Speculation on Defense Reorganization

by Nathan Hamm on 6/7/2005

At Ferghana.ru, Arkady Dubnov speculates on the reason for the reorganization of security ministries.

There are the reports that the Uzbek administration is reorganizing the Interior Ministry under Colonel General Zakirdzhon Almatov. The most powerful of all security structures and notorious as particularly merciless with regard to the population, the Interior Ministry is left without most of its units. The Internal Troops were turned over to the Defense Ministry. Some special forces were withdrawn from the structure to be reassigned to the National Security Service. The Interior Ministry whose units were particularly “energetic” in dealing with the population of Andizhan is therefore losing to the National Security Service in the contest so typical of Uzbekistan. Reorganization of the Interior Ministry initiated by President Islam Karimov may indicate an attempt on his part to avert a threat to his regime posed by security structures. Now that Tashkent is en route to international isolation because of its refusal to run an independent investigation of the events in Andizhan demanded by the West, observers do not rule out the possibility of a palace revolution in Uzbekistan.

There is, of course, absolutely no way to know exactly what is going on.

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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