Central Asia: May 1, 2003


Tajikistan has ordered some two dozen Russian army advisors to leave. The advisors were senior Russian officers who, since 1996, helped organize the Tajik general staff and instructed Tajik commanders on how to run the nation's 10,000 man armed forces. A treaty allows Russia to maintain 19,000 troops in Tajikistan, mainly to guard the Afghan border and try to stem the flow of illegal drugs. Removal of the Russian advisors was said to be linked to their high cost (Tajikistan provided pay and benefits) and the desire to obtain advisors from other nations (like the US). 


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