On May 10, Armenia moved to triple its Afghan contingent to 130 personnel -- a figure that will make the tiny South Caucasus country the second-largest South Caucasus troop contributor to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Afghan campaign. It follows after NATO groupie Georgia, which tips the scales at 924 personnel.
By comparison, Azerbaijan, the largest and the richest of the Caucasus lot, will now have the smallest number of forces (94) on the ground in Afghanistan.
Competition between the three countries traditionally runs deep; no less so, it would appear, in Afghanistan.
“Armenia should not be in the last place in this regard in the South Caucasus,” argued Defense Minister Seiran Oganian in his May 10 address to Armenia's National Assembly. Some Armenian lawmakers agreed, saying that beefing up Armenia's troop presence in Afghanistan will improve the country's international image.