Military of Uzbekistan

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Uzbekistan's armed forces form the state organisation charged with the defence of Uzbekistan. They are reported to be the largest in Central Asia.[2] According to the 1992 Law on Defence, Uzbekistan's military is for defensive purposes only.[citation needed]

Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, used to be the headquarters of the Soviet Turkestan Military District and on 20 February 1992, the new Ministry of Defence Affairs took over the offices which had been formerly occupied by the district headquarters staff.[3] On 2 July 1992 a Presidential Decree established a Ministry of Defence to supersede the Ministry of Defence Affairs. Over the succeeding years, Uzbekistan replaced Russian officers with ethnic Uzbeks and restructured the military to focus on targets like civil unrest, drug trafficking, and Hizb-ut-Tahrir.[citation needed]

Uzbekistan and Russia signed a mutual defence pact in 2005, what will also result in closer military cooperation. This marked a stark contrast to a few years earlier, when the US appeared to be Uzbekistan's favoured foreign friend, and relations with Russia were cooler.[4]

'The country [has] also began professionalizing its military, an effort that has only limited success and erratic government support. But even in Uzbekistan, these changes represent merely a modest beginning and most of the benefits are concentrated in a few elite, higher readiness formations rather than uniformly applied to the entire force. The Uzbek military is woefully inadequate, but it is far superior to its neighbours.'[5]

The government maintains a command and staff college for the military in Tashkent, based on the former Soviet TVOKU higher command college.


Activities and foreign relations

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States leased the Karshi-Khanabad airbase in southern Uzbekistan, which borders Afghanistan. The American base there was called "Camp Stronghold Freedom".

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