Despite the decision on the establishment of the Ministry of Defense on September 5, 1991, after Azerbaijan regained its independence and the law on the establishment of the Armed Forces by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan on October 9, 1991, the leadership of the Republic did not make any effort to implement these decisions. The protection of lands remained only in the hope of voluntary detachments operating in retail. There were also separate uncontrollable armed groups serving personal interests. All this was put to an end only after national leader Heydar Aliyev came to power again in 1993. As the Supreme Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, Heydar Aliyev also managed to recover in the military sphere. Having eliminated armed formations operating under the guise of local self-defense and volunteer battalions, he created an army of order organized in a unified command system. The fact that the Supreme Commander-in-chief visited the front line and met our fighters in the trenches and inspired them to fight gave real results. It was not long ago that a successful military operation was carried out against the enemy in the direction of Horadiz settlement of Fuzuli region in early 1994. After the ceasefire was declared on May 12, 1994, the process of building a regular and modern army in Azerbaijan started with great confidence. Regular army building began to take shape in the country.
Based on the principle of succession, June 26 is celebrated as the day of the Armed Forces by the order of national leader Heydar Aliyev dated May 22, 1998.
The process of Army building in independent Azerbaijan entered a completely new stage during the reign of President Ilham Aliyev. Thanks to the attention and care of the president, Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev, who successfully continued and developed the policy of Army building of the Great Leader, the professionalism of the servicemen increased, the fighting spirit and morale and psychological training of the personnel, the supply of the Armed Forces with the most modern weapons and equipment was always at the forefront. It was thanks to the attention and care of President Ilham Aliyev that the Azerbaijani armed forces became the most powerful army in the region in a short time. Not surprisingly, in a report prepared by the authoritative center Global Fire Power based on 55 indicators, the Azerbaijani army participates in the world's first army in the South Caucasus.
By the Order of President Ilham Aliyev, the military industry has also been established in Azerbaijan. More than a thousand military products are produced in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan's military products are demonstrated at the world's leading international exhibitions.
The military power of the Azerbaijani army was demonstrated at the military parade held on June 26, 2011, in Baku on the occasion of the Armed Forces Day and the 20th anniversary of the restoration of independence with the participation of the Supreme Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, President Ilham Aliyev.
Our brave Army once again proved its strength in April 2016. In response to the provocations of the Armenian army on April 2, the Azerbaijani army defeated the enemy in a rapid counter-attack operation, freeing more than 2,000 hectares of the occupied territories of Fuzuli, Jabrayil, and Tartar districts. Also, thousands of hectares of land were passed to full control of the Azerbaijani army. With the four-day April battles, the Azerbaijani army once again gave our people the joy of victory.
Another success of the Azerbaijani army was achieved with the victory of Gunnut two years after the April battles — in May 2018. As a result of this successful operation, more than 11 thousand hectares of the territory of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and Gunnut village of Sharur region were liberated from the enemy and favorable positions were taken under the control of the Azerbaijani army along the state border. Thus, the operation of moving the front line of the National Army's defensive line to favorable positions along the state border was successfully concluded and the goal was achieved.
Having bravely prevented the provocations committed by the enemy in the direction of the Tovuz region in July 2020, the brave Azerbaijani army soon gave our people the joy of the most glorious victory in its history. In the Patriotic War, which began on September 27, 2020, the Glorious Victory, won by the President of the Azerbaijan Army İlham Aliyev
Supreme Commander-in-Chief, established important traces not only in the history of Azerbaijan but also in the history of world military science. The Azerbaijani army, which is constantly ready to order the liberation of our lands, began a large-scale counteroffensive operation-The patriotic war by order of the president, the victorious commander-in-chief. The Azerbaijani army, without retreating a single step, dealt a crushing blow to the enemy and in 44 days — until November 9 — liberated 5 cities, 4 villages, and up to 300 villages from occupation. The war, which resulted in the complete defeat of the enemy, ended on November 10 when the Azerbaijani President, the Prime Minister of Armenia, and the Russian President signed a statement on the complete cessation of fire and all military operations in the conflict zone. According to the statement, Aghdam, on November 20, Kalbajar and Lachin districts were handed over to Azerbaijan on November 25.
In honor of the glorious Victory on December 10, Baku hosted the solemn Victory Parade with the participation of Azerbaijani President İlham Aliyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Along with modern weapons and equipment owned by the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, weapons and military equipment destroyed or seized as loot was demonstrated at the parade.
In order to promote the Great Victory in the glorious Patriotic War, the Military Loot Park, which was established in Baku, displays weapons, equipment, and combat flags taken from the enemy, reflecting the Azerbaijan Army's impressive success over the enemy. At present, the Azerbaijani state successfully continues international military cooperation, which meets national and state interests, benefiting from the new geostrategic and geopolitical trends created in its region. Military analytical centers of the world analyze the victory of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in the 44-Day War, defense structures of many states study the combat experience gained by our army in war and earn on military tactics.
Azerbaijan, located in such a complex geopolitical region as the South Caucasus, and at the intersection of the interests of various states, carries out international military relations within the framework of mutual interests with the military structures of foreign states and international organizations. International military cooperation is carried out in connection with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant state bodies, departments, organizations, and enterprises, on the basis of military doctrine and “concept of international military cooperation of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan” by the Ministry of Defense.
The goals and directions of international military cooperation are determined in accordance with the national interests of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
One-sided, bilateral, and multilateral cooperation with foreign countries, Euro-Atlantic structures, international organizations, and leading countries' defense industry sectors is one of the main directions of the international military strategy. Azerbaijan, along with Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, USA, UK, Pakistan, Israel, etc. military, military-technical and military-political cooperation with the countries.
In the international military relations of our country, cooperation with Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, the İsrail states, the NATO bloc is of particular importance.
Azerbaijan's most important military partner is the brotherly Republic of Turkey. Military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey is of great importance not only in terms of strengthening the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan but also in terms of ensuring peace and security in the region as a whole. Analysis of the new geopolitical landscape of the South Caucasus with the victory of the Azerbaijani army in the 44-Day War reveals the role and importance of military cooperation between the two brotherly and friendly states.
The “agreement on strategic partnership and mutual assistance between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Turkey” signed on September 15, 2010, laid the foundation of a new stage in the development of Azerbaijan-Turkey military relations. With this agreement, a High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council of Azerbaijan and Turkey was established. According to article 2 of the treaty, when one of the parties is subjected to an armed attack or military aggression by a third State or group of States, the parties, including the use of military capabilities and abilities to exercise the right of private or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will provide mutual assistance to each other with a view to taking all necessary measures within the limits of available capabilities. In fact, this document can be regarded as a military alliance agreement between the two fraternal countries. The historical visits of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the city of Shusha on June 15, 2021, and the Shusha declaration signed here are of great importance in terms of increasing the military power of Azerbaijan. The Shusha declaration reveals the importance of Turkey's military involvement in ensuring a strategic balance of power and security in the South Caucasus. The new priorities of military cooperation are the raising of military relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey to the level of cooperation, the establishment of political and legal ties, the holding of joint meetings of security councils of Azerbaijan and Turkey with the Shusha declaration. At official meetings and speeches, President of Azerbaijan İlham Aliyev stressed the importance of further deepening the integration of the armed forces of the two fraternal countries for security and stability in the region, expressing the prospect of military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Cooperation in the planning of joint activities of the country's armed forces, operations, as well as numerous joint exercises is important area of unity and cooperation. Relations of great importance in the field of the defense industry are also one of the main directions of military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey. Speaking about cooperation in the defense industry, the importance of the Bayraktar UAV produced by the Turkish military industry in the victory of the Azerbaijan Army during the Second Karabakh War should be emphasized. Azerbaijan's introduction of cooperation methods with Turkey as a joint production in the defense industry is a promising military cooperation project.
Azerbaijan also contributes to the establishment of international peace and security in the framework of cooperation with NATO. In this direction, the professionalism of Azerbaijani servicemen in peacekeeping operations should be especially emphasized. The peacekeeping contingent of the Azerbaijani army has been involved in peacekeeping operations since 1999.
Azerbaijan's most important area of cooperation with NATO is within the framework of the Partnership for Peace program. Every year, within the framework of this program, officers of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces participate in up to 500 training and seminars. At present, the “Partnership for Peace” Center under the training center of the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan is functioning. It should also be noted that since 2003, NATO has been involved in the financing of the summer school in Baku. From year to year, the scope of programs expanded and as a result, NATO International School was established in Azerbaijan in 2005.
Azerbaijan, which implements the measures envisaged in the framework of the Plan of Operations for Individual Partnership with NATO, the Planning and Analysis Process, also has serious ties with Russia in the military sphere. Russia has a special place among the countries where the Azerbaijani army cooperates extensively in terms of supplies of military equipment and weapons. The participation of Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh in order to establish security and stability in the South Caucasus after the victory of the Azerbaijani army in the II Karabakh war constitutes a new stage in military-political relations between the two countries.
One of the important partners of Azerbaijan in military and foreign policy is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Pakistan always supports us in the international arena and openly declares that it always stands by Azerbaijan. The "plan of bilateral military cooperation" signed between the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Joint Staff of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan also creates the effect of the military alliance between the two countries.
Military cooperation with the state of Israel occupies an important place in the international military strategy of Azerbaijan. In recent years, military cooperation with this country has been developing dynamically. Azerbaijan buys modern UAVs, radars, missile systems, and coast guard vehicles from Israeli defense industry companies.
At present, the Republic of Azerbaijan sets out the development of military infrastructure in accordance with international standards as a necessary condition in order to have a stronger military potential and maintain bilateral, trilateral, and multilateral military cooperation with the world's leading states and international military organizations.