Tajik Army Improving, But Not Perfect
Tajikistan’s military has been put to the test in the recent operation against armed rebels in the Badakhshan region. Some analysts are now asking whether the armed forces would be up to the task of defending the country against external attack.
One of the key issues is whether forced conscripts make good soldiers. Experts say that conditions in the Tajik army have improved from the situation a few from the situation a few years, when institutionalised bullying was the norm and nutritional standards so poor that desertion was common.
Some commentators believe Tajikistan should introduce alternative forms of service, or even the option of buying oneself out of the army, since that goes on all the time illegally, anyway.
Mehrangez Tursunzoda is an IWPR-trained radio reporter in Tajikistan.
The audio programme, in Tajik and Russian, went out on national radio stations in Tajikistan, as part of IWPR project work funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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