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What Does Kazakhstan’s New Military Doctrine Reveal about Its Relations with Russia?
What Does Kazakhstan’s New Military Doctrine Reveal about Its Relations with Russia?
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev attends his swear-in ceremony in Astana on 29 April 2015. AFP/Ilyas Omarov

哈萨克斯坦之压力测试

相比于其推动政治变革的意愿,在执政已久的总统纳扎尔巴耶夫(Nazarbayev)领导下的哈萨克斯坦如今——尤其是在俄罗斯周边地区动荡之际——更渴望维持政局的稳定的延续。但是,若没有经济改革、全面的民族平等、和政权交接计划,哈萨克斯坦或会成为苏联解体后,又一个易受外局不稳因素干扰的国家。

概述

俄罗斯在乌克兰的行动,改变了哈萨克斯坦在俄罗斯对前苏联国家的意图上的判断,并加强了其危机感。纳扎尔巴耶夫总统及其政府采取了应对措施——巩固政权、维护经济稳定、并尽力减除对其北部省份会步入乌克兰后尘的担忧和猜测。俄罗斯族人作为北部省份少数民族,虽人口在不断减少,但基数依旧庞大。他们对哈萨克族本就怨言纷纷,且还要面对哈政府以“平衡”为由、对哈萨克族移民迁入的鼓励。尽管如此,至少现在俄罗斯不太可能在哈萨克斯坦复制其在乌克兰的行为,且其外交官员也表示俄罗斯决无此意。在哈萨克斯坦总统执政已久、且其威望和领导力依然稳固之际,哈萨克斯坦应采取更多措施去应对国内挑战,其重点包括经济发展、民族关系和政权交接。

由于俄罗斯受到国际制裁、油价不断下跌、卡什干(Kashagan)油田开发遭遇技术瓶颈,哈萨克斯坦经济已陷入迟滞,而经济增长则正是纳扎尔巴耶夫维护国家团结统一的主要手段。哈萨克斯坦于2015年4月26日提前举行了总统选举。7月便将年过75岁的纳扎尔巴耶夫,自哈萨克斯坦独立25年来,便一直担任总统。此次选举,因其人气尚未受经济措施严峻的影响,他再获连任。但上述仅是权宜之计;哈萨克斯坦中期前景仍如国际预防危机组织在2013年所估:体制脆弱、且过分依赖于一个缺乏明确政权交接计划的总统,社会经济发展不平衡更是雪上加霜。这些内部问题在乌克兰危机之前便已非常严重;而今还可能使外国动乱势力找到可乘之机。

受历史上的沙皇和前苏联定居政策的影响,与其他前苏联地区一样,哈萨克斯坦在独立时拥有庞大的俄罗斯族人口。俄罗斯语此前在当地亦得到推广,因此俄罗斯族人享有明显的优势。与在其它前苏联国家一样,自哈萨克斯坦独立后,许多俄罗斯族人迁往俄罗斯,而俄罗斯政府也一直鼓励其本族人的回归,并积极获取俄罗斯侨民的忠诚。与此同时,哈萨克斯坦也采取了类似的回归政策,尤其是通过推动吸引境外侨民(Oralmans)的政策,并鼓励他们迁往俄罗斯族仍占多数人口的北方省份。

俄罗斯声称,其在乌克兰行动是为了保护身处异地而受到歧视的俄罗斯族人。这个理由在哈萨克斯坦的北部省份看似难以成立,但也并非绝无可能。哈萨克斯坦需认识到,自1991年独立以来,国家和民族团结便一直是其治国的薄弱环节,且过于依赖对纳扎尔巴耶夫个人的忠诚。由他创立的、代表少数民族的机构——哈萨克斯坦人民代表大会(APK)——应采取更多行动来加强该国的多民族、多元文化特征。在哈萨克和其他族裔群体中,政府应促进温和派伊斯兰形象,这则将有助于打击极端主义。极端主义是中亚地区的一个潮流,哈萨克斯坦也难免受其影响。不过此举应妥善处理,否则这将在俄罗斯少数民族人口中引发矛盾。俄罗斯和哈萨克斯坦在保持区域稳定方面有共同利益。哈萨克斯坦邻国的情况不佳——乌兹别克斯坦和吉尔吉斯坦均政权薄弱——以及与阿富汗的地域邻近,这意味着哈俄双方急需制定可以促进共同利益的政策。

乌克兰危机使哈萨克斯坦一贯面临的挑战更复杂化和尖锐化,即,如何在与俄罗斯保持友好关系的同时、建设自己的国家意识。自2014年该问题变得严峻以来,阿斯塔纳当局一直试图制定外交政策得——使其既有别于莫斯科、又不至于惹恼莫斯科,且还能重修与西方的关系。纳扎尔巴耶夫在乌克兰问题调解上的努力则部分基于生存战略,他强调哈萨克斯坦是前苏联体系里的一个独立国家。他与欧盟继续会谈,并致力减少由俄领导的欧亚经济联盟(哈萨克斯坦和白俄罗斯是另外两个成员国)中的政治因素,而这也都是出于上述因素。考虑到哈萨克斯坦与俄罗斯有着7,951公里的边境线、基数庞大的俄罗斯族人口、以及紧密的经济关系,哈萨克斯坦需达到微妙的平衡。然而目前,这一切努力则过多地依赖于总统的个人领导力。

为了应对变幻莫测的国际环境、确保内部稳定,哈萨克斯坦应:

  • 坚持给予俄罗斯、欧盟、以及伊朗和中国同等重视的外交政策,包括重视囊括了这些国家或地区的国际机构,如,欧洲安全与合作组织(欧安组织(OSCE),俄罗斯和欧盟成员国为其成员)、及上海合作组织(俄罗斯和中国皆为成员国);
  • 在寻求解决乌克兰危机方面发挥国际认可的作用;在此过程中,其应为塑造俄罗斯与前苏联其他成员国之间关系发挥重要作用,并同时建立其作为调停者的声望;
  • 让——除纳扎尔巴耶夫之外的——国家高层领导人在政治舞台上露面,消除国际的偏见,即,纳扎尔巴耶夫是唯一领导人,并可独断专行;
  • 在敏感的语言问题(如用哈萨克语替代俄语地名)上谨慎行事,同时提升各级政府部门组成人员的民族多元化;鼓励俄罗斯人民融入并学习哈萨克斯坦语;加强APK的活跃度和工作,为公众讨论民族和公民问题创造条件,以免这些问题被恶势力、哈萨克或俄罗斯民族主义者或外部人士利用;
  • 优先考虑其它区域的经济发展,而非只关注阿斯塔纳。

比什凯克/布鲁塞尔,2015年5月13日

Op-Ed / Europe & Central Asia

What Does Kazakhstan’s New Military Doctrine Reveal about Its Relations with Russia?

Originally published in Eurasianet

Without much ado, Kazakhstan adopted a new military doctrine in September, replacing a 2011 document that had become dated. The new document states that Kazakhstan does not have enemies. Yet, Astana seems alarmed enough by Russia’s aggressive actions toward Ukraine since 2014 to have produced a doctrine that is an obvious reaction to Moscow’s hybrid warfare tactics, which include cyber-disruption and propaganda.

Kazakhstan is not alone in sensing that it now lives in a rapidly changing security environment that demands new policies. Belarus, another neighbor of Russia, introduced a new military doctrine in July 2016. But while Belarus made explicit that it is reacting to Ukraine’s fight against Russian-backed separatists and Moscow’s use of hybrid warfare, Kazakhstani authorities have not commented publicly on changes to their military doctrine.

Still, similarities between the new Kazakhstani and Belarussian doctrines abound, and it is not difficult to see the origin of  Astana’s threat assessment. Kazakhstan shares a 7,500-kilometer land border with Russia and northern Kazakhstan is home to a significant Russian minority with deep roots in the region. Though their numbers are dwindling, Russians still account for roughly 20 percent of Kazakhstan’s population. Much to Astana’s irritation, the area is romanticized by some Russian politicians as still being Russian territory. In January 2017, a State Duma deputy, Pavel Shperov, suggested the Kazakhstani-Russian border was not a permanent fixture and that Kazakhstani territory was merely on loan to Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan pursues a multi-vector foreign policy with Russia, China and the European Union as its main partners. Balancing these relationships allow it to demonstrate that it has the political clout to act more independently of Russia than other Central Asian states.

Kazakhstan pursues a multi-vector foreign policy with Russia, China and the European Union as its main partners.

Still, Astana and Moscow remain very close allies, bound by economic ties through the Eurasian Economic Union and militarily through the Collective Security Treaty Organization, or CSTO, which also includes Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The CSTO functions as much as a vehicle for Russia’s bilateral security agendas with fellow member states as it does as collective entity. As an organization, it has also redefined what it sees as security threats -- a process that began after the pro-democracy “color” revolutions in Georgia, 2003, Ukraine, 2004, and Kyrgyzstan, 2005. Analysis and recommendations from the CSTO played a pivotal role in shaping Russia’s own military doctrine of 2014, after the annexation of Crimea.

The alleged basis of Russia’s actions in Ukraine is a self-proclaimed doctrine under which Moscow can act as the protector of the rights of Russians experiencing alleged discrimination wherever they may be. The circumstances that prevailed in Ukraine prior to the start of Russian meddling in 2014 are not evident in present-day Kazakhstan. Russia’s concern that Ukraine was drifting toward the EU’s orbit was an underlying motivation for its actions in 2014. There is no reason for Moscow to worry that Astana is tilting toward the EU these days. Meanwhile, the Russian minority in Kazakhstan experiences little or no discrimination.

Just because the circumstances are different, doesn’t mean Kazakhstan isn’t vulnerable. Astana should recognize that national and ethnic unity since independence in 1991 is a thin construction, far too dependent on fealty to President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Kazakhstan’s new military doctrine is explicit about the risks to its borders and also the potential for an outside party to manipulate ethnic populations inside Kazakhstan.

Alongside the outward-looking nature of Kazakhstan’s 2017 military doctrine, there is sharp focus on internal threats. Nazarbayev in the past three years has undertaken measures to strengthen the government, bolster the economy and to resist firmly any speculation that a Ukrainian scenario could happen in Kazakhstan. When citizens protested against plans to lease farm land to Chinese investors in May 2016, Nazarbayev issued a stark rebuke, using Ukraine as an example of what can go wrong if protests get out of hand.

Kazakhstan’s new military doctrine is explicit about the risks to its borders and also the potential for an outside party to manipulate ethnic populations inside Kazakhstan.

Nationalism is growing nonetheless. It not only showed itself during the May 2016 land protests, but also in long-term trends such as renaming previously Russian-language place names to Kazakh. Some Russian politicians see Kazakhstan’s move to Latinize the Kazakh alphabet, which is currently written in Cyrillic, as an anti-Russian move. It is indeed a highly symbolic gesture, one that a Western diplomat described as an act of defiance and post-Soviet national identity-building.

The Russian language has equal status in Kazakhstan, but Kazakh is ascendant, and knowledge of it is required for government jobs. It’s also worth noting that not one of Kazakhstan's ministers has an ethnic Russian background.

Astana has sought to manage its relationship with Moscow as an equal partnership. Its success in doing so is largely attributable to Nazarbayev, who has led Kazakhstan since independence. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Putin was a KGB functionarynt, while Nazarbayev was the already powerful and ambitious First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan. With Nazarbayev turning 78 years old next year, a transition in the vast but sparsely populated Central Asian state is inevitable. The crisis in Ukraine has brought into focus the risks of any sort of transition or internal instability in Russia’s neighborhood.

As Nazarbayev ages, political transition is inevitable and unless handled smoothly that transition could be destabilizing. The Kremlin’s military doctrine and its foreign policies are premised on Russia exerting itself as a great power with historical privileges. Kazakhstan understands that in the long-term it could be vulnerable to Moscow’s expansionist tendencies. Its new military doctrine addresses that external risk in a clear-headed and robust manner. But when it comes to the domestic challenges that could provide the very opening required for an assertive foreign power to gain a foothold, Kazakhstan still appears to be sleepwalking.