Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1948, it has been divided between two distinct sovereign states: South Korea. Korea consists of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island, several minor islands near the peninsula. Korea is bordered by China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, neighbours Japan to the east by the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan. During the first half of the 1st millennium, Korea was divided between the three competing states of Baekje and Silla, together known as the "Three Kingdoms of Korea". In the second half of the 1st millennium and Goguryeo were conquered by Silla, leading to the "Unified Silla" period. Meanwhile, Balhae formed in the north following the collapse of Goguryeo. Unified Silla collapsed into three separate states due to civil war, ushering in the Later Three Kingdoms. Toward the end of the 1st millennium Goryeo, a revival of Goguryeo, defeated the two other states and unified the Korean Peninsula as one single state. Around the same time, Balhae collapsed and its last crown prince fled south to Goryeo.
Goryeo, whose name developed into the modern exonym "Korea", was a cultured state that created the world's first metal movable type in 1234. However, multiple invasions by the Mongol Empire during the 13th century weakened the nation, which agreed to become a vassal state after decades of fighting. Following military resistance under King Gongmin which ended Mongol political influence in Goryeo, severe political strife followed, Goryeo fell to a coup led by General Yi Seong-gye, who established Joseon in 1392; the first 200 years of Joseon were marked by relative peace. During this period, the Korean alphabet was created by Sejong the Great in the 15th century and there was increasing influence of Confucianism. During the part of the dynasty, Korea's isolationist policy earned it the Western nickname of the "Hermit Kingdom". By the late 19th century, the country became the object of imperial design by the Empire of Japan. After the First Sino-Japanese War, despite the Korean Empire's effort to modernize, it was annexed by Japan in 1910 and ruled by Imperial Japan until the end of World War II in August 1945.
In 1945, the Soviet Union and the United States agreed on the surrender of Japanese forces in Korea in the aftermath of World War II, leaving Korea partitioned along the 38th parallel. The North was under Soviet occupation and the South under U. S. occupation. These circumstances soon became the basis for the division of Korea by the two superpowers, exacerbated by their inability to agree on the terms of Korean independence; the Communist-inspired government in the North received backing from the Soviet Union in opposition to the pro-Western government in the South, leading to Korea's division into two political entities: North Korea, South Korea. Tensions between the two resulted in the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. With involvement by foreign troops, the war ended in a stalemate in 1953, but without a formalized peace treaty; this status contributes to the high tensions. Both governments of the two Koreas claim to be the sole legitimate government of the region. "Korea" is the modern spelling of "Corea", a name attested in English as early as 1614.
Korea was transliterated as Cauli in The Travels of Marco Polo, of the Chinese 高麗. This was the Hanja for the Korean kingdom of Goryeo, which ruled most of the Korean peninsula during Marco Polo's time. Korea's introduction to the West resulted from trade and contact with merchants from Arabic lands, with some records dating back as far as the 9th century. Goryeo's name was a continuation of Goguryeo the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, known as Goryeo beginning in the 5th century; the original name was a combination of the adjective go with the name of a local Yemaek tribe, whose original name is thought to have been either *Guru or *Gauri. With expanding British and American trade following the opening of Korea in the late 19th century, the spelling "Korea" appeared and grew in popularity; the name Korea is now used in English contexts by both North and South Korea. In South Korea, Korea as a whole is referred to as Hanguk; the name references Samhan, referring to the Three Kingdoms of Korea, not the ancient confederacies in the southern Korean Peninsula.
Although written in Hanja as 韓, 幹, or 刊, this Han has no relation to the Chinese place names or peoples who used those characters but was a phonetic transcription of a native Korean word that seems to have had the meaning "big" or "great" in reference to leaders. It has been tentatively linked with the title khan used by the nomads of Central Asia. In North Korea, China and Japan, Korea as a whole is referred to as. "Great Joseon" was the name of the kingdom ruled by the Joseon dynasty from 1393 until their declaration of the short-lived Great Korean Empire in 1897. King Taejo had named them for the earlier Kojoseon, who ruled northern Korea from its legendary prehistory until their conquest in 108 BC by China's Han Empire; this go is the Hanja 古 and
A military is a heavily-armed, highly-organised force intended for warfare known collectively as armed forces. It is officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct military uniform, it may consist of one or more military branches such as an Army, Air Force and in certain countries and Coast Guard. The main task of the military is defined as defence of the state and its interests against external armed threats. Beyond warfare, the military may be employed in additional sanctioned and non-sanctioned functions within the state, including internal security threats, population control, the promotion of a political agenda, emergency services and reconstruction, protecting corporate economic interests, social ceremonies and national honor guards. A nation's military may function as a discrete social subculture, with dedicated infrastructure such as military housing, utilities, hospitals, legal services, food production and banking services.
In broad usage, the terms "armed forces" and "military" are treated as synonymous, although in technical usage a distinction is sometimes made in which a country's armed forces may include both its military and other paramilitary forces. There are various forms of irregular military forces; the profession of soldiering as part of a military is older than recorded history itself. Some of the most enduring images of classical antiquity portray the power and feats of its military leaders; the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC was one of the defining points of Pharaoh Ramses II's reign, his monuments commemorate it in bas-relief. A thousand years the first emperor of unified China, Qin Shi Huang, was so determined to impress the gods with his military might that he had himself buried with an army of terracotta soldiers; the Romans paid considerable attention to military matters, leaving to posterity many treatises and writings on the subject, as well as a large number of lavishly carved triumphal arches and victory columns.
Issue: Possibly cognate with Thousand, cf. Latin and Romance language root word "mil-")The first recorded use of the word military in English, spelled militarie, was in 1582, it comes from the Latin militaris through French, but is of uncertain etymology, one suggestion being derived from *mil-it- – going in a body or mass. The word is now identified as denoting someone, skilled in use of weapons, or engaged in military service, or in warfare; as a noun, the military refers to a country's armed forces, or sometimes, more to the senior officers who command them. In general, it refers to the physicality of armed forces, their personnel and the physical area which they occupy; as an adjective, military referred only to soldiers and soldiering, but it soon broadened to apply to land forces in general, anything to do with their profession. The names of both the Royal Military Academy and United States Military Academy reflect this. However, at about the time of the Napoleonic Wars,'military' began to be used in reference to armed forces as a whole, in the 21st century expressions like'military service','military intelligence', and'military history' encompass naval and air force aspects.
As such, it now connotes any activity performed by armed force personnel. Military history is considered to be the history of all conflicts, not just the history of the state militaries, it differs somewhat from the history of war, with military history focusing on the people and institutions of war-making, while the history of war focuses on the evolution of war itself in the face of changing technology and geography. Military history has a number of facets. One main facet is to learn from past accomplishments and mistakes, so as to more wage war in the future. Another is to create a sense of military tradition, used to create cohesive military forces. Still, another may be to learn to prevent wars more effectively. Human knowledge about the military is based on both recorded and oral history of military conflicts, their participating armies and navies and, more air forces. There are two types of military history, although all texts have elements of both: descriptive history, that serves to chronicle conflicts without offering any statements about the causes, nature of conduct, the ending, effects of a conflict.
Despite the growing importance of military technology, military activity depends above all on people. For example, in 2000 the British Army declared: "Man is still the first weapon of war." The military organization is characterized by a strict hierarchy divided by military rank, with ranks grouped as officers, non-commissioned officers, personnel at the lowest rank. While senior officers make strategic decisions, subordinated military personnel fulfil them. Although rank titles vary by military branch and country, the rank hierarchy is common to all state armed forces worldwide. In addition to their rank, personnel occupy one of many trade roles, which are grouped according to
Bahrain the Kingdom of Bahrain, is an island country in the Persian Gulf. The sovereign state comprises a small archipelago centered around Bahrain Island, situated between the Qatar peninsula and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, to which it is connected by the 25-kilometre King Fahd Causeway. Bahrain's population is 1,234,571, including 666,172 non-nationals, it is 765.3 square kilometres in size, making it the third-smallest nation in Asia after the Maldives and Singapore. Bahrain is the site of the ancient Dilmun civilisation, it has been famed since antiquity for its pearl fisheries, which were considered the best in the world into the 19th century. Bahrain was one of the earliest areas to convert to Islam, in 628 CE. Following a period of Arab rule, Bahrain was occupied by the Portuguese in 1521, who in turn were expelled in 1602 by Shah Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty under the Persian Empire. In 1783, the Bani Utbah clan captured Bahrain from Nasr Al-Madhkur and it has since been ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family, with Ahmed al Fateh as Bahrain's first hakim.
In the late 1800s, following successive treaties with the British, Bahrain became a protectorate of the United Kingdom. In 1971, Bahrain declared independence. An emirate, the Arab constitutional monarchy of Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002. In 2011, the country experienced protests inspired by the regional Arab Spring. Bahrain's ruling al-Khalifa royal family has been accused and criticized for human rights abuses, including imprisonment and execution of dissidents, political opposition figures and its Shia Muslim population. Bahrain had the first post-oil economy in the Persian Gulf. Since the late 20th century, Bahrain has invested in the tourism sectors. Many large financial institutions have a presence in the country's capital, it is recognised by the World Bank as a high-income economy. Bahrain is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Gulf Cooperation Council. Bahrayn is the dual form of Arabic bahr, so al-Bahrayn means "the two seas".
However, the name has been lexicalised as a feminine proper noun and does not follow the grammatical rules for duals. Endings are added to the word with no changes, as in the name of the national anthem Bahraynunā or the demonym Bahraynī; the mediaeval grammarian al-Jawahari commented on this saying that the more formally correct term Bahrī would have been misunderstood and so was unused. It remains disputed which "two seas" the name Bahrayn refers to; the term appears five times in the Quran, but does not refer to the modern island—originally known to the Arabs as Awal—but, rather, to all of Eastern Arabia. Today, Bahrain's "two seas" are taken to be the bay east and west of the island, the seas north and south of the island, or the salt and fresh water present above and below the ground. In addition to wells, there are areas of the sea north of Bahrain where fresh water bubbles up in the middle of the salt water as noted by visitors since antiquity. An alternate theory with regard to Bahrain's toponymy is offered by the al-Ahsa region, which suggests that the two seas were the Great Green Ocean and a peaceful lake on the Arabian mainland.
Until the late Middle Ages, "Bahrain" referred to the region of Eastern Arabia that included Southern Iraq, Kuwait, Al-Hasa and Bahrain. The region stretched from Basra in Iraq to the Strait of Hormuz in Oman; this was Iqlīm al-Bahrayn's "Bahrayn Province". The exact date at which the term "Bahrain" began to refer to the Awal archipelago is unknown; the entire coastal strip of Eastern Arabia was known as "Bahrain" for a millennium. The island and kingdom were commonly spelled Bahrein into the 1950s. Bahrain was home to Dilmun, an important Bronze Age trade centre linking Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. Bahrain was ruled by the Assyrians and Babylonians. From the sixth to third century BCE, Bahrain was part of the Achaemenid Empire. By about 250 BCE, Parthia brought the Persian Gulf under its control and extended its influence as far as Oman; the Parthians established garrisons along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf to control trade routes. During the classical era, Bahrain was referred to by the ancient Greeks as Tylos, the centre of pearl trading, when the Greek admiral Nearchus serving under Alexander the Great landed on Bahrain.
Nearchus is believed to have been the first of Alexander's commanders to visit the island, he found a verdant land, part of a wide trading network. The use of these is not confined to India, but extends to Arabia." The Greek historian Theophrastus states that much of Bahrain was covered by these cotton trees and that Bahrain was famous for exporting walking canes engraved with emblems that were customarily carried in Babylon. Alexander had planned to settle Greek colonists on Bahrain, although it is not clear that this happened on the scale he envisaged, Bahrain became much part of the Hellenised world: the language of the upper classes was Greek, while Zeus was worshipped in the form of the Arabian sun-god Shams. Bahrain became the site of
The Bahamas, known as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a country within the Lucayan Archipelago. The archipelagic state consists of more than 700 islands and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, is located north of Cuba and Hispaniola, northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, southeast of the U. S. state of Florida, east of the Florida Keys. The capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence; the designation of "the Bahamas" can refer either to the country or to the larger island chain that it shares with the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force describes the Bahamas territory as encompassing 470,000 km2 of ocean space; the Bahamas is the site of Columbus's first landfall in the New World in 1492. At that time, the islands were inhabited by the Lucayans, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taíno people. Although the Spanish never colonised the Bahamas, they shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola; the islands were deserted from 1513 until 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera.
The Bahamas became a British crown colony in 1718. After the American Revolutionary War, the Crown resettled thousands of American Loyalists in the Bahamas. Africans constituted the majority of the population from this period; the slave trade was abolished by the British in 1807. Subsequently, the Bahamas became a haven for freed African slaves. Today, Afro-Bahamians make up nearly 90% of the population; the Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973 with Elizabeth II as its queen. In terms of gross domestic product per capita, the Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas, with an economy based on tourism and finance; the name Bahamas is most derived from either the Taíno ba ha ma, a term for the region used by the indigenous Native Americans, or from the Spanish baja mar reflecting the shallow waters of the area. Alternatively, it may originate from a local name of unclear meaning; the word The constitutes an integral part of the short form of the name and is, capitalised.
So in contrast to "the Congo" and "the United Kingdom", it is proper to write "The Bahamas." The name The Bahamas is thus comparable with certain non-English names that use the definite article, such as Las Vegas or Los Angeles. The Constitution of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the country's fundamental law, capitalizes the "T" in "The Bahamas." Taino people moved into the uninhabited southern Bahamas from Hispaniola and Cuba around the 11th century, having migrated there from South America. They came to be known as the Lucayan people. An estimated 30,000 Lucayans inhabited the Bahamas at the time of Christopher Columbus's arrival in 1492. Columbus's first landfall in the New World was on an island; some researchers believe this site to be present-day San Salvador Island, situated in the southeastern Bahamas. An alternative theory holds that Columbus landed to the southeast on Samana Cay, according to calculations made in 1986 by National Geographic writer and editor Joseph Judge, based on Columbus's log.
Evidence in support of this remains inconclusive. On the landfall island, Columbus exchanged goods with them; the Spanish forced much of the Lucayan population to Hispaniola for use as forced labour. The slaves suffered from harsh conditions and most died from contracting diseases to which they had no immunity; the population of the Bahamas was diminished. In 1648, the Eleutherian Adventurers, led by William Sayle, migrated from Bermuda; these English Puritans established the first permanent European settlement on an island which they named Eleuthera—the name derives from the Greek word for freedom. They settled New Providence, naming it Sayle's Island after one of their leaders. To survive, the settlers salvaged goods from wrecks. In 1670, King Charles II granted the islands to the Lords Proprietors of the Carolinas in North America, they rented the islands from the king with rights of trading, appointing governors, administering the country. In 1684 Spanish corsair Juan de Alcon raided Charles Town.
In 1703, a joint Franco-Spanish expedition occupied the Bahamian capital during the War of the Spanish Succession. During proprietary rule, the Bahamas became a haven for pirates, including Blackbeard. To put an end to the'Pirates' republic' and restore orderly government, Great Britain made the Bahamas a crown colony in 1718 under the royal governorship of Woodes Rogers. After a difficult struggle, he succeeded in suppressing piracy. In 1720, Rogers led local militia to drive off a Spanish attack. During the US War of Independence in the late 18th century, the islands became a target for US naval forces under the command of Commodore Esek Hopkins. US Marines occupied the capital of Nassau for 2 weeks. In 1782, following the British defeat at Yorktown, a Spanish fleet appeared off the coast of Nassau; the city surrendered without a fight. Spain returned possession of the Bahamas to Great Britain the following year, u
Angola the Republic of Angola, is a west-coast country of south-central Africa. It is the seventh-largest country in Africa, bordered by Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Angola has an exclave province, the province of Cabinda that borders the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the capital and largest city of Angola is Luanda. Although inhabited since the Paleolithic Era, what is now Angola was molded by Portuguese colonisation, it began with, was for centuries limited to, coastal settlements and trading posts established starting in the 16th century. In the 19th century, European settlers and hesitantly began to establish themselves in the interior; the Portuguese colony that became Angola did not have its present borders until the early 20th century because of resistance by groups such as the Cuamato, the Kwanyama and the Mbunda. After a protracted anti-colonial struggle, independence was achieved in 1975 as the Marxist–Leninist People's Republic of Angola, a one-party state supported by the Soviet Union and Cuba.
The civil war between the ruling People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola and the insurgent anti-communist National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, supported by the United States and South Africa, lasted until 2002. The sovereign state has since become a stable unitary, presidential constitutional republic. Angola has vast mineral and petroleum reserves, its economy is among the fastest-growing in the world since the end of the civil war. Angola's economic growth is uneven, with most of the nation's wealth concentrated in a disproportionately small sector of the population. Angola is a member state of the United Nations, OPEC, African Union, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Southern African Development Community. A multiethnic country, Angola's 25.8 million people span tribal groups and traditions. Angolan culture reflects centuries of Portuguese rule, in the predominance of the Portuguese language and of the Catholic Church; the name Angola comes from the Portuguese colonial name Reino de Angola, which appeared as early as Dias de Novais's 1571 charter.
The toponym was derived by the Portuguese from the title ngola held by the kings of Ndongo. Ndongo in the highlands, between the Kwanza and Lukala Rivers, was nominally a possession of the Kingdom of Kongo, but was seeking greater independence in the 16th century. Modern Angola was populated predominantly by nomadic Khoi and San prior to the first Bantu migrations; the Khoi and San peoples hunter-gatherers. They were displaced by Bantu peoples arriving from the north, most of whom originated in what is today northwestern Nigeria and southern Niger. Bantu speakers introduced the cultivation of bananas and taro, as well as large cattle herds, to Angola's central highlands and the Luanda plain. Hendese Bantu established a number of political entities, it established trade routes with other city-states and civilisations up and down the coast of southwestern and western Africa and with Great Zimbabwe and the Mutapa Empire, although it engaged in little or no transoceanic trade. To its south lay the Kingdom of Ndongo, from which the area of the Portuguese colony was sometimes known as Dongo.
Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão reached the area in 1484. The previous year, the Portuguese had established relations with the Kongo, which stretched at the time from modern Gabon in the north to the Kwanza River in the south; the Portuguese established their primary early trading post at Soyo, now the northernmost city in Angola apart from the Cabinda exclave. Paulo Dias de Novais founded São Paulo de Loanda in 1575 with a hundred families of settlers and four hundred soldiers. Benguela was fortified in 1587 and became a township in 1617; the Portuguese established several other settlements and trading posts along the Angolan coast, principally trading in Angolan slaves for Brazilian plantations. Local slave dealers provided a large number of slaves for the Portuguese Empire in exchange for manufactured goods from Europe; this part of the Atlantic slave trade continued until after Brazil's independence in the 1820s. Despite Portugal's territorial claims in Angola, its control over much of the country's vast interior was minimal.
In the 16th century Portugal gained control of the coast through a series of wars. Life for European colonists was progress slow. John Iliffe notes that "Portuguese records of Angola from the 16th century show that a great famine occurred on average every seventy years. During the Portuguese Restoration War, the Dutch West India Company occupied the principal settlement of Luanda in 1641, using alliances with local peoples to carry out attacks against Portuguese holdings elsewhere. A fleet under Salvador de Sá retook Luanda in 1648. New treaties with the Kongo were signed in 1649.
Afghanistan the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in South-Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, its territory covers 652,000 square kilometers and much of it is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range, which experiences cold winters. The north consists of fertile plains, while the south-west consists of deserts where temperatures can get hot in summers. Kabul serves as its largest city. Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, the country's strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia; the land has been home to various peoples and has witnessed numerous military campaigns, including those by Alexander the Great, Muslim Arabs, British and since 2001 by the United States with NATO-allied countries. It has been called "unconquerable" and nicknamed the "graveyard of empires"; the land served as the source from which the Kushans, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Khaljis, Hotaks and others have risen to form major empires.
The political history of the modern state of Afghanistan began with the Hotak and Durrani dynasties in the 18th century. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between British India and the Russian Empire, its border with British India, the Durand Line, was formed in 1893 but it is not recognized by the Afghan government and it has led to strained relations with Pakistan since the latter's independence in 1947. Following the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919 the country was free of foreign influence becoming a monarchy under King Amanullah, until 50 years when Zahir Shah was overthrown and a republic was established. In 1978, after a second coup Afghanistan first became a socialist state and a Soviet Union protectorate; this evoked the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s against mujahideen rebels. By 1996 most of Afghanistan was captured by the Islamic fundamentalist group the Taliban, who ruled most of the country as a totalitarian regime for over five years.
The Taliban were forcibly removed by the NATO-led coalition, a new democratically-elected government political structure was formed, but they still control a significant portion of the country. Afghanistan is a unitary presidential Islamic republic with a population of 31 million composed of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks and Uzbeks, it is a member of the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Group of 77, the Economic Cooperation Organization, the Non-Aligned Movement. Afghanistan's economy is the world's 108th largest, with a GDP of $64.08 billion. The name Afghānistān is believed to be as old as the ethnonym Afghan, documented in the 10th-century geography book Hudud ul-'alam; the root name "Afghan" was used in reference to a member of the ethnic Pashtuns, the suffix "-stan" means "place of" in Persian. Therefore, Afghanistan translates to land of the Afghans or, more in a historical sense, to land of the Pashtuns. However, the modern Constitution of Afghanistan states that "he word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan."
Excavations of prehistoric sites by Louis Dupree and others suggest that humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago, that farming communities in the area were among the earliest in the world. An important site of early historical activities, many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites; the country sits at a unique nexus point where numerous civilizations have interacted and fought. It has been home to various peoples through the ages, among them the ancient Iranian peoples who established the dominant role of Indo-Iranian languages in the region. At multiple points, the land has been incorporated within large regional empires, among them the Achaemenid Empire, the Macedonian Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Islamic Empire. Many empires and kingdoms have risen to power in Afghanistan, such as the Greco-Bactrians, Hephthalites, Kabul Shahis, Samanids, Ghurids, Kartids, Timurids and the Hotak and Durrani dynasties that marked the political origins of the modern state.
Archaeological exploration done in the 20th century suggests that the geographical area of Afghanistan has been connected by culture and trade with its neighbors to the east and north. Artifacts typical of the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Iron ages have been found in Afghanistan. Urban civilization is believed to have begun as early as 3000 BCE, the early city of Mundigak may have been a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization. More recent findings established that the Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up towards modern-day Afghanistan, making the ancient civilisation today part of Pakistan and India. In more detail, it extended from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan. An Indus Valley site has been found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan. There are several smaller IVC colonies to be found in Afghanistan as well. After 2000 BCE, successive waves of semi-nomadic
Azerbaijani Armed Forces
The Armed Forces of Azerbaijan were re-established according to the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the Armed Forces from 9 October 1991. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic had formed its own armed forces from 26 June 1918; however these were dissolved after Azerbaijan was absorbed into the Soviet Union as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic from 28 April 1920. After the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991–92 the armed forces were reformed based on Soviet bases and equipment left on Azeri soil; the armed forces have three branches: the Azerbaijani Land Forces, the Azerbaijani Air and Air Defence Force, the Azerbaijani Navy. Associated forces include the Azerbaijani National Guard, the Internal Troops of Azerbaijan, the State Border Service, which can be involved in state defense under certain circumstances. According to the Azerbaijani media sources the military expenditures of Azerbaijan for 2009 were set at $2.46 billion USD, however according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, only $1.473 billion was spent in that year.
IISS suggests that the defence budget in 2009 was $1.5 billion. The Ministry of Defence Industry of Azerbaijan supervises the design, manufacturing and maintenance of military equipment. In the future, Azerbaijan hopes to start building tanks, armored vehicles, military planes and military helicopters; the incumbent Minister of Defence of Azerbaijan is Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, who succeeded Safar Abiyev. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan has been trying to further develop its armed forces into a professional, well trained, mobile military. Azerbaijan has been undergoing extensive modernization and capacity expanding programs, with the military budget increasing from around $300 million in 2005 to $2.46 billion in 2009. The total armed forces number 56,840 men in the land forces, 7,900 men in the air force and air defence force, 2,200 men in the navy. There are 19,500 personnel in the National Guard, State Border Service, Internal Troops. In addition, there are 300,000 former service personnel who have had military service in the last 15 years.
The military hardware of Azerbaijan consists of 220 main battle tanks, an additional 162 T-80's were acquired between 2005 and 2010, 595 armored combat vehicles and 270 artillery systems. The air force has 35 helicopters. Azerbaijan has acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapons state. Azerbaijan participates in NATO's Partnership for Peace. Azerbaijan joined the multi-national force in 2003, it sent 150 troops to Iraq, troops to Kosovo. Azeri troops are still serving in Afghanistan. Despite the rise in Azerbaijan's defence budget, the armed forces were assessed in 2008 as not having a high state of battle readiness and being ill-prepared for wide scale combat operations. However, in 2017 Global Firepower ranked Azerbaijan 59th among 127 countries for its military strength, it was the best performance among the countries of South Caucasus. Today'National Hero of Azerbaijan' is the highest national title in the country, awarded for outstanding services of national importance to Azerbaijan in defense, as well as other deeds in other spheres.
The history of the modern Azerbaijan army dates back to Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918, when the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan Republic were created on 26 June 1918. First de facto Minister of Defense of ADR was Dr. Khosrov bey Sultanov; when the Ministry was formally established Gen. Samedbey Mehmandarov became the minister, Lt-Gen. Ali-Agha Shikhlinski his deputy. Chiefs of Staff of ADR Army were Lt-Gen. Maciej Sulkiewicz and Maj-Gen. Abdulhamid bey Gaitabashi; the Red Army invaded Azerbaijan on 28 April 1920. Although the bulk of the newly formed Azerbaijani army was engaged in putting down an Armenian revolt that had just broken out in Karabakh, the Azeris did not surrender their brief independence of 1918–20 or easily; as many as 20,000 of the total 30,000 soldiers died resisting what was a Russian reconquest. The national Army of Azerbaijan was abolished by the Bolshevik government, 15 of the 21 army generals were executed by the Bolsheviks. During World War II, Azerbaijan played a crucial role in the strategic energy policy of Soviet Union.
Much of the Soviet Union's oil on the Eastern Front was supplied by Baku. By a decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in February 1942, the commitment of more than 500 workers and employees of the oil industry of Azerbaijan was recognised with orders and medals. Operation Edelweiss carried out by the German Wehrmacht targeted Baku because of the importance of its oil fields to the USSR; some 800,000 Azerbaijanis fought within the ranks of the Soviet Army. Azeri national formations of the Red Army included the 223rd, 227th, 396th, 402nd, 416th Rifle Divisions. Azeri Major-General Hazi Aslanov was awarded a second Hero of the Soviet Union after a long post-war fight for recognition of his accomplishments. During the Cold War, Azerbaijan had been the deployment area of units of the Soviet 4th Army whose principle formations in 1988 included four motor rifle divisions; the 75th Motor Rifle Division was isolated in Nakhichevan. The 4th Army included missile and air defense brigades and artillery and rocket regiments.
The 75th Division's stores and equipment were transferred to the Nakhichevan authorities. Azerbaijan hosted the 49th Arsenal of the Soviet Main Agency of Missiles and Artillery, which contained over 7,000 train-car loads of ammunition to the excess of one billion units; the first president of Azerbaijan, Ayaz Mutallibov, did not wish to build an independent army