Among the invitees were well-known Russian experts in the field of military policy and international security, employees of foreign embassies, the NATO Information Office in Moscow and employees of foreign media.
A representative of the information agency “Weapon Of Russia, ”expert of the Association of military political scientists Alexander Perendzhiev.
The event was hosted by Dmitry Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, and Viktor Litovkin, executive editor of the Independent Military Review.
The study was presented by its authors - Chairman of the program “Problems of non-proliferation Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexei Arbatov and leading researcher of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Major General (retired) Vladimir Dvorkin.
Executive editor of Independent Military Review Viktor Litovkin
At the beginning of the presentation, instead of the traditional reports, Viktor Litovkin invited the authors of the study and all those gathered to focus on the discussion of the following issues:
1. What is different about the reform of C.K. Shoigu from the reform A.E. Serdyukov? Or is it a reform - one under the leadership of President of the Russian Federation A.D. Medvedev, and another under the leadership of the head of state V.V. Putin's?
2. What do the authors and all the participants of a scientific forum think about the return of divisions in the structure of the Armed Forces of Russia?
3. What happens to the rearmament of the army and fleet? How effective is it? After all, even representatives of the top military-political leadership recognize serious problems in ensuring communications and command and control!
4. What is changing in the recruitment of troops? Senior military leaders also admit that at the present time it is only possible to recruit troops with 80%.
Chairman of the “Nonproliferation Problems” program Academician Alexei Arbatov
Answering the questions posed by Academician AG Arbatov explained that he was sympathetic to Sergei Shoigu, who, firstly, tries to save those areas that are in the “collapse” stage of Serdyukov’s actions and, if possible, restore what he lost:
However, according to A.G. Arbatov, no reform under the leadership of S.K. Shoigu is not there now, but steps have been taken towards greater openness of the military sphere. Dmitry Medvedev, being on the post of the head of state, did not play any role in the reform and did not delve into any questions. Everything was agreed with V.V. Putin Therefore, this is Putin's reform!
At the same time, the transformations carried out in the military sphere can be divided into two parts:
The first part - “Serdyukov’s reform” is connected with the sale of property. The Ministry of Defense had resources that needed to be used in the interests of the development of the country's military organization. But it is not clear whether anyone controlled A.E. Serdyukov as Minister of Defense in the management of these resources? Did he report on his actions in this area?
The second part - “Makarov’s reform” consisted in the reorganization of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Almost all planned activities were correct. But now everything was put into practice absolutely wrong, with costs, and the essence of the conceived was emasculated.
Head of the Center for International Security, IMEMO RAN, AG Arbatov believes that the transition to a brigade troop command and control system is fully justified by the existing military-political situation. Our country will not conduct major military operations, neither against NATO nor against anyone, he concluded.
At the same time, the existing rearmament program resembles, first of all, a sum of wishes from various subjects of the military sphere, but not a well-thought-out armament strategy for the purpose of conducting certain military operations.
That is, the goal of the program so far is only one - just to change the old equipment to a new one without a clear understanding of the question: what weapons and equipment and what quality should our Armed Forces need to be equipped with? At the same time, the stated figures of the program are economically unrealistic.
Neither the USA nor the European countries could implement such a program at the present time. But maybe China, if it is strongly podnapryagsya!
Leading Researcher, IMEMO RAN, Major General (retired) Vladimir Dvorkin
Major General (retired) V.Z. Dvorkin, answering the questions posed, noted that currently SK Shoigu carries out the instructions of the head of state "to make a fine polishing." At the same time, the reform of Serdyukov is also the fulfillment of the commands of V.V. Putin's
Evaluating the return to the divisions, the leading researcher of the IMEMO RAN drew the attention of the participants to the fact that the brigade is currently capable of fighting 5-6 hours. For more it is not enough. However, as modern experience shows, more than half of the brigade’s personnel are used for maintenance.
According to V.Z. Dvorkin, sudden inspections showed that a large territory of Russia requires the creation of such a military structure as the Operational Redeployment Command. At the same time, he drew the attention of the presentation participants to the problems of staffing the modern Armed Forces of the Russian Federation: the lack of a scientific school, the loss of professionalism, which affects the recruitment of units serving modern military equipment and weapons.
However, there is a suspicion that the real goal of the formation of scientific companies is to create comfortable conditions for the children of high officials, since under the new law it prohibits the recruitment of persons who have not served in the army to the state civil service.
Commenting on the prospects for rearmament of the army and navy, V.Z. Dvorkin expressed concern about the high level of corruption in the field of government orders, which was noted in a recent report by the Chief Military Prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky.
The leader of the scientific forum V. Litovkin decided to draw the attention of its participants to the positive moments in the military sphere:
the number of field exercises increased, more joint military exercises - motorized infantry units began to be held, tanksartillery aviation and fleet
139 Thousands of people standing in line received apartments
But at the same time, the NVO executive editor questioned the correctness of the decision to replace the order in which the apartment was provided “in kind” with money. This is fraught with fraud, he said.
During the discussion of the research results and the questions posed by the forum participants the following problems were identified:
1. Despite the negative experience of leadership of the military department A.E. Serdyukov, it is still necessary to move towards the development of civil and parliamentary control over the Armed Forces and the appointment of a civilian to the post of Minister of Defense.
2. What army should be - contract (voluntary) or draft (mobilization)? The authors of the study advocate the idea of refusing conscription, arguing, first of all, that a lot of money is spent on organizing recruiting campaigns and initial training of personnel. The freed up monetary resources could just be spent on the contract pay. At the same time, it was noted that the service life of one year does not justify itself. At present, a conscript soldier is an inefficient soldier who has low professionalism and is not able to handle modern weapons and equipment, to fully fulfill the assigned combat missions. There are a large number of suicides, injuries, desertions, etc. among conscripts. With the army of modern draftees, it is impossible to master new modern technologies in the military.
3. In addition to increasing the monetary allowance, servicemen must return a full-fledged social package. A good incentive for the recruitment of contract servicemen could be the provision of full-service housing. At the same time, it is necessary to restore the rear support system (including medicine, food, etc.).
4. The experience of the United States and other developed countries in switching to a contract army showed that such a transition could not be effectively carried out without attracting women to military service.
5. During the various transformations in the military sphere, the society is informed about the participants in this process, but there is no information about the responsible persons and subjects for the final result.
6. At present, the state order is being carried out not only to re-equip the army and navy, but also to support the city-forming enterprises and solve other social problems.
The representative of the news agency “Russia's Arms”, an expert of the Association of Military Political Scientists Alexander Perendzhiev drew attention to the fact that it is not enough for the military expert community to focus only on studying military-administrative and military-social issues. It is also necessary to thoroughly analyze the system of legislative support for the activities and reform of the Armed Forces in order to develop legislation and establish clear legal rules in the military sphere. Perhaps this is one of the ways to increase the effectiveness of military reform.