Empire Of The Ring Chapter 556
Kazakhstan was a leader of Central Asia and had the strongest military force. This was due to Russia’s unrestricted provision of surplus military supplies.
Russia did so because it was the only country that could effectively stop China.
In particular, the deployment of Russia’s five S-300 surface-to-air missiles to the Kazakh-Chinese border was Nazarbayev’s great work, and even Youngho was deeply grateful. The former president was aware that the border was too long for the 30,000-troops to cover. All Kazakh men were basically subject to the conscription system on the condition of a one-year military service, but it was not strictly carried out as in Korea.
Children, students, and office workers might not go to serve in the military as long as they wanted, and society did not take issue with it. It was perceived that the military was a place where young people who had nothing to do went. However, young people were continuously joining the army because there was a benefit for veterans when applying to become a police officer and a firefighter.
Since the adoption of the constitutional monarchy, the military service period of all targeted conscripts were changed to two years. Except for special reasons for an exception, if people did not serve in the military in Kazakhstan, they were treated as physically defective, so it was socially undesirable.
The Kazakh military was founded in 1992 and was divided into the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Air Defense Force. In the beginning, there were 30,000 troops, 15,000 air force, 3,000 navy, and 3,000 air defense forces. Since its change into a constitutional monarchy, the military had strengthened its mandatory military service and now there were 70,000 troops, 25,000 air force, and 8,000 navy.
Army equipment included 300 T-72/B tanks, 450 self-propelled guns, and 1,400 towable field guns, while 300 Russian-made and U.S. multiple rocket launchers were deployed in front.
There were about 500 Russian-made BMP-2s, 400 Turkish Otokar tactical light armored vehicles, and 300 other armored vehicles. Moreover, there were 17 separate air defense units, 14 battalions in the Chinese border area and three in the royal territory.
Due to the strong air defense network, it was almost impossible for the Chinese Air Force to cross the border of Kazakhstan.
The Air Force had some 80 Mikoyan fighters, 57 Sukhoi fighters, 45 Swedish Gripen fighters, 30 of America’s newest F-35 fighters, 120 attack helicopters, and transport planes.
The Navy had five Yoon Youngha-class missile ships and 21 missile ships, which were modified U.S. coast patrol boats, and 38 small vessels in 300 and 500-ton class. With such power, Kazakhstan was the strongest in the Caspian Sea.
In fact, Kazakhstan was the strongest in Central Asia, but this was not enough to handle China’s military might.
If the Gripen fighter jets and tactical armored vehicles would continue to pour out of the assembly plants in the royal territory, and Leopard tanks from Germany and Korea’s K2 tanks were produced in Kazakhstan in the near future, conventional weapons alone would be able to stop China.
It wouldn’t be a big deal if China came at its full force. Youngho was not too afraid because he had a hidden card.
It was that the royal territory had prepared conditions for making tactical nuclear weapons at any time. The nuclear physicists and engineers at the royal territory were confident of making any number of nuclear warheads within a month if two nuclear power plants were in operation and nuclear waste disposal facilities were built.
And despite the fact that there were no nuclear weapons in Kazakhstan, other countries assumed that the nuclear missiles made during the Soviet era would be hidden there somewhere, so even if Kazakhstan were to develop them, it would not be so strange. Just as Israel was unofficially recognized as a nuclear power, Kazakhstan was being classified as an unofficial nuclear power.
Even Eriksson was wondering if nuclear weapons existed in Kazakhstan.
“Your Highness. Does our country have nuclear weapons, too?”
“There is and there is not.”
“What do you mean?”
“There might be Soviet-era nuclear weapons lying dormant somewhere, and if we like, we can arm ourselves with nuclear weapons at any time.”
“So the rumor was true.”
“What’s the rumor?”
“I’ve heard that we have a nuclear weapon that we can use immediately. We even got a Kazakh nuclear deal request at our company.”
“Then, has the Information Agency traded nuclear weapons so far?”
“That’s not true. It’s an organization that’s involved in anything, but we never got ourselves involved in nuclear deals.”
“We haven’t found a Soviet-era nuclear weapon yet, so I don’t think there’s one.”
“You didn’t do any nuclear experiment yet.”
“We’ve already succeeded in hundreds of nuclear tests.”
It was not done physically, but it was also a successful experiment when it was done with computers hundreds of times in the laboratory.
There was no guarantee that the standoff between Russian and Chinese troops on the northeastern border of Kazakhstan would remain calm forever, and it was not something to be left alone if there were frequent clashes that provoked each other. The fight for pride between the two countries would lead to a major battle, and Kazakhstan would be affected by it.
In Kazakhstan’s territory, the Kazakh military should be in charge of border security, not the Russian Army.
So, Youngho dispatched the defense minister to Moscow to discuss this issue with the Russian government. The migration of Uyghur refugees was going smoothly, and if a conflict occurred at the border, it could affect the Uyghur refugees’ migration. Either Russia stepped aside or withdrew completely from the border. If Russia would back down a certain distance to respect the border agreement, Youngho would not ask for a complete withdrawal.
When Kazakhstan asked Moscow to move the Russian troops on the border, Russia accepted the request without resistance.
Russia had been only holding out because of its pride, but now that the Kazakh government made a request, there was finally a good reason to step back.
The Defense Minister and commander of the Royal Guards, Kabak, who had been to Moscow, reported the results of their diplomatic trip.
“It’s quite unexpected for Russia to back down without a say.”
“The Russian military seems to have been under a lot of pressure, too. They seemed to be glad to hear our request, but they want to keep their rear air defense unit.”
“Is there an air defense unit?”
“Yes, there is. Most of our air defense units are in the south-central part of the country, so the Russian military has two separate air defense units stationed there.”
“It must have cost a lot of money. Wouldn’t it be better if we operated our own air defense unit?”
“The Russian military’s pride was hurt by Kazakhstan’s recent deployment of an air defense artillery battery that we brought in from the U.S. They said that they’re going to deploy a new surface-to-air missile that’s no below than the U.S. air defense system.”
Even when Kazakhstan and Russia had an armed dispute along the border right before President Nazarbayev stepped down from power, the Russian Army did not pull out its force from the northeastern border. This meant that this border was also an important place for Russia. Russia’s waist would be pierced if the defense of the border fell.
“What if we take over the air defense unit there?”
“It’s an air defense unit to defend Russia’s home country, so they won’t give in. It would be better to provide some of the cost of stationing and ask them to deploy a new ground-to-air missile.”
“That’s fine now because we’re on good terms, but if our relations with Russia get worse, we’ll be in trouble.”
“If that happens, wouldn’t it be okay to force a freeze on the facility since it’s in our territory?”
Since the air defense units were usually located in the rear, there were not many guards, so the facilities could be easily overpowered by Kazakhstan if it wanted to. The Defense Minister was pointing this out.
Even if Russia became a hostile country in the future, the air defense facilities should be left alone because it protected Kazakhstan’s airspace now.
“Alright. Let’s talk to the Army about the air defense unit to process what we just discussed.”
“We’ll also watch the Chinese military’s movement carefully. If the Chinese Army continues to violate the agreement even though the Russian forces are stepping down, it would be a serious issue.”
“If Chinese troops continue to march close to the border, place our forces where the Russian Army used to guard. Also, tell them to consider deploying more reservists in the border area. We only have about one-third the size of the Chinese army there. It’s a shame.”
“I’ll let the Army Staff know about your concern.”
China had an army air force of 100,000 in Uyghur alone, which was about three times the size of the Kazakh troops at the border which was 30,000. Although their armed strength was weaker than the Army in the Beijing area, their strength could not be ignored as they went through modernization.
That was why Youngho was trying to deploy the troops scattered all over the country to the Chinese border. In the case of the Army, about 40,000 more troops were added than before.
And since most of the money spent on air power and air defense was paid by the royal family, the defense budget could easily cover the deployment of the reservists at the border.
“Your Highness, I’d like you to increase the strength of the Royal Guards. I’d like you to reconsider.”
They were called the Royal Guards because of its symbolism as a royal direct force, but it only had two regiments. Also, its armament was insignificant, having only some tactical armored vehicles. It was not as good as a battalion’s armament at the border.
“Wouldn’t it only cause a conflict? The Royal Guards in the capital city will not be put into the front line, anyway.”
“We need at least one artillery battalion and one attack helicopter company to save ourselves as the Royal Guards. In the event of a sudden change, the use of the Royal Guards will give a huge impact on the soldiers’ morale.”
“Really? The soldiers seem to have great confidence in the Royal Guards.”
“They think it’s the royal power.”
“Let’s take this opportunity to realign your unit to the brigade level. And let’s establish a mechanized battalion and attack helicopter battalion. The cost of the armament of the Royal Guards will be paid fully by the royal family. I’m sure the National Assembly won’t take issue with it, right?”
“Your Highness, we can be fully armed with our defense budget. Why would you pay for it again?”
“The defense budget is made from the tax paid by the people. We should try to save every penny if we could. Also, it’s not a large sum. I can do this much for Kazakhstan.”