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Kazakhstan: Is New Military Doctrine Response to Russia or the West?

Kazakh troops participate in a CSTO-led military exercise in Tajikistan

In late September, Kazakhstan adopted its fifth military doctrine. The document outlines a shift in strategic thinking that seems, at least in part, designed to respond to potential threats emanating from Kazakhstan’s neighbor and ally, Russia — even though analysts close to the Kazakhstani government argue that it is the actions of the West that pose the greatest danger to the country’s sovereignty.
 
The cautiously articulated document describes its contents as the product of expert analysis of the global military-political situation, and of the “change to the character of military conflicts.” 
 
Some of the language in the doctrine allows for a flexible interpretation about the identity of the perceived opponent and threats. First among the main conditions posing a potential strategic danger to Kazakhstan is the “intensification in the confrontation between global and regional powers in an effort to change the existing world order.”
 

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Kazakhstan: Is New Military Doctrine Response to Russia or the West?

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