Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev has signed changes to Kyrgyzstan's law on military service, slicing the term of compulsory service from one year to six months, Kyrgyz-Press reported on 23 July. Military officials have said the reduction is the first step in the creation of professional armed forces, a goal being pursued in many Central Asian states. The same officials were cited as saying the reduction would harm neither the military preparedness of Kyrgyzstan's armed forces nor the speed of mobilization. Akaev, in signing the legislation, emphasized his country's "peaceful" nature.
Kyrgyz-Press, July 23, 2004