.  It ensures stability and predictability.”  Armenia’s observance of the rule of law (property rights, freedom from corruption) is well below the world average, according to the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom put together by the Heritage Foundation[13]. Lee’s recipe for success should resonate especially strong in Armenia, given similarities in challenges that he faced when setting out to transform Singapore and challenges that post-Communist Armenia is facing.  “When I started, the question was how Singapore can make a living against neighbors who have more natural resources, human resources, and bigger space. We had to be different.  We had to differentiate ourselves from them, or we would be finished.  How did we differentiate ourselves from them?  They are not clean systems; [check previous sentence] we run clean systems.  Their rule of law is wonky; we stick to the law.  Once we come to an agreement or make a decision, we stick to it.  We become reliable and credible to investors.  World-class infrastructure, world-class supporting staff, all educated in English.  Good communications by air, by sea, by cable, by satellite, and now, over the Internet.” As Lee asserted: “A nation is great not by its size alone.  It is the will, the cohesion, the stamina, the discipline of its people, and the quality of their leaders which ensure it an honorable place in history.”[14]  We could not agree more.

 Concluding remarks:

 “Armenian people! Do not sleep! We are in a state of a permanent war, encircled by visible and invisible enemies and we have no friends,” Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church Aram I has observed in the wake of the four-day war in April 1.

Aram I was, perhaps, wrong to state that Armenia has no friends at all.  Armenia does have friends and it is important to ensure continuation of their support for existence and development of Armenia. That support should come not only from Russia, but also from US, EU, China[15], and other friendly powers. But what Aram I was right about that is that the four-day war in April 2016 has clearly demonstrated that Armenia could rely on no one, but itself for actual military defense of Karabakh, loss of which would trigger tectonic changes in Armenia.  It is important, in our view, to keep in mind that no amount of external support can avert weakening of a state and, possibly, its ultimate demise, if such internal negative trends, as insufficient levels of economic and political institutions’ inclusiveness that hinder economic growth and fuel outbound migration, are not addressed. Given the potential consequences of the continuation of these negative trends, Armenia cannot afford to just try muddle along. It is not too late to stop and reverse these trends. A display of truly transformational leadership on your behalf with support of the entire, consolidated Armenian nation, including citizens of Armenia and diasporas, can lead to deep systemic reforms that can attain such a reversal. This is Armenians’ one in many centuries chance to build a viable lasting statehood – and it is squandered, then Armenia might never come back as a state.  Future generations will not forgive us if we don’t do our best to build such a statehood. Therefore, carpe diem, Mr. President!

Charts and graphs:

[1] Daron Acemoglu, MIT professor and author of “Why Nations Fail,” has also framed decline and rise of nations mostly in relative economic terms in his 2005 work. Acemoglu, Daron. Thinking about the Rise and Decline of Nations. MIT. June 2005. Available at

[2] World DataBank, Health Nutrition and Population Statistics: Population estimates and projections.

[3] See Cline, Ray S. World Power Assessment: A Calculus of Strategic Drift, 1975. Westview Press, 1975. and Cline, Ray S. The power of nations in the 1990s: a strategic assessment. University Press of America, 1993.

[4] Responses from Brookings and Georgetown promised, but still pending as of June 16.

[5] International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, October 2015,

[6] World DataBank, Health Nutrition and Population Statistics: Population estimates and projections,

[7] Acemoglu, D. and Robinson, J., 2012. Why nations fail: the origins of power, prosperity, and poverty. Crown Business.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Allison, Graham, Robert D. Blackwill, and Ali Wyne. Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, February 2013.

[12] See  (1) “Migration Presents Challenges and Opportunities for Armenia, New Report Says,” UNDP,  Yerevan,  Armenia, May 12, 2010, available at; (2) Migration and skills in Armenia. Results of the 2011/12 migration survey on the relationship between skills, migration and development.; and (3) State Migration service of Armenia. Dynamics of border crossings.

[13] 2016 Index of Economic Freedom.

[14] Allison, Graham, Robert D. Blackwill, and Ali Wyne. Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, February 2013.

[15] For detailed recommendations on how Armenia should transform the relationship with China into a special partnership see Simon Saradzhyan, “Armenia and China—Case for a Special Partnership,” Noravank, April 4, 2012, available at

3 thoughts on “Reversing Decline of Armenia’s National Power Versus Azerbaijan and Ensuring Armenia’s Viable Lasting Statehood”

  1. It’s been brought to my attention that N. Pashinyan referred to a 2017 report, which, he said Armenia’s then government commissioned and financed, and which said the ratio of Azerbaijan’s superiority (in national power I assume) was 10:1.
    If the report, which he is referrring to, is a follow-up/update of our 2016 report, which I know was written without my participation, then I feel necessary to emphasize that th eArmenian government neither commissioned nor financed drafting of the 2016 original report. It was entirely my idea to write such a report. And I don’t know whether my co-authors in Armenia were compensated for the time they spent contributing to the 2016 report, but I definintely neither asked to be paid nor was paid.


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