1. The problem of survival and long-term security of the Republic of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh forms the basis of the current Armenian-Azerbaijani-Turkish conflict.
2. A speedy compromise solution to the conflict is preferable for Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh rather than the continuation of the present "neither war, nor peace" situation. However, even an Elementary calculation of legitimate strategic needs will preclude the Armenian side from retreating from its relatively high military security level attained through military advances in the early and mid 1990s.
3.Any territorial concessions to Azerbaijan should be compensated by other than territorial guarantees for the security of Armenia. Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh should be allowed to maintain their military security on at least its present level.
4. The OSCE peace plan fails to solve or even to recognize these problems.
5. Including the USA in the current Russian-Armenian defense alliance will provide the Armenian side with the security guarantees that are an equivalent and sufficient substitute for relinquished territories.
At present, the chances for the implementation of any compromise peace plan seem to be unfavorable and impractical. A precondition for any kind of lasting peace is a shift in the intransigent position of Azerbaijan and Turkey. Currently, neither Turkey nor Azerbaijan are under international pressure to negotiate seriously and make reasonable concessions to the Armenian side, and therefore, no progress in negotiations seems possible. Furthermore, due to the geopolitical and geo-economic interests of the West, western, and particularly US and British media, especially blame Armenia for the failure to reach a negotiated settlement.
.; Other obstacles stem from internal politics in the USA and Russia. In the USA non-interventionist, "neo-isolationist" attitudes of the public and similar inclinations in sectors of the legislative and executive branches, have gained new momentum with the end of the cold war. It seems that a strong military commitment to the security of Armenia would not be taken up by a US president or the Senate. As for Russia, some opposition forces could try to interpret the proposed tripartite alliance as a further Russian retreat from its traditional spheres of influence. Finally, the behind-the-scenes geopolitical power struggles between the USA and Russia in Transcaucasia are still in full swing.
.; Thus Armenia must seriously consider its strategic realities. In the foreseeable future, the hostile policies of Turkey and Azerbaijan toward
Armenia are not going to subside. They threaten at any moment to escalate into a full-scale war. Concomitantly, the Armenian side is unlikely to retreat from any of the strategically important territories currently under its control. For years and perhaps decades to come, the only remaining option and historical task for Armenia is to seek ways to live, to develop and to thrive under precisely such unfavorable circumstances. There is no other way to survive.
At the same time, Azerbaijani- Turkish intransigence should not halt the search for a viable peace. Armenia's diplomacy has been predominantly responsive and defensive. What Armenia needs is a more mature, responsible, imaginative and aggressive diplomacy. It is time for the Armenian side to seize the initiative in the negotiating process by elaborating and presenting to the international community new original ideas for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Despite all of the discouraging considerations mentioned above, I strongly believe that the Nagorno-Karabagh peace plan proposed here, especially the idea of US-Russian mutual engagement, deserves careful attention. Each of the steps in the plan illustrates a particular problem in the conflict, clarifies its multi-level, complex and diverse patterns, and provides a sort of "crisis diagnosis". The peace plan opens the way to consideration of a US-Russian geostrategic partnership that could materialize and take effective forms in the not too distant future, perhaps within one or two decades. That would be the optimistic long-range interpretation. The other not so positive possibil ity is that the partnership will emerge too late or not at all.