Military Professionalization Programs in Kazakhstan and the United States: How to Implement and What Will We Gain?
The U.S. should remain committed to Central Asian security cooperation, but must carefully evaluate each program for merit and value added to U.S. security goals in the region. Programs designed to increase Kazakhstan’s military professionalization will have the most significant impact towards accomplishing these goals. U.S. security cooperation effforts to foster the development of a non-commissioned officer corps as part of Kazakhstan’s military would serve as an excellent example of effective professionalization and a way to further our strategic relationships with non-NATO countries. Training programs that professionalize the Kazakh military can offer a cost-effective way for the United States to further a lasting partnership with Central Asia’s most stable country.
Defense Institution Building focuses on change management at the Ministry of Defense level. In order to make sustainable change in any government, the solution has to work through and with the culture of that society. There are ways to reduce hierarchy and uncertainty in national strategy development, national defense organization, legal constructs, human resource management, financial management, and educational processes. Cultures change from within. If advisors understand the cultural foundations at work, they can better help countries chart paths toward sustainable, transparent governance.