Viktor Baranets on the war with Iran and the reform of the army
Recently, more and more talk about the threat of a new world war. The fighting in Syria, the conflict on the Korean Peninsula, US provocative exercises near the borders of Iran. What exactly can bring the whole world out of a delicate balance?
In the meantime, Russia, after the collapse of the army, had just begun a policy of restoring it. And did she start? ..
Victor Baranets, a retired colonel, from 1965 in the Armed Forces, served for over 10 years in the central office of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff. Today, a military columnist for Komsomolskaya Pravda, as well as the author of the books Yeltsin and His Generals and The Lost Army, commented on these key topics to the newspaper Tomorrow.
"TOMORROW": What is the significance of the Strait of Hormuz in the light of the confrontation in this region of Iran and NATO forces?
Victor Baranets: The Strait of Hormuz is a kind of neck of a giant oil and gas canister through which many, including the largest ones, of the world’s economies feed. I would even compare this region with the global oil and gas filling station. Judge for yourself: about 40% of global oil exports by sea pass through the Strait of Hormuz. The strait is the only sea route that allows the export of Arab gas and oil to third countries, in particular, to the United States.
The biggest sadness for these consumers is that Iran controls Ormuz. If they continue to provoke him and he will “block the breathing space”, there will be big problems not only for the American economy.
The price of oil and gas will skip so that it smells like another economic crisis. And if we take into account that the main trend of this century will be the struggle for energy, it is not difficult to understand why the “American elephant” and its bogs from NATO have been rushing here for a “watering place” for many years. But this is only one side of the issue. In order to control the world's oil and gas reserves in this region (without printing out its strategic reserves), the United States and its accomplices must also control the local political regimes, overthrowing objectionable ones, which has been done for a long time.
Either color revolutions, gangster military operations relying on a well-armed and well-paid opposition, or invasions on a far-fetched pretext. With nuclear Iran, which has almost all the keys to Hormuz in his pocket, it just doesn’t work out that way. To tear these keys out of Iran’s hands, the United States seeks to change the regime in this country. This is done according to all the "rules" of the most modern - network-centric warfare. The Iranian leader and his associates are under continuous information fire from the NATO gang. Wedges are driven between various religious classes of the country. They are pitted. At the same time, the so-called opposition is being cultivated. Economic and military-technical sanctions are increasing. The evil mongrel of the USA - Israel from time to time is allowed to "bite" Iran aviation fangs. And NATO ships continually climb into Hormuz, neglecting maritime laws, which is already very similar to maritime banditry.
"TOMORROW": And now the United States and other NATO countries are conducting exercises off the coast of Iran. What for?
Viktor Baranets: Yes, the United States and still almost 30 of the bloc countries are conducting naval exercises in the region. The purpose of the exercise was announced as follows: demining of water areas and working out rescue operations at sea. This is a lying, sly song. Especially about the "clearance". There has long been almost all cleared. And a gigantic armada of ships is not needed at all for such a task. It is clear why the United States is doing this.
Iran has repeatedly threatened that in the case of the aggressive policy of the United States and NATO in the region, it mines Ormuz. Therefore, it is clear that the ships of the bloc came here to “train” in case of a worse scenario. To train not only in the demining of the water area, but also in saving each other's ships - there the Iranian Navy will sink something ...
By flexing their military muscles in an explosive region, the US and NATO clearly want to show that they sit here firmly and for a long time. I repeat, they want to control this global gas station. Moreover, this is all aimed not only against Iran, but also against Syria. And this tandem so simply can not be cut. These teachings have one more meaning: Iran’s enemies want the current elections in this country to be overshadowed by American aircraft carriers. But in any case, unfriendly maneuvers of the United States and its allies are very similar to the fact that the evil thug with a torch in his hands wanders through the powder magazine. The USA play with fire, and, probably, will play out.
"TOMORROW": What scenarios of war against Iran are possible?
Viktor Baranets: There are several such scenarios. You perfectly see that the United States’s most faithful, most evil bristle strut, Israel, has long been beating its hooves and terribly wants to bomb Iran again, telling the world horror stories about Iran’s rushing to nuclear armsthat it is necessary to pry his teeth out of his teeth (for some reason, the United States “allowed” Israel to have nuclear weapons - this is once again about the double standards of Washington in international politics). One of the likely scenes can be seen as follows: first, the air strikes of Israel and the ships of the NATO armada on the strategic objects of Iran. Moreover, not only nuclear. Purpose? To paralyze the government of the country, to cause a mass panic and hatred of the Iranians to their power.
I think that Israel, feeling at ease under the wing of the United States, will continue to pursue a militant, aggressive policy. Since Iran’s nuclear missile program is Tel Aviv’s biggest headache. Jews at night in a cold sweat wake up at the thought that Iran, God forbid, will launch rockets on them. And, it seems, they are doing everything to make this happen ...
The second option is already cooler. This is a kind of combination of missile strikes of ships and aircraft, and partial (for a start) occupation of Iran by NATO ground forces. Moreover, the occupation is from the side where the armed "Iranian opposition" will be stationed. They are already trying to build it in the Syrian version. Pump it with money and weapons. And then - further stratify Iranian society on a national and religious basis.
Well, then it will be possible to launch the third option - fighting clashes with the government army. And crush it with the same ships and airplanes. And bring the war to the point where it will be possible to declare a regime change. This is a classic of the genre.
"TOMORROW": Is the situation in Syria able to become a catalyst for a new world war?
Victor Baranets: Certainly, it can. There is such a probability. Syria is not alone in its struggle, nuclear Iran remains its most loyal ally. If a total full-scale operation against the Syrian army begins, I am absolutely sure that Iran will not stand aside. Because the fate of Iran is being decided in Syria. And with Iran, the jokes are already bad: if necessary, he, too, can seriously wave his nuclear missile club. This will inevitably lead to the fact that other countries will be drawn into the crater of the Syrian conflict. Both regional and remote.
That's when NATO Europe may get atomic dust. And there already looms and continental nuclear war. And one of its results will surely be the fact that a giant nuclear funnel will smoke in place of Israel ... Yes, the whole region will be knee-deep in nuclear dust.
It seems to me that humanity does not even suspect the existence of the principle of "nuclear domino". If only one country is to strike at another even with a tactical nuclear missile, the chain reaction of a nuclear war is unlikely to be stopped.
"TOMORROW": Given the growing number of threats of a new world war, how can Russia minimize the consequences of Serdyukov’s policy for restoring the combat capability of the Armed Forces?
Viktor Baranets: During the time when Anatoly Serdyukov was the Minister of Defense, and the Chief of the General Staff of the Army General Nikolai Makarov, the combat readiness of the Russian army decreased significantly. We chopped up our main "fists" - divisions, dismembered them into brigades. And we heard the false songs of our former Americanized "strategists" that this would allegedly significantly increase the mobility of the troops and simplify their management. But in actual fact, all this turned out to be an adventurous bluff, a monkey imitation of the Americans, who now and then have to transfer their units from one area of the earth to another. We do not have such doctrines. We would keep Mother Russia from the adversaries to protect, not creeping out of the paternal cordons. Moreover, the Americans themselves did not disband all their divisions.
It is curious that in the Russian army there was only one general - the commander of the airborne forces, colonel-general Vladimir Shamanov, who, risking everything - shoulder straps, position, former merit, did not allow Serdyukov-Makarov to "reformat" his divisions and was not afraid to defend his position in principle even in The Kremlin. And, thank God, he convinced the then President of the country Medvedev not to approve the adventure. He fell into disgrace, but retained a professional honor. That is why the serdyukov's guilty reform only hurt the airborne forces to a small extent
Yes, under Serdyukov we created almost 100 brigades of constant combat readiness, but none (not one !!!) of them is equipped with even 70%. Consequently, not combat ready. Is this a reform? This is wrecking, bordering on crime! For this we must judge. Whatever strategic (I said strategic!) Direction of Serdyuk-Makarov reform, we have not taken, there is no positive result anywhere. On the contrary! The situation got worse. Training in universities - failure. Military medicine - failure. New organizational structure - failure. Mobilization reserves - failure. By the way, about the reserves. There are some military analysts in Russia who, with a prostitute shriek, admire the fact that Serdyukov is a great fellow, if only because he refused the "concept of a mass mobilization army." Tell me, who will replace the killed and wounded officers, warrant officers, midshipmen, soldiers and sergeants, who the active army will lose during the first strikes of the enemy? Pushkin with Lermontov? But they are bronze! Even the most backward armies of the world have a “second echelon,” a reserve. But we no longer have it. Lying is the current Russian army on the battlefield, and all. At least for the forks and axes grab hold of. I deeply doubt that the future military strategist Serdyukov, who sat in his St. Petersburg office as deputy director of a furniture store, ever heard Napoleon’s great phrase: “Military forces are not enough to defend a country, while being protected by the people is invincible.”
Well, tell me, how can one call such military reformers adequate? Before the reform, the army had 355 thousands of officer positions. Serdyukov and Makarov decided that enough 150 thousand. And they slashed the officer corps in one fell swoop, leaving not the lot of almost 200 thousand people. A year later, a turnip was scratched and screamed: ba, we need to create Air Defense Forces troops! And for them you still need 70 thousands of officers! And the states have increased again. Children playing in sandboxes are more consistent. And here - the defense of Russia! And what did we get as a result of such a reform? An army of conspirators, who cannot be fired without shelter. Others sit in this position forced idlers for 10 years! The state spends annually 30 or 40 billion on their aimless maintenance! But what is this? Today we have 180 thousand occupied officer positions and ... almost 40 thousand vacancies! What is that supposed to mean?
Recently, a well-known writer and poet noticed that, under Serdyukov, the humanization of military service began. What it is? Mothers with folders began to be allowed to call-up commission. And others are allowed to accompany the son from the military office to the unit. Soldiers are allowed to use cell phones. They had a sleepy hour after dinner, and they got up an hour later. Many are allowed to serve close to home. It is possible to go to the citizen in dismissal. If it is not taiga or tundra, of course. And the parade ground now cleans not a soldier, but Dzhamshut from Tajikistan. But did someone say it's bad?
But this is only one side of the humanization of military service under Serdyukov. There is another. The air regiment was filmed from Primorye and transferred to Transbaikalia. The officers left the family in the old place and flew to settle in the new one. And there they were told: "What are you guys doing, we have all the seats taken!" In the meantime, the garrison, in which officer wives were left with small children, was disconnected from light and heat, medical care, because the hospital was either disbanded or transferred to another place. Is this humanization? Did the humanization that the officers and their wives reamed their teeth, stuffed arsenic in them, and when they came to the clinic again after a few days, it was already disbanded! Wasn humanization the fact that some units were transferred to other garrisons on an unprepared base, where people lived in harsh cold in tents and hurt?
And someone else will add that it was under Serdyukov that the foundations for the rearmament of the army were laid. Although, strictly speaking, Serdyukov's government retrofitted more than 20 trillion to retool troops and fleets. rubles. And he had to translate these rubles into combat iron. So what? One gets the impression that Serdyukov was trying to disrupt the rearmament program, playing on completely objective contradictions between the interests of the Ministry of Defense and the military-industrial complex (MIC). What is it about? Serdyukov went to the principle, he wanted only high-quality and only cheap weapons. The right approach! Serdyukov is right that the army needs high-quality and inexpensive weapons. But no one has canceled the pricing system. The most important gap between Serdyukov and the military-industrial complex occurred just at the site of pricing and weapon quality. There were long quarrels with the defense industry, which delayed for a year or more. The state defense orders were not signed on time. And the MIC because of this for many years did not fulfill them.
But there was another side to the issue: Serdyukov almost completely outlived the class specialists for ordering weapons and military equipment. Because of this, the defense industry did not receive competent drawings, constantly reworked ships, boats, armored vehicles. The same Serdyukov and the same Makarov broke up military acceptance - from 21 to 7 thousands of people! What after that you want quality weapons?
There were large and long conflicts between Serdyukov and the military industrial complex: Putin gave three direct instructions to Serdyukov to remove problematic issues with the defense industry, he stamped his foot and Medvedev. I'm not talking about Rogozin, who made Serdyukov very serious calls that you need to sit down and negotiate with the industrialists, because it is easy to refuse and be capricious.
But what did Serdyukov do? Serdyukov began to take in the rearmament of the army, some "Western postures." He began to buy the Mistrali, large landing ships from France. He began to buy armored cars from Italy. He began to buy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Israel. He was already glancing at the German steel, he began to buy Austrian sniper rifles.
And what do we have in the end? And that's what. The combat mission of the Mistral (ships of the colonial type) is still unclear. Who are we going to colonize? And we, it seems, instead of 4 we will buy only two plates. Italian Iveco armored cars were worse than the Russian "Tigers". The Israeli UAVs are not only not being unified with our combat control systems, they also “go crazy” during our Siberian and northern frosts. For the same reason, Austrian rifles are wedged too.
All this pulled a whole bunch of other problems. What does it mean to strengthen the import of weapons? The development of our own scientific and design base of our military-industrial complex is hindered. If we buy ready-made weapons, you do not have to strain your brains.
Did this cause dissatisfaction with our engineering and technical staff of the military industrial complex? Yes. Ready to buy, ready weapons significantly with
The number of jobs was increasing too. It also beat on the military-industrial complex, causing the defense industry serious claims to Serdyukov. In the end, the conflict took on such a scale that Putin was forced to sit down defenders and Serdyukov at the table, but even after that the problem was not removed. Serdyukov blocked a very important channel of relations between the army and the military industrial complex. And he very diligently raised his enemies in the Russian defense industry. This also played an important role when it came time to shoot Serdyukov.
"TOMORROW": What Russia needs to do?
Victor Baranets: And what is already being done. The new Minister of Defense of Russia, Sergei Shoigu, is doing what President Putin said to him on the day of his appointment: everything useful in the reform, which has got accustomed and justified itself, is further developed, corrected, and rejected from the harmful. What we see today. Unfortunately, there were a lot of "jambs" and decisions that are harmful to the combat readiness of the army. That is why Shoigu and his team are engaged, in essence, in the "overhaul" of the Serdyukov reform. And at the same time - solves the issues of re-equipment of the army.
Russia adopted an ambitious state program of rearmament until the 20 year. Already looms and new - until 26-th year. Yes, the plans are ambitious. There is money. But they must also be implemented. And here we are faced with serious problems. They already denoted Rogozin. Before rearming the army, it is necessary to rearm the military-industrial complex. Because for new weapons need new technology. The weapons that are still in the heads of our designers cannot be made on old-fashioned machines or outdated automatic lines of the Soviet cut. And we still seem to hope that third countries will still buy our weapons. But Russia has already decently fed the world market with its weapons of previous generations. And now the most important buyers — India, China, and a number of other large countries — sometimes turn away from us now. They have their own development. We have to curtail the production of old, Soviet ferment, but slightly modernized weapons in a number of areas. And we no longer receive the benefits of gigantic money, which our buyers used to pay for weapons, and a considerable share of which we paid to retool production. Yes, yes, yes, the reason is the same - the loss of technology. Without this, rearmament is impossible.
But competitors do not want to arm us with their new technologies, and we don’t need the old ones. Where is the exit? Develop these new technologies themselves. But it is long and terribly expensive. New technologies cannot be grown quickly, like bamboo. It takes years and years. We need to dramatically strengthen the role of military-technical intelligence. Previously, the Russian defense industry worked a huge army of intelligence officers who worked throughout the world. As soon as some new truss appeared, a new material, a new technical solution, a new fuel, etc., we were hunting for them. And all the best in the key was delivered to their defense industry, their design bureaus and research institutes. Even if a new modification of the head of a needle, necessary for more efficient carburetor operation, appeared, all intelligence was strained, and we extracted this “know-how” and did even better than those who invented it. But over the past 20 years, we have reduced our military-technical intelligence by almost 70%. And therefore they stopped receiving a complete picture of what is being done in the best and secret laboratories in the world. We lost the scent on the military-technical progress, we began to lag behind it. Here is another paradox of the current situation: sometimes we still get blueprints, diagrams of unique military technologies or devices developed abroad, but we can’t implement them. There are no specialists, no materials, no modern equipment ... You can’t make a grandfather’s sledgehammer with a new hammer. There are a lot of problems. And even with very decent weapons, made in the native military industrial complex, there are still inconsistencies in the procurement.
Our defenders often take offense at the Ministry of Defense when they are told - why are you selling our weapons so dearly to us? And when you begin to deal with pricing, then the price of a nuclear submarine includes, it seems, even public toilets, which are located near the defense plant. So you can't play durik. And here Serdyukov was right to achieve price transparency. But the system of transparent pricing of military equipment has not yet been developed. Why should Shoigu deal with this most complicated economic problem? For him, the main thing is what? Get for the army high-quality weapons and teach her to fight. And not to collect the military board and from morning to evening to force generals on calculators to count how much a shell, a torpedo, a plane, a tank, a gun cost. Then there will be no time left for combat training! Pricing should be done by specialists from the government, the military-industrial commission, the Ministry of Economy, and not the commanders and kombrigi! When Prokhanov took you to work, he did not force you to sit down and count from morning to evening - how much does a computer, a voice recorder, a pen, a battery cost, - what brand are they selling, and where is cheaper, which is better and which is worse. All this was done for you by specialists. You were handed the best technique and now your main task is to write the article, the report as best you can. So it should be in our army. A soldier going into battle hardly thinks about how much his automat costs. He thinks, first of all, about how best to execute the order of the commander. And the Minister of Defense is doing the right thing, asking the government to release the Ministry of Defense from this pricing system. The Ministry of Defense is not the Ministry of Finance, not a trading company. You ask our generals today what the deflator is? I bet - out of a thousand and one, unless something intelligible will say. You can imagine a general who will answer you something like this: “A deflator is a coefficient used to recalculate economic indicators, calculated in monetary terms, in order to bring them to the price level of the previous period. Numerically equal to the price increase index. Do you understand anything? Not? And let me give you a rough, easy to explain everything.
We constantly something more expensive. But the generals want to order a tank for 68 million rubles. Ordered in December 2012. And they want to get a war machine for the same 68 million rubles. in December 2013 of the year. But it doesn't happen like that. Over the year, electricity, heat, materials, repairs, gas, and fuel have risen in price. All this should be considered in the price of the goods? Of course! This is a primitive economy. And we want to order cars in a capitalist way, and pay in a socialist way. It does not work out.
And Shoigu is doing the right thing, that he wants to deprive the army of trading functions. What this has led to, we see in the example of Serdyukovsky Oboronservis. He turned into a corrupt thief's cesspool. From this dirt, the army will have to wash for a long time. We talked about thieving generals before. But at least once have you heard about the extent of such theft, as in Oboronservis? And I did not hear. Therefore, those generals who sometimes came across theft are babies who sucklessly suck on the nurse's mum. And Serdyukov brought into the Ministry of Defense of full-grown wolves, who with the wolf's greed bite off completely from the Ministry of Defense a bit of the military budget.
Interviewed by Maria Karpova