Kazakhstan - Security Policy

Kazakhstan has no enemies. The Kazakh military is relatively unconcerned with external state-on-state warfare. Kazakhstan’s security concerns are ethnic tensions between native Kazakhs and ethnic Russians, Islamic extremism, drug trafficking, border security, and water management. Kazakhstan’s military posturing is geared towards these security concerns. The Kazakh Armed Forces focus on: border security, protecting natural resources, and counter insurgency/terrorism operations.

The Soviet doctrine inherited by the Kazakh Army proved problematic with Kazakhstan’s security concerns. Soviet doctrine was intended for large-scale, state-on-state warfare. The Soviet approach to accomplish this task was to quickly mobilize a massive amount of manpower to quickly overwhelm the enemy. The implication of this doctrine was that the quantity of troops was far more important than the quality. The Kazakh leadership realized that the security concerns the Kazakh Army would most likely face would require a smaller, more mobile, and higher quality army.

The principal stimulus for military reform was President Nazarbayev’s Decree of March 2003, which assigns the main priority to defense against terrorism, calls for improved capabilities for defense against terrorism, and ensures protection and security of the national borders. Under the decree, reorganization is also taking place in the main armed forces structures, which, in addition to the Ground Forces, Air Defense Forces, and the Missile Troops and Artillery, now also comprise the Navy and Airmobile Forces.

In 1992 Kazakstan adopted a three-stage defense doctrine, calling for creation of administrative, command, and support organizations in 1992, restructuring of field forces between 1993 and 1996, and a modernization process leading to establishment of a fully professional military force by 2000. In 1992 Minister of Defense Sagadat Nurmagambetov abandoned the last goal as impractical, calling rather for a combination of conscripts and contract service personnel. In the summer of 1994, Kazakstan's Institute for Strategic Studies called for the complete abandonment of the official defense doctrine. The existing doctrine was criticized for being based on outmoded Soviet precepts that combined fear of hostile military encirclement with a commitment to peace that approached pacificism.

The institute argued that Kazakstan should instead base its defense policies on the assumption that the republic likely would find itself amid border confrontations involving CIS nations, an expansionist China, and Islamic neighbors with enhanced power and ambition. To prepare for such events, the institute recommended de-emphasizing military development and instead pursuing multinational defense agreements along the lines of Nazarbayev's proposed Euro-Asian Union or, absent that, a military alliance with Russia and active pursuit of NATO membership. Kazakstan became a member of NATO's Partnership for Peace in 1994.

Following the appearance of the institute's evaluation, the Ministry of Defense has acknowledged that the second of its original goals--restructuring of field forces by 1996--likely could not be achieved. This admission meant that Kazakstan's dependence upon Russia likely would become even greater. In January 1995, the two countries signed agreements committing them to creation of "unified armed forces." To deflect criticism that such an agreement was inimical to national sovereignty, Nazarbayev likened the new arrangement to the Warsaw Pact and NATO, as distinct from the formation of a single armed force. At the same time, Russia formally took up shared responsibility for patrol of Kazakstan's international borders (under a nominally joint command), which in practice meant the border with China.

The military doctrine of the Republic of Kazakhstan was established by the Decree Of The President Of The Of The Republic Of Kazakhstan from October 11, 2011, no. 161. It determines the defensive focus on ensuring the military security of the State and is based on the position of Kazakhstan on the prioritization of diplomatic, legal and other non-military measures for resolving inter-State disputes and conflicts. Implementation of the provisions of the military doctrine will be ensured through a complex interrelated political, diplomatic, economic, social, informational, legal, military and other measures aimed at further improving the system of defense, adequate predictable threats, and conditions of economic and social development of the country.

The military doctrine of the Republic of Kazakhstan is a system of views on ensuring military security of the State, the prevention of wars and armed conflicts (hereinafter referred to as "military conflicts), development of a military organization, the use of the armed forces, other troops and military formations. Military doctrine defines the goals, guiding principles and modalities for public policies to ensure the military security of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Military doctrine is based on the provisions of the military theory, strategic integrated assessment and prediction of the development of military-political situation in the world and the region in the medium term.

The legal basis of the military doctrine are the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, laws, decrees of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, other normative legal acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as international treaties ratified by the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Military policy is defensive in nature, its provisions are a consistent commitment to peace with determination to defend national interests and guarantee the military security of the country. In military doctrine, fleshing out the condition and direction of development of the armed forces, other troops and military formations with a view to counteracting contemporary threats to military security, including asymmetric, combating international terrorism, including cyber-terrorism, and religious extremism, the illicit proliferation of weapons.

The military security of the Republic of Kazakhstan is a policy of cooperation and good-neighborly relations between States, their equality and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, peaceful settlement of international disputes, non-use of the first armed force, strengthening the military organization of the State, on the basis of projected threats, identifying and using the most effective forms and methods of their neutralization.

The main objectives of the Republic of Kazakhstan's defense policy are to strengthen international and regional security and political stability in the country, the prevention of conflicts and the maintenance of readiness of the armed forces, other troops and military formations in the armed defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan and its allies. Priority in achieving these goals is given to political and diplomatic, legal, economic, humanitarian, awareness-raising and other measures of a non-military nature.

The use of the armed forces, other troops and military formations is carried out in accordance with the Constitution, the laws, decrees of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan on issues of military security, other normative legal acts, as well as the rules for the application, the application and plans involving the armed forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The armed forces, other troops and military formations of the Republic of Kazakhstan are applied and are drawn to reflect aggression, armed defense of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, the protection and defense of the State and military facilities, protecting the air space and the sea, in order to maintain domestic political stability, counter-terrorism, disaster management, as well as perform tasks in accordance with the international treaties ratified by the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Peacekeeping is important for promoting political and military positions and interests in International Affairs, as well as greatly raises the credibility of the country in the international arena. In this regard, the Republic of Kazakhstan will take an active part in peacekeeping operations under the aegis of the UN, conducted on the basis of the report issued by legal mandate. Basic principles Kazakhstan's participation in peacekeeping operations is impartiality and maintain complete neutrality, the absence of a special relationship with any of the conflicting parties, the rejection of direct or indirect assistance in the interests of one party, if it leads to the detriment of other parties to the conflict.

An important part of the policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to strengthen collective and national security is peace.

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