It is time for a change
From the point of view of management, the security system always consists of complex schemes. Since both the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Defense are huge conglomerates, decision making process takes a very long time. Decisions are approved not only with managers in the “control chain”, but also with security services, other government agencies, and so on. And no matter how hard you try, this scheme is always too slow to respond. At the same time, in the security issues, promptness is key for customers.
In the security sector, thanks to a well-functioning meritocracy system, there are almost no outside managers coming in. And this means that, in addition to its sluggishness, the system is “protected” from reforms by the staff loyal to the current system, and such staff responds to any proposal in the following way: this has always been this way and worked well.
In case of failure of reforms, the risks are high. The fundamental nature of security cannot be surpassed by anything. This is precisely what the retrogrades in the system use, intimidating threats to nationalsecurity, forgetting that despite the axiomatic nature of Maslow's theory, this theory is not applicable to the state, especially in the modern world.
We mistakenly think that the authorities ensuring security are unshakable, that in their absence or a radical reform, not only normal life will fall, but also statehood. However, the army was a sign of statehood only in Soviet textbooks on state and law. In modern realities, both the police and the army most often perform a control function, the absence of which can be successfully replaced by “substitute goods”. It is not only expensive, but also pointless to maintain a large or even any army, for example, in Kazakhstan in conditions when there are unequal neighboring countries around. After all, the rejection of nuclear weapons happened for the same reason.
The numerous functions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs could also be reduced. It would be possible – provided the true political will and the presence of a mission within the system itself.
We have a similar example of political will. In 2016, as the Prosecutor General, Zhakip Asanov completely changed the general supervision system, putting the prosecutors before the hard necessity to seek strong arguments for inspection. The prosecutors immediately turned out to be not ready for this, and the work of general supervision was in fact frozen for almost a year. The prosecutors of general supervision during this period made a massive shift to state prosecutors, thereby strengthening the quality of the state prosecution, or simply left the system (since the opportunity for corruption risks disappeared). During the year, changes were made to the law on the prosecutor's office, the possibilities and work of general supervision were significantly structured. Checks resumed, but not to the same extent. But at the same time, no one died from mass poisoning, low-quality medicine or for another reason. In fact, no one even realized that the vast area of prosecutorial supervision did not exist. The country did not notice that it lived for a year without general supervision - and nothing terrible happened.
Most of the control and supervisory functions of the security system have a similar nature – they are not vital for society. However, either high-level reformers, whose whole system of values is structured differently, or those who are given carte blanche for reform and set the task of obtaining a specific result, will be able to understand and realize the depth of such a new approach. But it seems that there are neither the first nor the second yet.
Just as it is difficult to decide which apples to catch first, when ripe apples are banging on the roof of the own house, it is difficult for Kazakhstani strategists now to prioritize the problems for solving.