Azerbaijani Armed Forces

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The Emblem of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces

The Azerbaijani Armed Forces (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Silahlı Qüvvələri) is the military of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The armed forces have three branches: the Azerbaijani Land Force, the Azerbaijani Air Force, and the Azerbaijani Navy. Related forces which are not part of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, include the paramilitary Azerbaijani National Guard, the Internal Troops of Azerbaijan, and the State Border Service of Azerbaijan (who patrol Azerbaijan’s borders with Georgia, Russia, Iran, Turkey and Armenia), which can be involved in state defense.

The Commander-in-Chief of the military is the President of Azerbaijan, currently Ilham Aliyev. The Ministry of Defense is in charge of political leadership. It is currently headed by Safar Abiyev. Military command is in the hands of the General Staff, headed by the Chief of Staff, who is Colonel-General Najmaddin Sadigov.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan has been trying to further develop its armed forces into a professional, well trained, and mobile military. Based on 2007 statistics the country has about 66,940 troops, and a paramilitary force of 15,000 troops. There are 300,000 former service personnel who have had military service in the last fifteen years.[1]

Azerbaijan had actually established the Azerbaijani Armed Forces and a Ministry of Defense on June 26, 1918 with the first independence of Azerbaijan, as the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, after the collpase of the Russian Empire in 1918 until it was invaded and annexed by the Soviet Union in 1920 which came after the Russian Empire. The Azerbaijani Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defense were established again in 1991 with the second and final independence of Azerbaijan, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the Azerbaijani Armed Forces were formed out of the former Soviet forces in the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.

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  1. IISS (2007). The Military Balance 2007. London: Routledge for the IISS. p. 157. ISBN 978-1-85743-437-8 .