Rustam Burnashev, Ph.D. (Philos.), deputy director, Abylay khan Kazakh University of International Relations and World Languages Center for International Relations and Humanitarian Studies (Almaty, Kazakhstan)

Irina Chernykh, Ph.D. (Political Science), associate professor, Al-Farabi National University International Relations and Foreign Policy Department (Almaty, Kazakhstan)

The Political-Military Course

Military policy and force development in Turkmenistan is regulated by the Constitution and a number of other laws, including the following: On Defense, adopted 1 October, 1993; On Conscription and Military Service, adopted the same day (amended in August 2002); On the Status and Social Security of Military Servicemen and Their Family Members, 8 October, 1993; On the Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan, 27 December, 1995; On Mobilization and Mobilization Readiness, 10 December, 1998; On the Border Troops, adopted the same day; and On the Exclusive Powers of Turkmenistans First President Saparmurat Turkmenbashi, 28 December, 1999. Also, there is the national military doctrine, approved in March 1994.

Owing to the specifics of contemporary international relations and the peculiarities of the countrys internal development, its political-military course is also determined by such legislative acts as the Law on Police (29 May, 1991), the Law on National Security Agencies (12 April, 1993), the Customs Code (8 October, 1993), and the Law on Protection of State Secrets (24 November, 1995).

Turkmenistan acts on the premise that the main military danger to the country is constituted by possible local wars and armed conflicts in neighboring states. In this context, three main areas in ensuring the countrys military security can be singled outthe Caspian, Afghan, and Uzbek. The countrys political-military course is based on the principle of positive neutrality, which is defined as follows: The Republic does not regard any one state as an adversary; it will not join any bloc; it will not use its Armed Forces against any one state except for self-defense; it will not have foreign military bases deployed on its territory; and it will assist the international community in preventing wars and armed conflicts.1

Political Leadership of the Military

According to the countrys Constitution (Art 45), the supreme commander of its Armed Forces is the president of the Republic, who orders general or partial mobilization and the use of the Armed Forces subject to subsequent approval by the Mejlis, and appoints top military command. S. Niyazov is not only the incumbent president but also chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers. A joint session of the Peoples Council and the Council of Elders, in late December 1999, granted him the right to stay on as president for an indefinite period. In the event of his incapacity to perform these functions, under the Constitution, they will be taken over by the chairman of the Mejlis (at present Ovezgeldy Ataev) pending new elections.

The president is assisted and advised by the Defense and National Security Council.

The Armed Forces

The republics Armed Forces were formed on the basis of units and subunits of the Turkestan Military District2 that were deployed on its territory as of the breakup of the Soviet Union. It was comprised of the following components3: an air force groupthe largest in Central Asia, including the 156th Fighter-Bomber Regiment (Mary), the 179th Fighter Regiment (Nebit Dag); the 152nd Fighter-Bomber Regiment (Ak Tepe), the 366th Independent Helicopter Squadron (Chardzhou), and the 217th Fighter-Bomber Regiment (Kyzyl Arvat); ground forces: the 68th Motorized Rifle Division (Kyzyl Arvat), the Fifth Motorized Rifle Division (Kushka), the 61st Motorized Rifle Division District Training Center (Ashghabad), an artillery brigade, a rocket artillery regiment, an AT artillery regiment, an engineer-sapper brigade, and some other units.

The countrys military and paramilitary structures include Defense Ministry troops (Defense Minister R. Arazov is also deputy chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers for defense and security agencies4 and chief of the General Staff), State Border Service troops (A. Mamedgeldyev5), Interior Ministry troops (A. Ataev6), National Security Ministry troops (B. Busakov7), and the presidential Protection Service (A. Redzhepov).

Defense Ministry Troops

These include the Ground Forces, the Air Force, and Air Defense Forces. According to the London based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), their total numerical strength is 19,3008; according to Janes Information Group, 17,000. The republics territory is divided into five military districts.9

In the IISS estimate, the numerical strength of the Ground Forces is 14,50010 (according to Janes Information Group, it is between 14,000 and 16,000). Their composition: four motorized rifle divisions (one is a training division), an artillery brigade, a multiple rocket launcher regiment, an AT artillery regiment, an engineer-sapper regiment, two antiaircraft missile brigades, and an independent airborne battalion. Janes Information Group, in addition, includes a missile brigade, a helicopter squadron, and signal, reconnaissance and logistical subunits. Furthermore, the State Motor Transport Inspectorate and fire-fighting units are also subordinated to the Defense Ministry.

With an ongoing reorganization of divisions into brigades the Ground Forces at present have a mixed structure. As a rule, divisions (brigades) are undermanned, their functions approaching those of mobilization points and arms depots. The only exception is the elite S. Niyazov 84th Motorized Rifle Division.11

According to Janes Information Group, ground troops are deployed in the following areas: Kushkathe 357th Motorized Rifle Division (one tank regiment, mostly non-operational, and two motorized infantry regiments); Kyzyl Arvatthe elite S. Niyazov 84th Motorized Rifle Division (a tank and a motorized infantry regiment) and an artillery brigade; Ashghabada motorized rifle division (three motorized rifle regiments, one mostly non-operational), a training motorized infantry division, an engineer-sapper regiment, an antiaircraft missile brigade, a helicopter squadron, a motorized rifle battalion, and a staff headquarters; Krasnovodska motorized rifle regiment.

Ground Force units have the following combat assets12:

    IISS Janes IG
Tanks -72 702 570
Infantry fighting vehicles BMP-1/-2 930 156
  BMD-1 120  
  BMD-2 9  
  BRM 12 51
Reconnaissance vehicles BRDM/BRDM-2 170 50
Armored personnel carriers BTR-60/-70/-80 829 728
Field artillery systems D-30 (122 mm) 180 190
  D-1 (152 mm) 17 76
(25 operational)
  D-20 (152 mm) 72 72
Self-propelled guns 2S1 (122 mm) 40 30
  152 mm 2S3   16
Machine-gun/mortar mounts 2S9 (120 mm) 17 12
Rocket systems BM-21 (122 mm) 56 60
  9P138 (122 mm) 9  
  9P140 (220 mm)   54
(10 operational)
Mortars 82 mm 31 500
  PM-38 (120 mm) 66 42
AT missiles AT-3 Sagger, AT-4 Spigot, AT-5 Spandrel, AT-6 Spiral 100  
AT guns T-12/MT-12 (100 mm) 72 48
  85 mm D-44   6
  RPG-7   400
Antiaircraft guns ZSU-23-4 SP (23 mm) 48 60
  S-60 (57 mm) 22 24
Antiaircraft missile launchers S-8

The Air Force and Air Defense Troops

This branch of service is considered to be the most operational in the Armed Forces. Its further development, including the strengthening of the bases in Ashghabad and Mary, is designed to ensure reliable protection of the countrys energy interests in the Caspian. Aviation is used to patrol the sea, thus compensating for an insufficient naval capability.13 The Air Force and Air Defense Troops include three air regiments, an antiaircraft missile brigade, three antiaircraft regiments, and two independent EW brigades with a total personnel of 3,000.14

According to Janes Information Group, they are deployed: at the Mary-2 air basethe 67th Ground-Attack Air Regiment (formerly the 156th Fighter-Bomber Regiment)MiG-29s and Su-17M3s; in Nebit Dag (Balkanabat)the 55th Fighter Regiment (formerly the 179th Fighter Regiment)MiG-23Ms; in Ak Tepethe 107th Fighter Regiment (formerly the 179th Fighter Regiment)MiG-23Ms and MiG-25PDs; in Ashghabadthe 47th Independent Air SquadronAn-24s, Mi-24s, and Mi-8s; in Turkmenabadthe 31st Special Air Service Squadron (formerly the 366th Independent Squadron)MiG-21s, Su-7s, L-39s, Yak-28s, and An-12s; and in Kyzyl Arvatthe 56th Logistical Supplies Base (MiG-23s, Su-25s)formerly the 217th Fighter-Bomber Regiment.

Units and subunits of the Air Force and Air Defense Troops have the following combat assets:

    IISS Janes IG
Fighters/fighter-bombers MiG-29 22 24
  MiG-29U 2  
  Su-17 65 65**
  Su-25 46* 46***
  MiG-23 120* 230 (58 operational)
  MiG-23U 10*  
  MiG-25 24 24
  MiG-21   3***
Transport/general-purpose aircraft An-26 1  
  An-24   1
  An-12   3
  Mi-24 10 10
  i-8 8 8
Training aircraft L-39 2 2
  Su-7B 3 3***
  Yak-28   3***
Antiaircraft missile launchers S-2/-3/-5 50 50

Note:      * in reserve
    ** unit in reserve
   *** non-operational

The upcoming reform of the countrys Armed Forces is designed to create a mobile military, equipped with modern weapons. According to official documents, the government is aiming to form a small but operationally effective military, ensuring the reliable protection of state integrity and national sovereignty against possible aggression.15 Importantly, President S. Niyazov said that the armys main task will be to prevent internal conflict.16

The State Border Service

According to Janes Information Group, the SBS has a total personnel of 12,000. Following termination of the agreement on joint protection of Turkmenistans state border between Ashghabad and Moscow, the republic began to beef up the service. At present there are four border units, deployed on the border with Afghanistan (Kushka and Koytendag), the Afghan-Uzbek border (Kerki), and the border with Kazakhstan. In addition, the Navy was placed under the operational control of SBS command. The Navy (including its coastal services) has a numerical strength of approximately 2,000; its main base (300 servicemen, seven PTs, and one mine-sweeper)17 is deployed at Turkmenbashi port while the river fleet base is in Kelif, on the Amu Darya.

Today, the countrys Navy is the weakest in the Caspian. Although large-scale combat action is unlikely, incidents are possible owing to the Caspians uncertain legal status. So the government sees modernization of the Navy as a priority in its force development program.

Given that the main threats to the state come not from the outside but from within, the reform of the Armed Forces envisions a strengthening of the presidential Protection Service (about 2,000 servicemen), the Interior Ministry (numerical size approximately the same), and the National Security Committee (2,500).18

The Internal Affairs Ministry, the National Security Committee, and the Presidential Protection Service

The Internal Affairs Ministry (MVD) with its subunits as well as the National Security Committee (KNB) have largely retained the structure of the Soviet police and KGB. Their main function is to fight crime with the KNB mainly targeting serious crimes, including corruption, and political crimes. In June 2000, S. Niyazov proposed creating a council that would pool the resources of the KNB, the MVD, and the Foreign Ministry and control the movement of foreigners temporarily residing in Turkmenistan. MVD and KNB subunits are deployed throughout the country, but their main assets are concentrated in Ashghabad, Kyzyl Arvat, and Tashauz.

By 2002, KNB officers, who were tapped to man state administrative agencies, had effectively built a shadow vertical power structure. All law enforcement, defense, intelligence, and security agencies were reinforced with their officers. Thus, B. Otuzov, former head of the KNB Investigations Directorate, became deputy prosecutor general; Kh. Odzharov, former deputy chairman of the KNB, was appointed a deputy interior minister; G. Begendzhov, former chief of the KNB Military Counterintelligence Directorate, was appointed defense minister while T. Tyrmyev, former deputy chairman of the KNB, became head of the State Border Service.

In the fall of 2001, the KNB payroll was enlarged by 1,000 and brought up to 2,500 (mainly with Defense Ministry staff). S. Niyazov stressed that KNB resources should be concentrated on internal security problems (drug trafficking and control over foreign citizens in the republics territory) while all covert agents based abroad should be recalled. At the same time, KNB Chairman M. Nazarov also became the presidents national security adviser and coordinator of law enforcement and military agencies. Furthermore, he oversees the Foreign Ministry. The only deputy foreign minister is B. Khudaykuliev, a career state security officer.19 Given continuous media reports about the purported involvement of the countrys diplomatic missions in drug trafficking operations, the KNB presumably took control of a major money flow.

Meanwhile, work was in progress to strengthen discipline in state security services, appoint security officers to civilian positions, and purge police, military, and government agencies. In the spring of 2002, purges began within the KNB itself as well as in the Defense Ministry and the State Border Service.20 Thus, on 5 March, an enlarged session of the Council of Ministers discussed the KNB performance and deemed it unsatisfactory while KNB Chairman M. Nazarov and his deputies, Kh. Kakaev, head of the metropolitan directorate; and O. Berdyev, were dismissed, as were G. Annadurdyev, head of the KNB Directorate for Balkan Velayat; and B. Khudaykuliev, head of the KNB Directorate for Mary Velayat. By now purges have affected approximately 80 percent of KNB senior personnel.

Talking about the intelligence and security services, we cannot skirt the purported attempt on Niyazovs life (November 2002). Whatever might be said about its organizers, it demonstrated a serious crisis of the security and intelligence services which failed either to avert such a poorly organized operation or to organize it properly.

Manpower Acquisition and Personnel Training

The Armed Forces are based on the principles of a regular military. Under the Law on Conscription and Military Service, as amended, people aged 18 to 30 are subject to draft, but a person may ask to begin military service even at 17. Enlisted personnel and NCOs serve 24 months (18 months for those with a university degree). It is noteworthy that under the 1993 law, the length of service was 1 1/2 years. In the Navy and coastal services, it is 30 months now. Student deferrals were revoked, military departments and subdivisions at higher educational establishments closed, and no alternative service allowed. Owing to financial constraints, as of 2001, contract service was abolished. It is believed that the Armed Forces can meet their manpower needs through conscription. So it is planned to lower draft age and increase the number of draftees, which could be raised up to 100,000 a year.

Like in other Central Asian states, the military-patriotic indoctrination system in Turkmenistan unraveled and the prestige of military service plummeted. The Armed Forces have to draft conscripts with poor health who are morally and physically unprepared for military service. Furthermore, the draftees educational level today is much lower. To minimize the influence of regional groups and clan interests and to strengthen national identity, draftees are as a rule sent to serve outside the district where they were called up.

At present, specialized conscript-manned subunits are being created to work in various spheres of the national economy. In the first half of the 1990s, it was decided to make the Armed Forces self-sufficient in food (the armys food independence program),21 which, according to S. Niyazov, will enable servicemen to acquire a civilian specialty and find an appropriate job upon demobilization. Furthermore, the president proposed that one week a month be given to military training, the rest of the time devoted to nonmilitary labor.

The outflowfor various reasonsof Soviet military officers from the republic in the late 1980s-early 1990s created a manpower acquisition and personnel training problem. To address it, in October 1992, a military department was opened at Makhtumkuli Turkmen State University (Ashghabad), providing officer training for tank, infantry, and air units as well as for logistical and signal services. In September 1993, the Ashghabad Military Institute was opened that as of now has a student body of 600. The republics main military training grounds are in Ashghabad (a motorized rifle training division) and in Mary (an air base).

Based on intergovernmental agreements with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and Pakistan, military cadre are also prepared at training centers abroad, where more than 450 servicemen are being trained now (about 200 in Turkey, 200 in Ukraine, the rest in Pakistan and Russia). Training, as a rule, is provided in exchange for natural gas shipments or as payment toward the associated debt. Assistance in military personnel training also is provided by the United Statesas part of corresponding NATO programs. Thus, in 1999-2000, 13 Turkmen servicemen took a course of training organized by the U.S. Department of Defense within the framework of the International Military Education and Training program.22

In so far as the main criterion in selecting command cadre is the purity of ethnic lineage for at least three generations, the policy in this sphere is essentially aimed to crowd out persons of the so-called non-titular nationality from the civil service. As a result, appointments to responsible positions of authority are not made by merit but based on personal loyalty to the president.23

In 2001, defense spending was $226 million (with a planned defense budget of $163 million)3.2 percent of GDP, a 22 percent decline on 2000.24

International Military and Military-Technical Cooperation

The countrys foreign policy is rather peculiar: In 1995, it proclaimed its neutrality, which was backed up by a U.N. General Assembly resolution on the permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan. President S. Niyazov stressed on numerous occasions that the period of confrontation in the world was over so the main political priorities should now be peaceful cooperation, the policy of noninterference in the internal affairs of other states, and complete disarmament.25 Turkmenistan signed international treaties and conventions on nonproliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

Its neutral status enables the country to skirt many foreign-policy and foreign-economic problems arising on the subregional or international level. As a neutral state, Turkmenistan is not a member of any military or military-political alliance, presuming that it has U.N. security guarantees. Such approaches, however, are too unreliable for national survival to be predicated on.

Turkmenistan stays out of multipartite cooperation in the military and military-technical spheres, as envisioned by the CIS Charter, preferring to advance bilateral relations. Representatives of the republics defense, law enforcement, and security agencies attend all CIS conferences, but as a rule limit themselves to observer role. One exception could be participation in the work of the Air Defense Coordination Committee under the CIS Defense Ministers Council.

Just like the majority of Central Asian states, Turkmenistan does not produce its own arms and military equipment so the most common form of its military-technical cooperation is procurement, maintenance, and even sale of surplus arms and equipment that it inherited from the Soviet Union. The country also conducts re-export operations. Thus, in the first half of the 1990s, Ashghabad carried out a series of international intermediary deals, buying arms and military equipment, as a rule, from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Moldova, Romania, Belarus, and Ukraine and re-selling them to Turkey, Iran, South Yemen, and Sudan.

At present the republic has a contract for its Su-25 ground attack planes to be overhauled in Georgia (at the AO Tbilaviastroy) as payment toward the countrys debt for natural gas shipments from Turkmenistan. In 2001, the work was completed on 22 machines.26 Furthermore, Georgian specialists are training Turkmen pilots at the Mary-2 air base.

Turkmenistan also actively cooperates with Ukraine, based mainly on barter arrangements: Kiev supplies Ashghabad with military equipment and components and provides military training in exchange for natural gas supplies. To reinforce its Navy, in 2001 Turkmenistan decided to buy combat patrol boats in Ukraine (ten 40-tonne Grifs, armed with 12.7-mm machine-guns, and ten 8-tonne Kalkan-M PTs). In 2002, the republic took delivery of four Kalkan-M PTs. Four MiG-29 aircraft are due to be overhauled at the Lvov maintenance plant.

Cooperation with NATO proceeds as part of the Partnership for Peace program as well as on the bilateral level, which is typical of Central Asian states. It is noteworthy that Turkmenistan was the first state in the region to join the program (May 1994).27 This includes military training and retraining projects as well as supplies of military equipment (all of this on a very small scale). Recently, a Point Jackson-class PT was provided by the U.S. DOD Central Command. U.S. military instructors have been training a special border unit to fight drug trafficking since 1999.

Military cooperation with other countries, excluding Russia, is of a one-time contract-based delivery kind that has little effect on the development of the countrys Armed Forces or modernization of military infrastructure.

Contacts in the military sphere are the closest with Russia and Afghanistan.

Cooperation with Russia

In reforming its military amid a shortage of manpower, funds, and training facilities, Ashghabad sought an extraordinary solution to these problems by setting up a joint command with Moscow. Thus, on 31 July, 1992, they signed a treaty on joint action to create the Turkmen Armed Forces with Moscow undertaking to guarantee Turkmenistans security. The treaty provided that units and subunits of the Border Troops, the Air Force and Air Defense Forces would remain under Russian command, organized as part of the RF Armed Forces, while other military formations would pass under joint command with their subsequent transfer (within 10 years) to Turkmenistan. During the transition period, Moscow undertook to provide Ashghabad military-technical and operational-tactical assistance, paying compensation for the right to deploy its assets and equipment on the territory of Turkmenistan. The latter was to bear the costs involved in the maintenance and logistical support of joint-command units.28 In 1992, an RF Defense Ministry operations group was set up at the Turkmenistan Defense Ministry (its headquarters based in Ashghabad) to facilitate cooperation and coordination of activities in the military sphere. The group had an independent signal battalion (145 servicemen), the Avtoklub communication center (65), a security company (60), and an independent transport squadron (48) under its immediate command. Before 1994, two RF antiaircraft missile regiments were deployed in Turkmenistan.

On 23 December, 1993, the Russian-Turkmen Treaty on Joint Protection of the State Border of Turkmenistan and on the Status of RF Border Guards in Its Territory was signed, pursuant to which, in March 1994, a special operations group of the Russian Federal Border Service (FPS) was created (headquartered in Ashghabad) with 2,000 to 3,000 servicemen (1,500 of them NCOs or commissioned officers). The group was comprised of an independent signal battalion (Ashghabad) an NCO school (Ashghabad), the 170th Independent Air Regiment (Mary), and the 46th Independent Battalion of Patrol Boats and Escort Ships (Turkmenbashi). It ensured the protection of Turkmenistans land and sea borders (the sea border with Iran was protected by two escort warships with mixed Russian-Turkmen crews). Furthermore, the FPS was training officers and junior specialists for Turkmenistans border troops.

In December 1994, the RF Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) signed a cooperation agreement with the KNB of Turkmenistan, still home to the RF Federal Security Service (FSB) Special Purpose Communication Center in Bagir (with a staff of 125), conducting electronic surveillance on countries in the Near and Middle East.

Differences in approaches toward force development and military policy, however, led to the disbandment of the Joint Command, in January 1994. On 20 May, 1999, Turkmenistan announced the decision to terminate the 1993 Treaty. One of the main points on the agenda of the meeting between RF FPS Director K. Totskiy and President S. Niyazov (July 1999) was procedure for the withdrawal of Russian border guards from Turkmenistan and a review of the Treaty on Border Cooperation. By 20 December of the same year, all Russian border guards were pulled out of the republics territory,29 which some analysts relate to Ashghabads reorientation toward cooperation with Washington. Another factor, however, could be the wish to establish independent control over financial and trade flows across the border with Afghanistan.

Today Turkmenistan has more than 22 treaties and agreements with Russia providing for a broad range of contacts in the military sphere, including on cooperation between the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces and the Intelligence Directorate of the Turkmenistan Defense Ministry, on Turkmen military personnel training at RF facilities, on joint airfield technical support of aircraft, and others. Cooperation has been especially active in using elements of military infrastructure.

After the aforementioned attempt on S. Niyazovs life, the relations with these countries have taken a peculiar turn. On the one hand, he accused Russia of sponsoring the organizers of the attempt. Thus, in the course of his speech on national television (2 December, 2002), he mentioned two aircraft with Russian special task troops waiting for a signal to fly in to Turkmenistan to drown its people in blood.30 On the other, Moscow did not make an official protest against that while in the course of his visit to Turkmenistan (January 2003) RF Security Council Secretary V. Rushaylo even offered S. Niyazov assistance in investigating the assassination attempt.

Contacts with Afghanistan

Before October 2001, Turkmenistan had been actively developing military-technical cooperation with opposing groups in Afghanistan, in particular by supplying them with fuel and lubricants, small arms, and ammunition. (As of the winter of 1994, the Kushka-Turgundi railway line was in operation.) From 1997, those supplies became regular. At the same time, the republic pointedly adhered to neutrality on the Afghan conflict, maintaining close political and economic relations with the Rabbani government and the Taliban movement.

According to RF intelligence services, Ashghabads close relations with Afghan groups were based on drug trafficking and gun running. U.N. experts believe that Turkmenistan today is one of the main transit routes for drug trafficking from Afghanistan. Furthermore, Ashghabads position was influenced by prospects for a project to build a gas pipeline linking Turkmenistan and Pakistan and possibly extending to India, which was proposed in 1994 by United Oil of California (UNOCAL) and the Saudi based Delta Corp. The pipeline (approximately 1,500 km long) was designed to ship natural gas produced at the Dauletabad field, in the south of Turkmenistan, via Afghan territory to a distribution point in Multana, Pakistan.

With the launch of an antiterrorist operation in Afghanistan, S. Niyazov, citing the countrys neutral status, refused to make available its airports for deployment of coalition forces. Turkmenistans Foreign Ministry issued a statement, stressing that the republic does not intend to allow its territory and military facilities to be used by foreign states for military action. Neither was its air space opened to overflight by alliance military aircraft. At the same time, Ashghabad provided land and air corridors for delivery of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.31 As a result, today Turkmenistan has emerged as the second largest state (after Pakistan) in the volume of humanitarian relief transit to the country.

1 See: M. Grunin, A. Gusher, Tsentralnaia Azia: problemy i perspektivy razvitiia politicheskoy i ekonomicheskoy situatsii [http://www.e-journal.ru/bzarub-st5-4.html].
2 Abolished on 30 June, 1992, following the breakup of the Soviet Union.
3 See: A.G. Lenskiy, M.M. Tsybin, Sukhoputnye voiska v posledniy god Soiuza SSR: Spravochnik, St. Petersburg, 2001.
4 Prior to that, D. Kopekov, K. Kasymov, B. Sardzhaev, and G. Begendzhov (formerly head of the military counterintelligence directorate). Before his appointment as defense minister, R. Arazov wad Mejlis speaker.
5 From 5 March, 2002. Before that, the post was held by T. Tyrmyev while A. Mamedgeldyev was deputy defense minister for logistic and rear services.
6 From 21 February, 2003. Before that, the post was held by A. Kakabaev; prior to 1998, by K. Kasymov.
7 From September 2002.
8 See: The Military Balance 2002/2003, Oxford University Press for International Institute for Strategic Studies, Oxford, 2001, p. 137.
9 Ibidem.
10 Ibidem.
11 Before December 1992, the Fifth Guards Zimovnikov Motorized Rifle Division.
12 See also statistics in Nezavisimaia gazeta of 24 December, 1999 and 12 February, 2003.
13 See: A. Alekseev, Vooruzhennye sily Turkmenistana [www.cast.ru/russian/publish/2002/may-june/alexeev.html].
14 See: M. Grunin, A. Gusher, op. cit.
15 Krasnaia zvezda, 27 January, 2001.
16 Interfax, 2 February, 2001.
17 See: M. Grunin, A. Gusher, op. cit.
18 According to Janes Information Group.
19 See: K. Arzybov, Turkmenbashi nachinaiet chistki? [www.iwpr.net/_tur/tur_01_09_18.html].
20 See: Vremia novostei, 8 April, 2002.
21 See: P. Mikhailova, Turkmenskuiu armiiu kosit golod [www.iwpr.net/2001/_tur/tur_12_15.html].
22 See: FAS, Foreign Military Training and DoD Engagement Activities of Interest, Vol. 1, Joint Report to Congress, March 2000, DOS Foreign Policy Objectives [www.state.gov/www/global/arms/fmtrain/toc.html].
23 See: Nezavisimaia gazeta, 21 January, 2002.
24 See: The Military Balance..., p. 292.
25 See: E. Efegil, A.M. Olcay, H. Kydyk, Cooperation between Turkmenistan and International and Regional Organizations, Central Asia and the Caucasus, No. 3, 2000.
26 Interfax-AVN, 23 April, 2002.
27 See: J.C. Oliphant, Partnership for PeaceA Progress Report [gopher://marvin.nc3a.nato.int/00/secdef/csrc/g52.txt].
28 See: M. Esenov, Formirovaniie vneshnepoliticheskogo kursa Turkmenistana [www.ca-c.org/datarus/capitel3.shtml].
29 See: Nezavisimaia gazeta, 24 December, 1999.
30 Nezavisimaia gazeta, 5 December, 2002.
31 See: Nezavisimaia gazeta, 6 October, 2001.

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