It is regrettable that the national defense consciousness is still tragically poorly matched with the variety of sufficiency factors in defense construction. Such a feeling remains from the statements of our leadership on the subject of defense construction, which apparently believes that “emergency financing”, declared in a certain amount and for a certain period, solves absolutely all problems in the field of defense. Arguing, apparently, in the Western image and likeness: for money, you can buy everything. At the same time, the experience of enlightened humanity, like our own domestic experience, suggests that success is only in the entirety and unity of all the factors determining the process, and especially in such a specific matter as the military one.
Meanwhile, in the officialdom, one can almost see the absolutization of the financial or material factor. The formula works “money is a new weapon, and a new weapon is a new look for the army and fleet».
Well, one can only welcome the increase in the monetary allowance of servicemen, pensions, the attention of the management to the housing problem of servicemen and veterans. All this causes a legitimate sense of satisfaction, if you had not heard how, under the guise of "reforms", the structure of the Armed Forces, military command, military education, the system of training troops and fleets, and others are destroyed for centuries.
At the same time, go and guess, this is done maliciously, with the goal of finally undermining the combat capability of the army and navy, or unconsciously amateurs.
In fairness, I note that not a single serious domestic military expert found the structures and institutions of the USSR Armed Forces, and then the Russian Armed Forces fully meet the requirements of the time. But this is not a reason to lose them all at once, without receiving anything in return.
Recalling the diversity of factors that directly shape the combat capability of the Armed Forces (in addition to the volume and quality of their weapons), we will touch at least some of them in more detail.
HISTORY ONLY WARNING AGAINST ERRORS
In such cases, it is customary to begin with historical examples. Literally, the example of the Russian-Japanese war of 1904 – 1905 has always been a textbook on this subject. The fleet training program “for the needs of the Far East” alone cost the Russian empire a figure commensurate with several state budgets.
Meanwhile, the most unbiased analysis of the hostilities in the Russo-Japanese war at sea convincingly shows: send the naval department in the autumn of 1904 to the Pacific on everything planned by programs, and buy those unfortunate armored cruisers that still haunt some researchers the result of the war would be the same. The trouble was not in the number of squadron battleships and armored cruisers, Russia was hopelessly suffering from paralysis of control in all government and military spheres. And the completion of the already not weak Russian fleet in the theater of military operations with new ships would only multiply the Japanese trophies.
So, the fleet, which was considered the third in the world, shamefully lost both campaigns, partly died, partly ingloriously went to the triumphant enemy in the form of trophies, multiplying unprecedentedly not only fame and authority, but also the number of its fleet (by eight battleships alone).
Although the war with Japan is considered to be a typical maritime, more precisely with the determining sea factor, on land, too, large-scale hostilities were fought with great bitterness. I had to transfer a million-strong army, huge amounts of weapons and equipment, a significant part of the personnel came from the stock. You can imagine what it cost the budget.
As for the Great Siberian Route itself - the just-completed railway to the Far East, it was a grandiose project of literally geopolitical significance at the level of the Suez and Panama Canals, if not bigger. By the way, it is appropriate to attribute the astronomical costs of it to the costs of the war: after all, without a road, war would be impossible in principle.
Thus, it turns out that even such incredibly high defense expenditures can result in the absence of the expected result, because, besides them, there is still much that exists and is necessary.
Only recently, the myth that in June 41st the Germans attacked us with many times superior forces was dispelled. And this, together with the surprise of the attack, led to the most serious setbacks on the fronts in the campaigns of 1941-1942. It turned out, to put it mildly, not confirmed. Even if we talk about the qualitative side of things, then here the number of new and incomparable tanks T-34 and KV (obviously superior to all German), new aircraft was an impressive figure. The total number of tanks, guns, aircraft is definitely in our favor. At the same time, mass samples of enemy equipment and weapons did not in themselves outperform our old mass samples. They often took details and nuances that were insignificant for a civilian look: motorization and mechanization of troops, radioization of tanks and aircraft, more rational weapons, better mastery of their crews and crews, better intelligence, worked out interaction. And most importantly, superiority in command and control.
However, it is not even about that. In the context of the topic raised here, we have to remind you of the enormous efforts, financial costs and even sacrifices that cost the country to arm the Red Army and prepare it for war. The first Soviet five-year plans were devoted to arming the Red Army, with all the attendant costs. And here is the result - the hardest, almost fatal start of the war.
As in the case of the previous example, the conclusion is unobtrusively formed: not everything is solved by money and resources spent on armaments. There are many other decisive factors. They are known: this is a structure, personnel, military education, operational and combat training, and more. They should not be ignored. However, among the recently prevailing particularistic or semi-civilian (by origin) leaders for some reason do not understand this chronically, referring all other (except financial) factors to the category, apparently, self-evident, on which it is possible not to stop, not to disperse strategic attention.
RE-EQUIPMENT AS A FACTOR OF ECONOMICS
On weapons, as follows from the speeches of our leaders, it is planned to spend 23 trillion. rub. Spend and "there will be happiness." Moreover, quite recently, at the last Board of Defense Ministry, it sounded as if the reform in the Supreme Council was finally completed, its goals were achieved, the new look of the Supreme Council suits everyone, which can only mean one thing: there is no need to change anything else. It remains to continue to replace the old weapons and military equipment with new ones. Now in the army of new weapons and military equipment 16 – 18%, and it will be, apparently, 100%.
As for the relevance of weapons, or rather, rearmament, it is difficult to disagree. Indeed, if we turn to, say, the problems of the fleet (they are closer to the author), there are very few things left to be able to swim and fly, let alone fight.
In the Black Sea and Baltic fleets, a total of one or two diesel-electric submarines, four or five modern surface ships.
We did not have time to start talking about the purchase of the Mistrali, as the absence of modern landing craft and fire support tools, that is, the spectrum of the required types of helicopters and air cushion boats, was clearly indicated. We are silent about the lack of reconnaissance drone for him. And without them, it is difficult to talk about the organization of effective (deep) airborne operations and raids deep into the coast of the enemy, for which this weapon system exists.
No better position with torpedo weapons for submarines. Not to mention the more than 20-year lag or even, more precisely, the failure to equip submarines and surface ships with modern information and combat control systems, elements and means of network-centric systems, which are becoming increasingly important in the concepts of modern warfare at sea and irreplaceable in part prospects for “leveling out” the operational capabilities of forces and groups in theaters.
Meanwhile, the question is even wider. The rearmament must be so conceptual and complete that it did not work out like the British in the Falkland crisis: 37 prepared for war for years, and when they came to the South Atlantic, they found that there was nothing to fight, there are no airborne radars and helicopters. The vacuum of decisions on these most important for the fleet, and therefore defense problems, not only for the future, but also for today, is simply threatening.
In the army, they say, a little better. By many understandable military man signs of the army of China and even Pakistan confidently, at full speed, bypass our “invincible and legendary” both in terms of equipment and organizational. This impression is convincingly fixed by the transition to a one-year service life. During this time, you can “master” how to break down weapons and equipment, throwing grenades into your people and dropping grenades at your feet, shooting at you from a tank gun, but learning and art of modern combat cannot be learned in a year. Earlier, in Soviet times, a more educated, physically and morally more stable soldier and sailor barely had two or three years to do it, respectively.
When financing the purchase of new weapons can not do without the allocation of a substantial part of the funds for the modernization of production. On the old equipment and technology it is impossible to produce equipment and weapons of today. At the same time, there are fears that the development of new models itself does not remain behind the scenes, all the more so for many developers, even more than for manufacturers, there has not been a gift for many years of forced break in work. For export, due to which industry was fed during these years, there were still Soviet samples.
The fears on this score are also strong because in recent years the number of development work ordered by the Ministry of Defense has absolutely inexplicably decreased. It is necessary to take into account that “brains” that are not in demand in the creation of new types of weapons and equipment, “shrink” and lose especially quickly. As well as the fact that the average OCD takes in terms of 7 to 10 years. One way or another, you will also have to share with them, you need to remember them. As well as create conditions for them.
Bearing in mind the past, not always a positive experience, it is also important that the tasks for the development of new technology should be given out by the military, and not by the industry itself, which is advantageous to develop and produce what is profitable for it, and that does not always coincide with what is needed for war .
Thus, it was established that the procurement of new weapons, weapons and equipment for the army and navy is the essence of a complex and multi-stage process, encompassing the revival of industry, and even science.
Objectively, there is a simple, but extremely important military-economic axiom: we have trillions - it is not at all the fact that they have trillions. It should be clear to see the difference: with this money you can buy almost all the weapons and weapons in finished form, perhaps, with the exception of the “most cherished”, held for their own aircraft and the most “close friends”. We, for our “hard-earned” money, can be acquired on the world market except for minor “semi-finished products” of dual use. "Mistral" is a rare and pleasant exception, and even then, if we can dispose of them rationally. So it makes doubly sense to invest in their own industry and science, but to invest judiciously and intelligently, knowing well what exactly and in what sequence is needed for defense.
STRUCTURING THE MILITARY POWER VERTICAL
Thanks to a well-constructed structure, knowledge of what is needed for defense, in what sequence to meet its needs is achieved, and thus it is possible to rationally manage the military budget, in particular, that part of it that is allocated for armaments.
With the proper state of the structure, questions of the number, composition and deployment of the main groups of the army and navy, as well as what they should be armed and equipped with, are not decided spontaneously or opportunistically (bearing in mind the possible position of the MIC, but on the basis of the strategic concepts of a future war tested on strategic and operational-strategic models by qualified personnel of the General Staff.
Thus, only a strategy can indicate the right way to build an aircraft. By the way, the construction of the sun and is one of the objectives of the strategy. For this, in turn, we need special requirements for the structure and balance of the supreme military command, the General Staff, which works with categories of strategic order.
No matter how deeply we honored the experience of the Great Patriotic War, the authority of its commanders, the structure of the modern General Staff has long been ripe for evolution in the direction of some kind of “coalition” body of chiefs of staff, where all types of forces should be equally represented. In fact, the criterion of the question is the ability to prepare and conduct operations in all three environments, and maybe in four, including space. The specifics of the existing purely “army” General Staff, focused on continental threats, do not allow doing this at such a universal level. Representation in it of the Navy, the Air Force to the required level obviously does not correspond. The representation of these types of aircraft remains only subordinate.
I remember that in the course of the inevitable discussion of this problem, the opponents of the General Staff assured us with warmth and conviction that we could not even carry out operations in three environments, allegedly lacked manpower and resources and reasonably concentrate on the continental and coastal theater areas where we are strong and something we can. But the adversary is (for the time being probable) not with whose insufficient capabilities and desires, more precisely, the level of thinking will not be considered. He plans the operations he needs and is preparing to carry out. Moreover, it will gladly take advantage of our delusions as a weakness.
But the basis for the preparation of the Armed Forces and future operations, following the alphabet of military affairs, should be taken from the real plans and capabilities of the likely enemy, and not from someone’s longing for “if only there is no war” or for the war to follow our scenario. Meanwhile, the structure optimized for the continental type of war ceased to meet the requirements of the time already in the first post-war years, because the likely enemy and the main threats quickly shifted to oceanic directions.
It should be said that intuitively, on our part, certain right steps were taken. This includes the urgent creation of a strategic aviation, nuclear and missile weapons, the development of the Arctic regions for basing this aircraft (for reasons of reach), the creation of the Naval Ministry and the Naval General Staff as strategic planning and control bodies, a large shipbuilding program in 1946, the deployment of six instead of four fleets, then an unparalleled program deployment of nuclear missile and multipurpose submarines.
However, the foundation remained old. The Unified General Staff, which is, in fact, the General Staff of the Ground Forces, continued, as before, during the war years, to lead all military construction and preparation of the USSR Armed Forces for a possible future war. Naturally, he soon “ate” the naval General Headquarters, the Naval Ministry, and then “canceled” everything that resembled the naval strategy. That is, the most important strategic structure, petrified, ceased to correspond to the threats and challenges of the modern world. The imagination of the top leadership finally and irrevocably fell under the hypnosis of a nuclear missile version of war as the main one. Against its background, everything else relating, including the essence, was lost and became incomprehensible, and therefore unimportant. This affected the construction of the Navy, the Air Force, and with it the power of the country's defense complex as a whole, and huge amounts of money and resources were wasted.
However, let us return to the possible examples of structure optimization.
In addition to the reform of the highest strategic management body, the scope of the announced rearmament simply leaves no choice but to immediately form the Maritime Ministry and the Ministry of Aviation, which would be advisable to impose responsibility on the construction of a civilian fleet, civil aviation according to their function, including the regulation of the safety of their activities. . In a serious state of affairs should be the owner, and even on the expected rise.
Every time during the next incident with an airplane or a ship, public attention is exacerbated with respect to the problems of aviation, aviation industry, shipbuilding, the maritime register. But who will deal with them? Name this structure. How much we will fly on foreign junk with young pilots who are not fully trained, who are fit to pollinate collective farm fields. How much we boil in the chaos of commercial lawlessness in such an important and specific question? In such a large country with such boundless spaces, with such a large-scale process of re-equipment and revival (if this is serious), the air force and navy remain, as before, without a master, in essence, remain on a voluntary basis.
Let us leave on our conscience the frightened inhabitants of the “horror stories” of the growth of new ministries into gigantic corrupt structures. This is a purely psychological fad of the national mentality. So do not make them so. The recipe is simple: take and create completely new structures: ministries of a new type, like in the West (some kind of administrative Skolkovo), compact and mobile, without the Moscow nomenclature, their children and relatives. Thank God, there are still serious specialists in the country: the crisis of governance at the state level manifests itself precisely in their ignorance of the face.
This topic can be continued almost indefinitely: it is so comprehensive and universal, for example, in terms of influencing all aspects of the life of the army, navy, and defense industry. However, one should pay tribute to other factors.
EDUCATION, OPERATIONAL AND BATTLE PREPARATION
There was a tradition to call the renowned educational institutions a forge of personnel. This extended to military schools. However, once we had every reason to be proud of our country, including military education. Now the education system is an extremely sick organism.
Educational institutions, especially in recent decades, do not train personnel - in the full sense of the word. Graduates become (or do not become) real officers only in the fleets and in the army. The system of military education and earlier supplied only source material for the formation of graduates of military personnel. If you think about it, probably this was the main complaint about the existing education system. It is enough to address the fundamental criteria.
The fleet needs a primary care specialist who is absolutely ready to perform his duties on a ship, a submarine. Meanwhile, the process of commissioning a graduate school on the ship is delayed for several months. This is especially true of the future operators of the main power plants (GEM) of electromechanical warheads (warheads-5), engineers of inertial navigation complexes of navigational warheads (warheads-1). The first two have to even send to the Training Center of the Navy (TC Navy). Meanwhile, warships must comply with the readiness assigned to them permanently and cannot depend on "seasonal personnel vicissitudes" associated with the arrival of graduates.
Along the way, graduates have to study the structure of the ship, master the techniques and methods of fighting for survivability, and pass tests on duty on the ship. In many respects, the timing and success of passing tests depend not only on the graduate’s abilities and official zeal, but also on such circumstances as the plan to use the ship he was on. Thus, it is generally unthinkable for the operators of the GEM and navigators to go without the ship’s entry into the sea.
As for the graduates of the Naval Academy, intended to serve at the tactical and operational-tactical headquarters, we have to recognize their insufficient operational, operational-tactical level and outlook, which does not allow them to fully participate in the development of the decision of the commander (commander), operations, their special support. The question arises: what is there to be reformed?
The experience of the advanced foreign fleets suggests that the last year of study is a graduate (who knows what ship he is going to) devotes to practical training in the Navy Training Center and on training and combat ships. There he takes the necessary exams and comes to his first ship for the release of an already perfectly trained officer. The same period of training, however, when rational posing the question, warships are spared from even temporarily staying on them by untrained crew members.
In schools, it is high time to raise the bar of naval education so that, after leaving the school, a graduate has a completely firm conviction that he is graduated from a fleet officer, and this sounds proud and obliges a lot. To do this, young people should not be dragged to the fleet, but selected severely and exactingly, looking not only at the documents, but also at the soul, trying to consider the inclination for the marine service and readiness to overcome the related hardships and difficulties. To instill the elitism of the ship service so as not to rush to the shore. But after all, all the "clever" serve ashore.
In the sea business there are no recipes better than old ones. Passing all candidates through the sailing training ships, thus carry out a primary selection. He does not like the sea, does not withstand the service under sail, there is nothing to contact him: it is cheaper to take a future employee of the Scientific Research Institute from a civilian university.
Again, the experience of the oldest and advanced fleets suggests the effectiveness of the so-called alternative service, when the way to the officers is not ordered through the sailor's service. The best practices are obtained from such frames, and they love their craft sincerely and faithfully. It helped a lot in this regard before encouraging and spreading the practice of correspondence study of personnel in universities.
Giant reserves of combat readiness of the fleet are rooted in skillfully set operational and combat training. The service on a good ship (compound, squadron) should be carried out as in wartime, keeping the personnel in constant tension and confidence that the same should be done in war. This frees trainees from the dangerous burden of double standards, excites the interest of officers in the service.
The author was fortunate enough to pass the service school (assistant to the commander of a nuclear submarine) at the unique commander of the ship Anatoly Makarenko. He differed sharply from all the commanders at the compound and, probably, the flotilla, in their demands for combat training and organization of service. His criteria for combat readiness did not differ from the norms of wartime, but there was no more combat-ready ship in the Navy. The ship was always ready for any test, learning of any degree of complexity, combat service. While many around were not just surprised, but sometimes they twisted their fingers at the temple.
A solid life and work experience, following the example of your commander showed that there is no other way if you set out to honestly and disinterestedly serve the Motherland in a military field.
FRAME STILL STILL SOLVED
I cannot do without historical examples here.
The Russian-Japanese war was not at all lost to ordinary participants in the events. The war had no other perspective, if only because the fleet commander had only 18 days in the main and only sea theater of the 39 months of war. Exactly so much turned out to be the fate of Vice Admiral Makarov in Port Arthur. There was no one to replace him in Russia.
An unbiased analysis of the operations of the initial period of the Great Patriotic War shows that the level of command and control at the operational and operational-tactical level is often an order of magnitude or more (calculated specifically, but this figure is terrible to voice) inferior to the level of control in the enemy camp. Probably, it is strange to hear: more familiar are references to superiority in strength, technique, surprise of an attack. Speaking about the loss of almost the entire command in 37, they very seldom recall the operational staff who suffered the same fate and whose role in the war is difficult to overestimate. Hence, too, astronomical losses and failures.
Summarizing the problem, it is necessary to remind once again that in Russia it has always been difficult with personnel.
Somehow in 1993, in the course of summing up the results of the inspection of troops and forces in the Far East, the then First Deputy Minister of Defense General Kondratiev had to hear the sad admission that during numerous trips it was not possible to find a single boss capable of preparing and conduct regimental training. In the Ground Forces, this is a very important criterion for combat training and even combat readiness. At that time, the main groups were not “dispersed”, and practically all the generals and admirals sat on the ground, who was with whom these exercises were conducted. However, frames in the true sense of the word, probably, no longer exist. Does it make sense to talk about it now, when there is no one in the fleet to be appointed leader even for practicing the actions of ships in a warrant.
Personnel are admirals, generals and officers who adequately and promptly react to all the vicissitudes and changes in the situation, and in the event of war, are capable of commanding subordinate forces, conducting operations, and controlling the forces of command in the event of war. Able to solve problems with the forces and means that are. Unlike the rest, which, in all fairness, it is more appropriate to call just officials, and who, unfortunately, the majority.
And yet, I would call the first of the factors determining the success and prospect of building a state’s defense not the armament and the structure, but the factor of the return of military serviceman dignity - from private to general, admiral. No matter how strange it may seem and give way to humanitarian populism, it is the self-esteem of the personnel that makes the army invincible. This was indicated by reputable researchers of the phenomenon of invincibility of the armies of Napoleon. The dignity and honor of an officer has always been quoted above life. So it’s not so easy to ignore this factor today.
There are more recent examples. At the beginning of the 90-x, the famous and high-ranking American four-star admiral, commander of the operations of the US Navy, shot himself in honor of honor. The case is very strange from the standpoint of modern ideas and, in the opinion of the majority, the reason did not deserve attention. However, such notions of honor among senior officers work strongly on the authority of the fleet, the Armed Forces, to which it belonged. This is especially noteworthy against the background of notions of honor in his contemporaries from other fleets, which have far more weighty grounds for such decisions.
Indeed, and how much the effectiveness of defense depends on the dignity of a commander, general, or admiral. It is not a secret that in these times, about the end of which we have not yet been informed, the majority of even very capable military commanders went into the commanding offices with their opinions, and left with a stranger, his opinion. That is the tragedy.
Particularly significant is the fact that such a concept that is not hackneyed as military (naval) thinking comes close to the concept of dignity. In 8 of 10 cases, the self-sufficient, arrogant commander intellectually loses to his colleague, who is ready to patiently and kindly listen to the proposals of his staff officers, senior specialists. Multiple, if not all, of our national failures and blunders in military construction are directly related to the inability to be heard by our leadership.