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"Nation-Army" Concept Mostly Refers to the Society: "Nation-Army 2017" Conference

Recently, active discussions have been taking place among the society on "Nation-Army" concept, which was put into circulation by Vigen Sargsyan, the RA Minister of Defense, last year.

The attitude of the society towards the concept is different: some people think it is the militarization of society, others believe it is a step towards a more inclusive military defense system. The social, political and expert circles of Armenia exchanged views on these issues during the discussion entitled "Nation-Army: Formula of Security" in the framework of "Nation-Army 2017" conference held yesterday at Karen Demirtchyan Sports and Concerts Complex in Yerevan.

"Being a"Nation-Army" does not mean that the entire resources of state will be spent on the army, that the society will regress. It is a certain degree of mobilization, which allows to be more effective in different areas," during the discussion Vigen Sargsyan, the Minister of Defense, said, adding that the "Nation-Army" concept is not related to the Karabakh conflict, it is a form of self-organization of the society. "We are "Nation-Army" not only because of the military challenges. Each 40th citizen of Armenia serves in the army as a soldier and officer. It is a very large number," the Minister said.

Expert Alexander Iskandaryan believes that "Nation-Army" concept is more related to society. "This more refers not to the army, which perhaps is the most prepared element of this concept, but the attitude towards the army. "Nation-Army" is about upbringing, education system. Society should treat the army as religion and national identity. Otherwise, the Army will not be combat ready no matter how much you invest," Iskandaryan noted.

According to the Deputy of the RA National Assembly Karen Bekaryan, "Nation-Army" concept brings with itself the assumption of a substantial number of things: all elements of society, all institutional bodies, some time each individual should be able to find his role in this concept. In this context, he emphasized the importance of parliamentary diplomacy and the role of civil society and the media.

A number of suggestions on engaging the public in the realization of this concept were made - to organize overtime respective classes in schools, to introduce a system in which each person periodically for some time will leave for military training courses, to teach how to use weapons in educational institutions, etc.

However, participants noted that "Nation-Army" concept is now just a slogan, words that should be filled with content. In this regard, representatives of each sphere have their work to do. 


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