Kazakhstan and Central Asia Defence & Security Report Q3 2013
Published by Business Monitor International
on May 9, 2013
, 53 pages
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We believe that while internal and external security challenges are faced by all of the nations in this volatile region, the armed forces of the five countries surveyed in this report remain under-equipped with Cold War-era materiel.
BMI's Kazakhstan And Central Asia Defence & Security Report for Q313 makes several key findings: Firstly, despite the Soviet Union having dissolved two decades ago, the armed forces of the countries surveyed in this report continue to make use of ageing and obsolete military equipment. This can be seen by the large inventories of Cold War-era Soviet-supplied materiel that continues to furnish their inventories.
Secondly, despite the security challenges faced by these countries, notably in the form of 'blowback' from the civil war in nearby Afghanistan, local border disputes and domestic insurgencies, there are no major reequipment programmes being undertaken to address materiel shortcomings in any of the five countries surveyed in the report. Typically, all five states perform piecemeal acquisitions of small quantities of military equipment; witness Kazakhstan's order for two C-295 turboprop freighters (with an option of a further six aircraft). This is arguably the largest combat aircraft acquisition programme in this region.
Thirdly, collective security arrangements do exist between these nations and other members of the former Soviet Union. These are best exemplified in the form of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. All Central Asian states are also members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have also signed a 'Defense Union'. Yet there are questions regarding the integrity and strength of these regional initiatives. Witness Uzbekistan's decision to withdraw from the CSTO in June 2012 in protest against Russia's decision to deploy a Rapid Reaction Force to Kyrgyzstan for regional security.