personal army, Commonwealth of Independent States, paramilitary forces, Soviet republics, National Guard
During the Soviet period, Uzbekistan had no armed forces separate from the centrally controlled Soviet security system. In 1992 the government of Uzbekistan began to form a national defense force. In 2001 the republic had an army of 40,000 personnel and an air force of 15,000. In addition there are paramilitary forces, including a National Guard of 700 that acts as the personal army of the president. Beginning at the age of 18, all males must perform 18 months of military service.
In 1992 Uzbekistan subscribed to a collective security agreement with other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a loose alliance of 12 former Soviet republics. In 1995 Uzbekistan opted to form a joint regional defense council, under the auspices of the United Nations (UN), with its neighbor states Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
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