In recent years, the strengthening of defense capability has become one of the main state tasks. And one of the few that is decided not only at the level of declarations. There is a restoration of the defense industry. The armed forces are gradually saturated with new technology and undergo a difficult structural transformation. In times increased material support and allowances for military personnel.
What is all this done for? For order? To not be ashamed in front of the neighbors?
It is gradually becoming obvious that all this is being done for a reason, that in the foreseeable future, strong and efficient armed forces may need us for their intended purpose.
The first time it became clear in 2008. Then, under the guise of forceful resolution of the issue of territorial claims of Georgia, an attempt was made to undermine Russia's position in the entire Caucasus. Then it became completely clear that they would stop us from recovering from the collapse of the USSR and returning to our historical the path of an independent and strong power. And they will interfere by any means, including military. Then it became apparent that only military force can ensure our recovery and stable development in our own interests. Otherwise, they simply will not give it. However, this is true for any state that does not want to be in the role of a colony of a new formation.
The 2008 events of the year were the impetus for serious measures aimed at rebuilding our armed forces. The state faced a chain of problems that could not be solved separately. The need to replace dilapidated weapons and equipment with new models required to address the problems of the defense industry. The chronic lack of personnel and the inability to contain a huge number of part-time formations (actually only partially capable) required structural changes and numerical reduction. The need for high-quality combat training raised the question of the motivation of commanders and the improvement of the living standards of the military.
But another problem that stood in the way of creating the armed forces of a new look and a new quality should be considered separately - these are the principles of recruitment. This problem is also important because it has not been solved yet. And around the options for its solutions do not subside heated debate. This problem concerns almost half of the citizens of our country, since every man somehow has to determine his place in the defense of the Motherland.
First, it should be said that there are two systems for recruitment of junior ranks - compulsory (draft) and voluntary (contract). Recruitment of officers, by definition, is voluntary, since it is impossible to force anyone to choose this profession (of course, if this is not a caste or caste society). Picking can be mixed - partly draft, partly contract. But it can not be "professional" - this term is erroneous. Professional skills and level of training are not directly dependent on the form of the set. A conscript soldier can become an excellent specialist and a true professional, having received a military specialty in compulsory recruitment. A volunteer contractor may be worthless soldier, even receiving a high salary. That is why, say, the American army cannot be called “professional” just because it lacks a forced recruitment. And the army of Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov can hardly be called "unprofessional" only on the grounds that it consisted of recruits, and not of volunteers. The professionalism of a soldier depends on personal qualities and level of training.
When we faced the long overdue task of a qualitative change in the armed forces, the question of recruitment was already very acute. Evasion of conscription has become a mass phenomenon. The level of motivation of those who still went to serve left much to be desired, which affected the overall level of combat training. High-quality combat training was maintained where its level was traditionally high. Those who dreamed of defending the Motherland, and not those who could not "hang out", sought to get there. And it was necessary to raise the combat readiness of all armed forces to the level of elite units.
But how to achieve this? You can do the training and equipping of personnel. But first you need to have this personnel. But where to get it, if apart from crowds of draft dodgers and those who are not really fit for health service, there is also a demographic problem? After all, the Russian army was faced with the need for transformation, being in a demographic hole. By the way, the bottom of this pit has not yet been reached, and we will see the minimum number of potential recruits only in two years.
The answer lay on the surface. If soon there will be no one to call for a short time - let those who can and want to defend their homeland, serve longer. Then the professional level of the personnel will be higher (experience, and therefore professional level will depend on the length of service). And the motivation will be able to raise (after all, it is different for the one who decided to serve himself, and for the one who was caught by the police). And besides, it's just a requirement of time. Indeed, in the modern army the proportion of sophisticated modern technology is large, which requires a long development. Gone are the days of massive armies, when the main force consisted of soldiers trained to stab bayonets and keep the line. Nowadays, the capabilities of armies are far from being measured by the number of bayonets, but by the perfection of military equipment and the level of training of personnel. Even the rank and file of the land forces has long been not limited to the position of the shooter - in each section there is a machine gunner, a grenade launcher, and a sniper. However, the conditions of modern combat require even a simple shooter a variety of professional skills. And preferably also experience.
Fully contract army - this is the way out for an aging society! Yes?
Not so simple.
If you just take and start paying for the service - this is not a guarantee of the professionalism of the armed forces. It is necessary that there be a choice, so that it is possible to select for a professional army those who are really able to defend their homeland, and not just receive a salary. It is necessary that it was from whom to choose. And by the beginning of the transformation the choice was not great. That is why a rather logical move was chosen for the transition period. First you need to do so that the service did not run across the country, and were not afraid to defend their homeland more than the attacks of the enemy. Let them serve for a year and will be relieved of unnecessary burdens and deprivations of service, let them feel a taste for the real male profession, let them receive primary, but high-quality training. And then many will want to serve further. But already voluntarily, having primary training and realizing that they will receive a good salary for good work. Then it will be possible to choose the best of them and improve the quality of the army not by number, but by skill. This is the case now, and the chosen approach is really bearing fruit. The level of combat training and the prestige of the service, which is no longer considered forced labor, increased.
However, there is still a shortage of personnel among the conscripts and contract soldiers. At the same time, canceling the call and switching to fully voluntary recruitment will not work, because then the contract will have to take people from the street and prepare them as recruits, but for the money. And in this case, the lack of personnel will again devastate the staffs of the units.
Thus, we said goodbye to the dreams of a fully contract army, in which experienced professionals, probably from other planets, will defend carefree and peaceful citizens of Russia. Our armed forces have become a system with mixed manning. And, in my opinion, such a system is optimal for us. It is able to give servicemen with a long service life and long training to where the conscripts do not fit, and is able to give a constant influx of those who can continue to serve, already having basic training.
But the mixed system in its current form, I recall, was originally considered a transitional one. Such it remains. It will still have to be modified. It cannot satisfy those who, even if you burst, do not want to waste time and energy in order to protect the Motherland, and dream of “specially trained people” doing it for him. And we must proceed from reality - we have many such people, although not all of them should be considered in advance as bad citizens of their country. And besides, it is not capable of solving the problem of a mobilization reserve, which is declining for demographic and medical reasons, but, nevertheless, remains insufficient for the scale of our country. And in order to understand how one can get out of the current situation, one will have to proceed from reality, and not “hotelok.”
And we must begin by explaining the reasons for the failure of the idea of a fully contract army for us. We will not have such an army, not because “it happened so,” but because it is impossible. A modest army of highly paid professionals is good. For a small country with limited sovereignty (independence). For a large and independent country, which has extensive plans to develop in their own interests, we need a large army of highly paid professionals. But we need an army that corresponds to the size of our country, the level of potential security threats and the extensive interests that must also be protected. But the matter is not only in the level of the funds that we can spend on the salaries of professional defenders of the Motherland. The fact is that at least the three most large-scale wars of the last two centuries have become Domestic for us. That is, those from whom not a single inhabitant of our Motherland could “kill”. And the Cold War had already been fought against us for several decades. And there is a suspicion that it has not ended yet.
Why is that? Why do we need it?
For the fact that we are, and still want to exist, to be ourselves. From the events taking place in the world, we are not separated by the oceans. All the most important processes affecting the fate of the planet, one way or another, occur around Russia. We are in the heart of these processes, and not on the periphery of the history of mankind. Global war is our scale, the scale of our country. We will not dodge a single global conflict and do not hide behind the backs of a group of “professional Homeland Defenders”. If it blazes seriously, everyone will have to work hard. This is not a curse, this is our fate. It is impossible to escape from fate, and the only way to get rid of it is to stop being in this world.
Therefore, I propose to think not about where to find someone who will protect us in our place. And how we can all participate in the defense of the motherland. The likelihood that everything will have comes from our history. And who does not like our story - is free to immediately admit that he is "not ours."
To begin with, you will have to admit that shifting responsibility only to the boys entering the draft age is not an option. Yes, we need a massive pre-draft preparation. Yes, we need educational work with young people. Yes, we need to explain what kind of world we live in, and what place in this world are those who do not want to protect themselves. But this is not enough. It is not enough persuasion alone. It is necessary to critically evaluate the ideals of equality of rights in the so-called "free societies", and understand that without equality of duties there is no equality of rights.
Now the idea of professional isolation of the country's army from the citizens of the country has reached logical absurdity. As soon as the interests of the country demanded that a small contingent be sent to Syria, the first thing the Ministry of Defense does is reassure the people that only contract servicemen will go. Not a single conscript! No, no, how could you think! The stupidest question arises: what, the oath without monetary reinforcement is invalid? Or if the interests of the country (our common interests) require risk from those who chose this risk as their profession, then this is a reason for those whom no one tears away from the easy chair to start yelling about the spilled Russian blood and not our war? Come to your senses, fellow citizens! This is how you should not love your country to deny her the right to protect their interests? The interests of our common well-being and security!
But, on the other hand, we must not forget about reality. If among the young citizens of the country there is not enough willing even for a one-year care for the defense of the Motherland, then does this mean that all of them do not want to protect it in principle? And among those who are not very young, are there many who will agree to spend time refreshing in the memory of their military specialty (MAS)? And among the millions of people who have “cast a spell” in the past, will everyone refuse to receive an “amnesty” if you can get the MAS at not very long gatherings not far from home? I suspect that even among those who have long and successfully evaded, as well as among those who are only planning to evade the burdensome defense of the Motherland, there are few who refuse to shoot at the range.
All this does not mean that getting a military specialty should be turned into a pleasure attraction. This means that there is an opportunity to make mass military basic training by searching for its more flexible forms. On this depends not only the country's defense, but also the integrity of the society, the understanding of the citizens of the country of their involvement in the cause of her defense, awareness of their responsibility for her fate. Defenders of the motherland can not be drawn on a piece of paper. And children cannot be taught to love her if they consider caring for her not to be their own business.