Central Asian Militaries More Capable Than Many Think – OpEd


Many in Moscow and the West dismiss the military forces of the five post-Soviet Central Asian countries, but they are wrong to do so, according to Marat Shibtov, a military affairs specialist at Alma-Ata’s Center for Military-Strategic Research, who says that in most cases, they have far greater defense capabilities than observers think.

In a major article on the Regnum news portal today, he marshals an impressive array of data about the size of forces, their armaments, government military spending, and combat experience (regnum.ru/news/polit/2313004.html) in order to dispel the image the militaries of this region have and to offer four conclusions:

  • “Despite the existing stereotypes, the armed forces of the countries of the region are not badly armed and have sufficient numbers for current tasks.”
  • “The armed forces of the countries of the region carefully follow current trends in armaments and tactics which are being manifest in present-day local wars.”
  • “Considering that the main danger is the penetration on the territories of the countries there of groups of militants numbering up to approximately 300 people, they have completely sufficient military potential to respond adequately.”
  • “The possible shortage of professionalism can be completely compensated by the firepower of artillery and aviation that even in many population points like Iraq’s Mosul leads to victory.”

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