Kazakhstan’s army is suffering from a high outflow of staff, the country’s first deputy minister of defense, Sultan Kamaletdinov, announced at a parliamentary defense and security meeting on January 30th.
Mr Kamaletdinov explained that between 2020 and 2023 over 17,000 military personnel had left the Armed Forces, mostly contract soldiers but including 4,300 commissioned officers. The deputy minister added that one of the reasons for the outflow is the soldiers’ relatively low salary.
The Ministry of Defense announced on January 31st that the ranks of the Kazakh army would be replenished by reserve commissioned officers who have not completed military service. These are university graduates, predominantly from technical courses, who receive the rank of lieutenant along with their diplomas.
This year 600 reserve officers will be drafted into the Armed Forces and 152 into the Border Guard Service, the National Guard, and the Ministry of Emergency Situations. Priority will be given to unemployed reserve officers.
In the 2024 Military Strength Ranking released by the Global Firepower agency, Kazakhstan ranked 58th of the 145 countries listed — the highest among Central Asian countries. Uzbekistan is in 65th place on the list, Turkmenistan 83rd, Kyrgyzstan 100th, and Tajikistan 107th.
Global Firepower ranks the nations of the world based on their current war-making capability across land, sea, and air.