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Assessing Central Asia’s Military Strength 
Michael Hilliard (The Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs)
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Edward Lemon (Texas AM University)
Michael Hilliard (The Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs)
Diane Tippett (University of Sydney)
Michael Coffey (College of Southern Maryland)
Political Science, International Relations, and Law


Assessing Central Asia’s Military Strength


Edward Lemon, Texas A&M University


Michael Hilliard, The Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs

Michael Coffey, College of Southern Maryland

Diane Tippett, University of Sydney

Given recent border conflicts between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and the looming threat of Russia, Central Asian militaries remain key to the region’s security. Central Asia’s militaries are often discussed with relation to the region’s security, their role in state building processes and the role of external powers in providing security assistance. But they have not been subject to rigorous analysis. This thematic panel will focus on the evolution of Central Asia’s militaries, centering on a discussion of the "Central Asian Military Handbook," a comprehensive assessment of the military capabilities of the five Central Asian states compiled by Oxus Society. This project was spearheaded by a consortium of think tank experts, military department functionaries, defense analysts, investigative journalists, and economic scholars, whose collaborative efforts have yielded a detailed compilation of data encompassing military personnel counts, strategic installation locations, doctrinal frameworks, modernisation initiatives, acquisition trends, fiscal allocations, and theoretical combat efficacies across the five republics.

Panelists will showcase and discuss contributions from the handbook's principal authors, utilizing an array of maps, videos, diagrams, and charts to furnish an engaging and interactive dissemination of our research. We examine both the capacity of the militaries and also the political contexts in which they operate, including their relations with other branches of government involved in security, such as security services or Ministries of Internal Affairs. The proposed panel will feature presentations from a selection of the project's authors and investigators, as well as external experts. Panelists will also present a series of simulations to model hypothetical conflict scenarios to measure the capabilities and readiness of Central Asian military forces.