I addressed this topic (both verbally and in writing) more than once. The situation for the better, unfortunately, does not change. At present, both the management team and representatives of the widest public, military terms are used without any connection with their original meaning. It can be assumed that to a large extent by the respective authors and speakers this is done solely for the beauty and persuasiveness of speech. However, the meaning and the very essence of the terms go to the second, and even to the third plan. That's what comes out of it in practice.
For example, one power department was very fond of the word "grouping". In speeches and statements of the leaders of this structure of various levels in terms of frequency of use, this term is one of the first places. In a forest fire, a grouping; in a flood — a grouping; in an earthquake, again a grouping.
In the examples, it sounds like this: “In order to build up an emergency response relief group in ...”, “form a full-scale force grouping”, “create a grouping for flood relief”, “form a full-scale force grouping to eliminate a forest fire” and etc. At the same time, the groups “relocate” and “arrive”. The pinnacle of such creativity, perhaps, is the expression "the group is still working in an enhanced mode."
Have the authors ever wondered about such dashing expressions of what “grouping" really is and how to use this term correctly? Looks like no. For the grouping of troops (forces) is a combination of units, formations, units and subunits of various types of armed forces, combat arms, special forces and rear, combined into a certain system and deployed (located) in an appropriate manner, designed to perform tasks in an operation (battle) . They are created at theaters of military operations (strategic, operational direction or in a strip, district). Groupings of troops (forces) are distinguished: by types of armed forces and combat arms - grouping aviation, Air Defense Forces, missile forces and artillery, etc .; in scale - strategic, operational; by destination - main, shock, etc.
And how to use the term "grouping"? And something like this: “By the end of 30.10.2013, to create strike groups of troops in selected areas, changing the defending troops and occupying the initial areas for the offensive.
Grouping troops have:
Or at least like this: “To create shock groupings of the front troops into the combat area through the Main Caucasus Range, it is necessary to regroup the MSS - 4, Omsb - 3, corps and front set of formations and units of the armed forces and special forces (over 100 formations in total)” .
Grouping cannot be formed or relocated. It is possible to form (dissolve, transfer to other states, relocate) only parts, connections, associations. Grouping cannot work in enhanced mode. Troops (forces, assets) or part of them may be on high alert levels, but certainly not a grouping. And do not mix in one bottle two completely different concepts - “grouping” and “combat and numerical strength” (this is in the part of the so-called group building). These are still different things. But in general, from the staff officers ’ignorance of this kind, the officers of the operators twist their ears into a tube and the Tactics pencils drop out of their hands in surprise.
It remains only to rejoice that in the department, so fond of the word "grouping", have not yet reached the terms "operational construction" and "separation". You can not doubt for a second that even in this case we would witness amazingly stupid pearls.
Why are there grouping. In fact, the disease of the thoughtless use of categories and terms of operational art and strategy has gone much further. And what is worse - the substitution of their meaning and content began, the invention of a new and more than ridiculous military language. And this contagion affects not only fans of the term “grouping”, but many other departments. And the military, by the way, not the least.
In particular, very often we hear the phrase "another fighter has been neutralized in the North Caucasus." It is not clear what is neutralized? Wounded, killed, captured? With him held political studies? He joined the ruling Russian party? This is just one and a small example, when the meaning of an event is not visible behind a collection of words. But the picture as a whole is much worse than this phrase.
Chemistry and military art
In the words of a classic, you can safely talk about the sudden language revolution in the Armed Forces in the middle of the 90 history XX century. From our military vocabulary, somehow imperceptibly, little by little, simple and clear concepts went away - “cut”, “surround”, “crush”, “destroy”, “force unconditional surrender”.
Instead, strong roots of streamlined and rounded Manilovian phrases appeared: “suppress any armed violence”, “end the war at the earliest possible stage and restore a just and lasting peace”, “create prerequisites for resolving the conflict through negotiation on acceptable terms”, “localize "," Neutralize "," stabilize "and, finally," oust. "
Military Newspeak in recent years has developed literally leaps and bounds. These medical and chemical terms - “localization”, “neutralization”, “stabilization”, which at first glance have nothing to do with the theory of military art, simply broke into the oral and written statements of the Russian military and politicians. Troops orders and directives are tasked not to crush and destroy the enemy, but to “localize the conflict” (and it is envisaged that the conflict can be both internal and interstate). In the case of large-scale aggression, even “localization of the invasion area” is assumed, that is, it is only about limiting the place (scope) and the spread of hostilities of the aggressor’s groups. We note, it is not the environment that is envisaged, the enemy groups will be cut, the enemy will be crushed and captured in an extremely short time, but some incomprehensible localization.
Modern theorists interpret this term as follows: “Preventing armed formations from entering the conflict zone and delivering material resources by land, sea and air in order to limit the spread of armed clashes at the place and time, reduce the intensity of hostilities and create conditions for the early resolution of the conflict.”
First of all, what is the “prohibition of approach”? If we are talking about the operational-strategic reserves of the enemy, then the task for the troops should be put to defeat and, ultimately, to destroy the enemy's reserves, and not some abstract prohibition.
Secondly, how can “limit the spread of armed clashes in place and time” be translated into normal military language? Troops to go to the lines of 0.00 NM and XY and go on the defensive? Or is there some other interpretation in operational directives and combat orders?
Third, how should a commander or commander understand the expression “reducing the intensity of hostilities and creating conditions for the earliest resolution of the conflict”? A decrease in intensity probably means rare shooting (one shot per hour for example). And what, I wonder, can be the conditions? Indeed, in the course of hostilities with respect to the enemy, only two conditions are possible: capitulation and unconditional surrender. Or are there other, unknown?
The infection of all kinds of verbal “innovations” has already deeply permeated the life and work of the Armed Forces and reached other power structures. However, such incomprehensible-vague tasks of the army and the fleet were not always set. As an example of guiding instructions to the troops, let us consider the words of Alexander Suvorov: “... the enemy does not like us, counts us for a hundred miles, and if from afar, then in two or three hundred or more. Suddenly we are upon him like snow on his head. He will feel dizzy! Attack what came with what God sent! Cavalry, start! Cut, if, drive, cut, do not miss! .. If, infantry, with hostility! .. Work quickly, soon, bravely, in Russian! .. In the final victory, cavalry, drive, cut! ”.
You must agree that such formulations do not allow their double interpretation and do not put the subordinates at a dead end. And after more than two hundred years, drumming and singing of trumpets calling for an attack can be heard. Or, for example, the times are not so distant - an excerpt from the order of the Supreme Commander Marshal Stalin (March 1945): “... the troops of the 2 Belarusian Front after a two-week siege and stubborn street battles completed the rout of the surrounded enemy grouping and today, 6 March, the town of Graudenz, an important knot of the German defense in East Prussia, was completely captured ... ”
Given the peculiarities of today's military vocabulary, this order would probably look like this: "... after two weeks of localization, they neutralized the surrounded enemy grouping and stabilized the situation in the city of Graudenz."
The phrase “suppressing aggression” has recently come into fashion. This, according to the authors, means decisive use of various forms of struggle and countering the aggressor, up to and including the demonstration of military force in combination with political-diplomatic and other means to stop a planned or begun act of military aggression at its early stage. At first glance, everything is logical, with the exception of "the termination of an act of military aggression at its early stage." To translate this, God forgive me, nonsense into the language of operational directives and combat orders is almost impossible.
Language transformations have already gone too far to be considered just a bad joke. How, for example, in our time can be interpreted some tasks of the Armed Forces? As an example: “... in the event of armed conflicts and in wartime — localization and neutralization of border armed conflicts by combat-ready troops (forces) ...” This is an excerpt from the State’s Military Doctrine, among other things. So localization is a more than neglected case.
It is well known that combat orders in the Armed Forces are carried out in the same way as they are set. An extremely clearly and categorically formulated task, which does not allow its ambiguous interpretation by the performers, is a guarantee of the subsequent victory. If, on the other hand, combat orders and operational directives to formulate, while using the words “termination”, “suppression”, “localization” and “neutralization”, it is difficult to expect success in battle and battle.
Keyword of the decade
To such, perhaps, can be attributed the word "reflection". Despite the fact that today the threat of a large-scale war has not emerged from the area of hypothetical military dangers, everyone is ready (more in words, of course) to repel aggression, and in all possible areas, from land to space. “Reflection” in general becomes the cult term of domestic military science at the junction of the XX – XXI centuries.
This, apparently, a direct result of mental stagnation 60 – 80-ies and the perestroika unrest. At the turn of 80 – 90-x was ordered to consign to the offensive operations. Troops, headquarters, universities, research institutes have stopped exploring and mastering attacking actions. Even terms such as “defensive weapon"," Offensive weapons "," defensive formations and units. In academies and colleges, the study of predominantly defense was imposed, and the offensive was assigned almost a secondary role.
The rather brief epoch of “new thinking” has long since faded into oblivion, but the legacy of this harmful time in the army, which is surprising, remains. Only in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation did they think of harnessing the cart before the horse — to put defense in the charter documents ahead of the offensive. If we turn to foreign experience, the defense in the governing and statutory documents is ahead of the offensive only in the Bundeswehr of the Federal Republic of Germany - and for obvious reasons.
This is far from a trifle, as it seems to many military leaders, and still misinterprets the material and the spiritual ratio on the battlefield. It looks like an elementary rearrangement of the places of the items is a major psychological mistake: in the subconscious mind, each commander begins to postpone: first defend, defeat, repel the enemy, and then go on to the offensive. Thus, the initiative, determination and involuntarily submission to the will of a possible enemy are deliberately shackled. One of the consequences of the dominance in the military theory and practice of defensive sentiment, of course, was the decisiveness of aggressiveness necessary in every officer and general (in the normal sense of the word).
Other power structures
According to the law of communicating vessels, the military newspeak reached other security agencies, including the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. For example, how are the internal troops going to extinguish an internal armed conflict? It goes something like this: “The purpose of using military force to curb an internal armed conflict is the earliest normalization of the situation, the restoration of law and order, public security, the provision of necessary assistance to the population and the creation of conditions for resolving the conflict by peaceful means.”
The goals are certainly noble and clear. But how to achieve them, by what methods and means, so that “the earliest possible normalization of the situation” occurs? We are talking about a region covered by an armed rebellion, where blood is flowing in streams and any delay multiplies the number of victims. How to be? Shoot quietly, lightly to bomb, to kill nebolno, incendiary means to use, but at the same time seriously and do not burn anyone or anything? Let us return once again to the words of Suvorov: “... We must attack !!! Melee weapons - bayonets, sabers! Crumple and take away, without losing a moment, conquer all, even unimaginable obstacles, follow on the heels, exterminate to the last man! .. Do not run into the house, the enemy asking for mercy, spare, unarmed not to kill, do not touch young women ... "
One of the secrets of Suvorov's victories in this lies in the extremely clear statement of combat missions. Indeed, in the words of the Russian military genius everything is clear to both the ordinary and the general. If so the orders were given to the troops and forces involved in suppressing the actions of armed separatists, we would hardly have known many of today's troubles.
In the formulation of “new type of tasks”, a bizarre mixture of elements of a political settlement and measures of a purely military nature is observed, and both of them are deprived of the necessary rigidity and determination. As is well known, palliatives in armed conflict only lead to a rapid deterioration of the situation and subsequent defeat. Unfortunately, there are already examples in modern Russian history.
What to do? Steel will, hard hand and an iron broom to clear the military language from the malicious and meaningless layers of the last years. Return to his life-giving sources. Other security agencies at least refresh their knowledge of strategy and operational art and stop mindlessly using military terms. Grouping of service dogs, hydrants and fire trucks on the directions of the main and other strikes not to create.