Recently, against the background of the general crisis of Russian science, there has been a crisis of military science, which is manifested in a reduction in the number of scientific military schools and military scientists, a decrease in the quality of research and dissertation research, a decrease in the number of scientific developments implemented in the military, etc. reasons for this phenomenon.
It should be immediately emphasized that in order to master military science, it is not enough to gain military knowledge, to become a military specialist, you also need to have an analytical mindset, and have creative abilities. After all, knowledge does not boil down to abilities. Abilities are individual personality traits that are the subjective conditions for the successful implementation of a certain type of activity. Knowledge is the result of cognition, and abilities are properties of the human psycho-nervous organization. Abilities have a natural base in the form of so-called natural inclinations. Capable is not only a knowledgeable person, but also able to extract and use new knowledge in life.
Science is creativity. Knowledge is only a prerequisite for creative activity. The creative nature seeks to see, explore, learn, improve and go beyond what is already known. Such people are always inspired by new opportunities. They are passionate about their work.
Characteristic features of the creative personality are: dissatisfaction with what has been achieved; the tendency to look at the same things differently; the desire to establish a relationship; willingness to experiment and to risk.
The creative abilities of military scientists in our time are claimed by the need for a systematic study of modern complex problems of war, fundamental qualitative changes in military affairs, and changed conditions for the preparation and conduct of hostilities. In addition to experience and knowledge, a wide range of military-political, operational-strategic and military-technical thinking is needed here.
But not all military personnel occupying scientific positions have the characteristic features of a creative personality. Most of them are content with existing knowledge and do not try to go beyond the acquired experience. And for fundamental research it is necessary not only to constantly replenish your knowledge, but also to go beyond what has been known.
DOING A GENERAL, NOT A PRIVATE
At present, the main efforts of military scientists are aimed at solving applied urgent tasks. This is manifested in the development and publication of numerous methodologies, manuals, instructions, regulations, etc. documents military research and educational institutions.
At the same time, it should be borne in mind that in the field of war and defense security there are not only applied but also fundamental problems, such as the study of the nature and nature of military and non-military confrontation in the modern world, the identification of trends in the development of military and non-military means and methods of international confrontation, patterns of their change, determining the directions of parry and neutralization of military and non-military threats and dangers, as well as forecasting scientific, technological and military-technical development in duschih countries in the world and others.
These fundamental problems play a more important role than numerous applied tasks. Therefore, the attention of military scientists should be directed not to applied, but to fundamental problems. “Whoever takes on particular issues,” Vladimir Lenin pointed out, “without first addressing common questions, he will inevitably run across these common questions at every step unconsciously for himself.”
Reports on scientific work carried out by military research and educational institutions usually list the names of the research carried out, the number of documents issued, conferences and other events held. But nothing is said about new scientific ideas, discoveries, conclusions or suggestions made in the course of scientific work. At the same time, in many research reports, many conclusions and statements are repeated from year to year and flow from one report to another. The point is that some heads of military scientific institutions and military scientists themselves forget about the meaning of scientific work, seeing in it the scientific rationale for the orders and directives received from higher authorities, although the law on science clearly states: scientific activity is an activity aimed at obtaining and applying new knowledge.
Science, which directly serves practice, descends into craft. And you need to bring it out of this state. Writing manuals, instructions, regulations and other administrative documents is not a matter of scholar, but of an official. Therefore, when accepting research works and evaluating scientific activities, it is necessary to carry out strict demand from managers and implementers for the novelty, scientific significance and value of their research.
DO NOT WORK "UNDER THE ORDER"
It should be noted that in cases where military theory was developed and developed in the course of practical activity by leading cadres, and scientists only substantiated and formulated the ideas put forward, the consequences turned out to be very sad.
It may be recalled how the military scientists scientifically substantiated the "under the order" of the military political leadership of the country for the destruction of medium and short range missiles, combat railway missile complexes, how scientific research was conducted to create mobile forces in Russia like the American ones, as evidenced by the need to move from regimental structure of the Ground Forces to the brigade, as the scientifically argued position that in the war with the use of nuclear weapons there will be no winner.
In military affairs, the question of working according to the principle of “what you will deserve” is particularly acute, because in the military service one can begin the development of practically any scientific idea, theory, and carry out scientific research on this or that problem only with the consent and approval of the senior officer. And from this point of view, increasing the demands on the integrity and honesty of scientific leaders of all degrees, their ability to defend the true, and not imposed from above point of view is of great importance.
Unfortunately, the heads of the military department are often dilettantes who do great harm to the development of military theoretical thought. You can recall experts in the field of taxes, fees and furniture trade Anatoly Serdyukov, who headed the Ministry of Defense of Russia, as well as a specialist in control over the turnover of alcoholic beverages Ekaterina Priyezhev, who led the Department of Education of the Russian Defense Ministry. Thanks to their efforts, the system of military education and science in Russia was ruined. In particular, several major military academies and universities were eliminated, the number of teachers was reduced seven times. The Ministry of Defense officers began to train on a three-level Bologna system (undergraduate, specialty and magistracy), which resulted in a sharp decline in the quality of officer training.
The trouble is not that these useless people stood at the head of the military department, military education and military science for several years. The main problem is that many military scientists snapped their heels in front of them and rushed to justify the need for reorganization and reduction of military command, including a significant reduction in the role of command and officer positions; reform of the military education and science system; the transfer of the Ground Forces to the brigade base and the abolition of the divisional and regimental level; transition to outsourcing. At the same time, all the others that did not coincide with the views of Serdyukov and Co. were rejected in advance, the opposite opinion was ignored, and military scientists, who had their own opinion on solving military problems, were persecuted.
Marshal of the Soviet Union Dmitry Yazov described the activities of Serdyukov as defense minister in the following way: the “best” defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov brought a harem and almost killed the army. ”
In military science, there can and must exist different and even contradictory one points of view, different ideas, hypotheses. Science develops on the basis of the struggle of opinion. But the trouble is that not all managers can understand and accept this.
Therefore, it would be necessary to think about how in the present conditions it is better to bring up the breadth of thinking, creativity, the ability to understand and perceive different views, judgments, the ability to have and the ability to defend one’s own opinion. Military science should not close within the limits of predetermined views and concepts.
NO PROPHET IN HIS FATHERLAND
In the field of military science, more often than in the field of other sciences, the leaders of the highest ranks acted as pioneers of new ideas and carriers of true scientific views. It is believed that only major military leaders are able to cover and understand the existing problems in military affairs and suggest ways to solve them based on their own extensive knowledge and experience.
However, for fundamental research it is necessary to have not only knowledge and experience, but also the necessary skills and abilities, as already mentioned. Very often, lower and middle level officers are able to generate the right ideas that are not perceived by the top management.
We can recall the Soviet division commander George Isserson, who published the book “New Forms of Struggle (Experience in the Study of Modern Wars)” in 1940, in which he predicted, in particular: “War is not declared at all. It simply begins with pre-deployed armed forces. Mobilization and concentration do not relate to the period after the onset of the state of war, as was the case in 1914, but imperceptibly, gradually being carried out long before that. ”
However, Isserson’s ideas were rejected because they did not coincide with the ideas of the top military leaders. It was believed that in the initial period of the war, under the cover of troops deployed on the border, mobilization would take place, as Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov wrote in his memoirs: “There was no sudden transition to the offensive by all available forces, moreover, pre-deployed in all strategic areas. Neither the Commissar, nor I, nor my predecessors B.M. Shaposhnikov, K.A. Neither Meretskov nor the senior staff of the General Staff expected that the enemy would concentrate such a mass of armored and motorized troops and throw them on all strategic directions on the first day by compact groups. ”
Recall also that the French army, which was considered the strongest in prewar Europe, expected to secure its borders at the first stage of hostilities, relying on the Maginot Line, and the Parisian strategists believed that the Germans would deliver the main blow through Belgium. The possibility of the Wehrmacht’s strike through the forested and impassable Ardennes was not seriously considered.
You can also give an example of how, in 1912, a senior official of the Austrian-Hungarian War Ministry crossed out the draft tankproposed by Lieutenant Burtyn, accompanied by the inscription: “The man is crazy!”, and such prominent military leaders as the French Marshal Foch and the German General Ludendorf, although they recognized the role of tanks, they completely underestimated the importance of airplanes and saw in them only means for sports competitions.
It should be noted that the disdainful attitude of the highest military leadership to a different point of view, to new ideas generated by lower and middle-level officers, often led to grave consequences.
Therefore, it is completely unacceptable to assume that only the top military leadership is the bearer of true scientific knowledge, and only it is capable of generating new scientific ideas. And all the more unacceptable is a scornful attitude towards a different point of view and towards non-standard approaches on the part of lower and middle-level officers.
According to the Russian military historian Anatoly Kamenev, the main flaw in Russian strategic thought was the thoughtless copying of other people's samples and the neglect of the scientific developments of Russian military theorists.
We can give an example of copying by Soviet Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky the theory of conducting a short-term war, created at the beginning of the 20th century by German Field Marshal Schlieffen (the Schlieffen Doctrine), which was based on the plan of a lightning-quick defeat of the enemy with a crushing blow of a powerful strike fist on one flank of the strategic front. Taking the Schlieffen doctrine as a basis, Tukhachevsky substantiated an offensive strategy and developed a deep battle theory, a theory of continuous operations in one strategic direction. The doctrine developed by Tukhachevsky (“to fight with little blood, a big blow, on foreign territory”), which did not even envisage the possibility of defense, was the cause of the catastrophic defeats of the Soviet troops in 1941 – 1942 years. Yes, and the Schlieffen doctrine itself suffered a collapse in the Great Patriotic War.
The work of Russian military scientists should be based on the basis of the greatest and most basic military law: "The art of war is national."
It is necessary to develop and promote our own theories, forms and methods of using groups of troops (forces), rather than trying to use Western military theories as a procrustal bed for Russian military thought.
At present, the idea that future wars will, as a rule, be network-centric and non-contact, using mostly precision weapons, is being actively introduced into the consciousness of the military-political leadership of Russia. The concept of network-centric warfare developed in the United States, which is based on an increase in the total combat power of military formations by connecting them into a single network, becomes in the eyes of some Russian military scientists a new paradigm of warfare.
However, an analysis of the hostilities that the United States conducted during the past 20 years shows that the concept of network-centric warfare is good in low-to-moderate intensity military conflicts against a deliberately weak adversary who is not armed with modern reconnaissance tools, primarily satellite, powerful weapons. including the long-range WTO, as well as modern management and communication automation tools.
Therefore, net-centrism cannot be considered as a panacea for solving problems in the Russian Armed Forces. And if the position imposed by the United States that future wars will, as a rule, be non-contact using mostly non-nuclear high-precision weapons, will prevail, then the Russian Armed Forces will prepare for a war in which they will not have a chance to win (programmed defeat).
But if as a “asymmetric response” to prepare a contact war with the use of all the armament and military equipment available in the country, the nature and the final of such a war will be completely different.
It should also be borne in mind that the tasks of the armed forces of the United States and our army do not radically coincide. For decades, the United States and its NATO allies have led offensive military operations outside their territory, always have the initiative to start a war, and are at war with a weak adversary. Therefore, their experience is atypical for us. First of all, we need to ensure the protection of our territory and therefore at the beginning of the war we will have to conduct defensive actions against a stronger, fundamentally different on each theater of the enemy.
TRAFFIC ACTIONS DETERMINE THE CONDITIONS OF THE SITUATION
"The peculiarity of wars is that their inherent laws and objective phenomena, being independent of the will and consciousness of people, do not act with the inevitable spontaneity of the laws of nature, but manifest themselves in other social phenomena, through the activities of people," the president of the Academy of Military Sciences of the Russian Federation Army General Makhmut Gareyev. - Knowledge of the laws, principles, methods of warfare facilitates practical activities, makes it possible to better anticipate the development of events, to act consciously. But this knowledge can not answer the question of how to act in a particular situation. Therefore, the provisions of military science cannot be applied in all cases, regardless of the conditions of the situation, with the same constancy and the same outcome as the laws of the natural sciences. ”
In 1911, the book “Modern War” was written by Colonel General Staff, Ordinary Professor of the Academy of the General Staff Alexander Neznamov. The author argued that “a theory cannot be set as a goal to indicate the best course of action in all cases. The situation in the war is so diverse and, moreover, changes so quickly that attempts to establish similar, always and everywhere suitable methods are doomed to failure in advance. ”
Military experience confirms the thesis: what was right in one case cannot be blindly applicable in another. In military affairs, one cannot proceed from the assumption that the adversary will act in the manner suggested by theory, common sense, and logic. The fascist German colonel-general Rendulich draws attention to this in his work “The management of troops” using examples from the times of the First World War:
“So, on the Russian front, the commander of one of our regiments, who once failed to overcome a wetland during the offensive, relied too much on the swampy area in front of his regiment, and the Russians here broke through the defense.
A particularly striking example in this regard was the action of the commander of the 12 Italian Army Corps, located at heights east of Isonzo, during the First World War before the 24 battle on the Isonzo. He was sure that the enemy could attack only from the heights, and in accordance with this he built his defense. However, the German-Austrian troops broke through the defenses in the Isonzo Valley and were soon in its rear. ”
“Every battle, operation, war is unique and unique according to the conditions of the situation and therefore solutions and methods of actions that correspond to the prevailing conditions must be creative, unique,” the army general Gareyev points out.
WHAT CANDLES HAPPEN
The worst enemy of military science is pattern and dogmatism. Military science is dynamic, agile. The power of military science in creativity, innovation, originality.
“The main flaw in our strategy was the strange, unjustified decision of the Manchurian army commander and his quartermaster general to“ repeat the 1812 year, ”says Russian historian Anton Kersnovsky, speaking of the 1904 – 1905 Russian-Japanese war. - Kuropatkin and Kharkevich from the very beginning decided to retreat into the interior of the country. They did not feel the difference between 1812 and 1904 in the year between Russia and Manchuria and seriously intended to conduct a Patriotic War on Chinese soil. Having taken the external forms of the 1812 campaign of the year - a retreat, they did not bother to grasp their meaning. The 1812 retreat of the goal was led to the heart of Russia, in its native land, among the insurgents to the alien conqueror of the Russian people. The Russian armies in July 1812 were twice as weak as Napoleon. Barclay’s retreat maneuver was the only possible means of exhausting the enemy, occupying a more focused position and, most importantly, connecting with Bagration. The situation was completely different in April 1904. Against the three Japanese divisions that had landed in Korea, Kuropatkin could move seven distinct divisions of Siberian riflemen. The situation had nothing to do with the same 1812, the double superiority in power was just with us. Kuropatkin and Kharkevich believed that it was enough to apply the external “template” of the 1812 campaign of the year to get a victory, like a victory in the Patriotic War, under any political and strategic situation. They followed the example of those Bukhara “batyrs” who, seeing from a distance, how Russian soldiers, after the crossing, were shaking water out of their tops, and not understanding what was the matter, stood up and shook their legs, thinking that they had comprehended the whole secret of Russian tactics. The “pattern” of World War II in the 1904 setting of the year was at least as meaningless. ”
In this connection, it is appropriate to cite the words of the outstanding Russian military theorist Alexander Svechin, who was still in 1907, describing the routine thinking of some military men, wrote: “You cannot stay with the old templates. If our concepts do not change in accordance with the progress of military affairs, if we stop at the freezing point, then, worshiping immutable laws, we will gradually lose sight of the whole essence of the phenomena. Deep ideas will turn into harmful prejudices: our characters will lose their inner content; there will be an external empty shell, a lifeless idol. ”
MILITARY SCIENCE IN VISION
The outstanding Soviet military scientist, Major-General Alexander Svechin wrote: “The situation of war ... it is extremely difficult to foresee. For each war, it is necessary to develop a special line of strategic behavior, each war is a special case that requires the establishment of its own special logic, and not the application of any template. ”
“The insignificant period of time introduces significant changes in the method of conducting the operation,” said French military theorist Jules Louis Leval. - Improvement of weapons, new equipment, other relationships and other techniques form dissimilar conditions and environment, sharply different from the previous time. Scientific work is the only means to stay up to date with the present and at the height of the future. He who begins a campaign, guided by obsolete memories and customs, immediately turns out to be backward and inferior to the enemy. The experience gained, instead of being a source of strength, creates in these conditions only weaknesses and shortcomings. ”
For example, educated on the traditions of the slow pace of development of military operations during the First World War, the French were not psychologically able to adapt to the new conditions, and this was the reason that French troops were so quickly paralyzed (during the military operations against the Nazi troops in 1940 year. - vm). The greatest weakness of the French was not so much the lack or poor quality of weapons, as in the backwardness of their theory. Their views on the conduct of the war developed more slowly compared with the views of their opponents. As often happens in stories, victory in one war engendered complacency and led to conservatism in views, which was the reason for the defeat in the next war.
“The same Clausewitz advises us to take examples from the history of an era close to us,” writes Boris Mikhailovich Shaposhnikov in his book “The Brain of the Army,” and Moltke says: “We should not ignore the experience of previous wars, but it must be remembered that it cannot serve scale for the present. Decades and even centuries are separated from these wars, during which both political and strategic conditions have changed. Therefore, in order to achieve the desired result, there remains only one means, namely, to try to foresee the course of future events and delve into the modern situation. ”
There is a saying - bad generals are always preparing for the last war. You cannot say the same about American military scientists. They are always “ahead of the rest of the world” in terms of inventing new unknowns to military science theories like “network-centric warfare”, “wolf pack”, Boyd cycle, etc.
As for the network-centric warfare, in addition to what was said above about it, it should be added that analyzing the concept of network-centric warfare allows us to consider it as a new way of organizing command and control of troops and weapons, as a tool to enhance the combat capabilities of diverse forces and means, but not as a theory. The organization of the interaction of various types of the Armed Forces and the arms of different states is of crucial importance in the implementation of the concept of the “wolf pack” However, the problem of the interaction of troops was most accurately and fully resolved by the author of this article, and the full results of the research are set forth in the monograph “Theory of Interaction of Troops”, published in the 2002 year. The whole Boyd cycle (Observation – Orientation – Decision – Action) does not propose any new principles, much less patterns of military art, just as it does not refute existing ones. In addition, Boyd’s cycle is more applicable to tactics, not to operational art and strategy.
Unfortunately, some of our military scientists pick up these and similar American theories, begin to deeply analyze them and develop them on the basis of the analysis, discarding all the accumulated domestic, foreign scientific and practical experience.
But does the emergence of new theories of war mean that we should abandon the classical theories developed by military theorists of the past? Certainly not. Although the classical theories of war require adaptation to the changed conditions, they remain fundamentally fair. There are long-term, unshakable lessons from past combat experience that cannot be ignored.
The fact that among the American military establishment the belief that future wars will be unique and unlike any of past wars is strong enough, speaks of the immaturity of military science in the United States. The intellectual challenge facing military science in the 21st century is not to send military theorists of the past to the dustbin of history. The task is to learn how to effectively use their creative heritage in relation to new conditions.
Military science needs creators, not performers
- Vasily Mikryukov
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