The United States has stepped up its trainings of elite military units in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan over the last two years, U.S. government records show. At the same time, the U.S. has suspended training of units from Kyrgyzstan, previously one of the biggest recipients of such aid.
The aid comes under Section 1004 of the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the U.S. Department of Defense to train and equip foreign security forces involved in counternarcotics and transnational organized-crime missions. This training is conducted by U.S. special forces troops, usually for other special forces troops, and tends not to be made public except in annual State Department reports.
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Joshua Kucera is the Turkey/Caucasus editor at EurasiaNet, and author of The Bug Pit.