With a whiff of the Soviet, a Kazakhstan Ministry of Defense press release reports that the country's armed forces are looking at ways of using "ideology and propaganda" to improve the "patriotism and discipline" of service members -- and they're doing it with the help of the Nur Otan party that dominates politics in Kazakhstan.
A recent two-day meeting in Astana, participants "considered activities of the military authorities to improve the ideological work and strengthening military discipline and military-patriotic education." Said Nurlan Dzhulamanov, deputy chairman of the joint chiefs of staff: "Educational and ideological work conducted by military authorities ... is integral to maintaining high combat readiness and cohesion of units."
The list of participants in the meeting was headed by the "Nur Otan" party that holds complete control over Kazakhstan's politics, but a scan through the MoD's press release archives shows that this isn't the first time the party has been involved in the affairs of the armed forces. Over the past year or so the party helped organize a sort of military camp for children and held a meeting for female servicemembers. And the minister of defense and one top deputy are former high-level Nur Otan party officers.
It's not quite the way the Communist Party dominated all institutions -- including the military -- in the Soviet Union, but it's certainly suggestive. Perhaps it's quaint at this point to take seriously Kazakhstan's claims that it is moving toward democracy. But if they are really trying to do that, involving the party of power in indoctrination of the military doesn't move the country in that direction.