Military Review

Forecast, not fantasy. A look at 50 years ahead is quite realistic, if you act on science

The experience of forming long-term development plans in various areas shows that detailed planning of such development for a period exceeding 10 years is not productive. The number of uncertainties in the modern world is such that no verified figures and measures planned for the next few years remain unchanged.

A forecast or a long-term plan, in whatever area it is formed (social, political, economic, military, military-technical, etc.), is influenced by a huge number of factors. Moreover, to reliably determine the list, the degree and nature of the influence of these factors on the content of a forecast is a priori impossible. In the course of the implementation of the plan, it may turn out that some factor, which at first seemed insignificant and not taken into account, becomes decisive and the plan "floats" in terms, numbers, volumes ...

Predictions and fictions

It turns out that the decisions of the top leadership of our country on the formation of forecasts for the development of Russia for 30 years or more (up to 50 years ahead) is an unrealizable task? Let's imagine that in 1910, domestic scientists would be engaged in drawing up a forecast of the development of the Russian empire before 1960. Interestingly, they would be able to predict the First World War, the October Revolution of 1917, the Second World War, the emergence of a nuclear weapons and nuclear power, manned space flight? Or with what content would the forecast for the development of the USSR for the 1963-year period (before 50) formed in 2013 be filled?

Forecast, not fantasy. A look at 50 years ahead is quite realistic, if you act on science“The Soviet people will live under communism in 20 years,” said the head of the Soviet Union in 1960 (formed the basic idea of ​​a twenty-year forecast). At the same time, the very concept of “communism” was outlined very vaguely: from each according to his ability, to each according to need. It is clear that such a forecast (rather, a political slogan) turned out to be an empty sound. Over the years since 50, there have been events in Czechoslovakia, the war in Afghanistan, the restructuring and acceleration, the collapse of the Warsaw Pact organization, and then the Soviet Union, the change of socio-economic system in the country (instead of communism, return to capitalism), armed conflicts between once fraternal Republics of the USSR (Armenia - Azerbaijan, Moldova - Transdniestria, Georgia - Abkhazia, Georgia - South Ossetia and Russia).

Already from the given examples it becomes clear that such a long-term forecasting, especially based on political slogans, is akin to fantastic works. Indeed, over the 30 – 50 years, with the present pace of human development, too much changes to reliably predict specific events in the world or some region (coups, revolutions, the emergence and collapse of coalitions, etc.), to define digital indicators, characterizing one or another state of human civilization or society (for example, the gross domestic product, the volume of expenditures in the state budget for the social unit, the output of cars), to establish the constructive aspect of a technical eskogo means.

Current long-term forecasting models based on various methods for periodization of human stories, provide an opportunity to judge the likely occurrence in some period of certain crucial events (economic crises, global political instability, wars or armed conflicts caused by them). In this case, neither the depth of the crisis, nor the degree of instability, nor the scale of the conflict, such models allow to determine. Nevertheless, modeling, for example, based on the well-known cycles of Nikolai Kondratiev, gives an opportunity to talk about the onset of a global economic crisis in 2014 – 2016, which could last until 2019. This is due to the exhaustion of the potential of the fifth technological structure. From 2020, the beginning of overcoming the crisis is expected, and from 2025, rapid economic growth in the framework of the sixth technological order is expected. But what events in this period will follow specifically (in politics, the economy, the military field) can hardly be predicted.

Determine the state super task

Then what should be a forecast of a country's development (or individual areas of its life) for a long period (30 or 50 years), so that it is sustainable (within acceptable limits) and realistic?

It seems that this forecast should be based on a certain state super-task, it can be called a national idea, in the interests of achieving which all society should work in all spheres of human activity.

For example, suppose that the following setting was adopted as a similar idea (most important task, goal): in the coming 30 (or 50) years, our country, taking into account the expected global economic crisis and the subsequent intensive growth of the global economy, must ensure that its position as one of the main leaders who are building their leadership on the basis of a highly developed economy and technology of a new technological structure. Such an idea (goal) can be the basis for the formation of a set of plans in various fields, each of which and all together should contribute to the achievement of this goal. Moreover, the word "plan" here is understood rather as a certain concept, a general plan for achieving the goal. In this concept, it is necessary to indicate the spheres of the state’s life, which determine the effect on the achievement of the goal, the principles of their transformation (development) in the program (forecast) period, the phasing of the transformations (transformations) carried out in the indicated areas, ways to ensure system coordination (coordination in time and content). ) of these transformations, etc. This development forecast plan for each of the areas should assume its decomposition with the subsequent determination of the order (plan) agreed upon in time and content mation components.

For example, consider one of the areas of state activity that ensures the preservation of world leadership in a long period - the military security of the country. Components of it in relation to the example are the actual military and military-technical components. At the same time, it is assumed that economic, social, spiritual and moral and other spheres affecting military security in relation to the example under consideration should also be subjected to similar planning for the same period.

First, it is necessary to determine what threats in the military sphere will take place over such a long period. They can be divided into three general types: strategic (global), regional and local. Such a division will not lose its relevance over a sufficiently long period. The threat of unleashing a large-scale (world) war in which Russia will be drawn should be attributed to strategic (global). To the regional - respectively, the possibility of unleashing a regional war, to a local one - the threat of a local war or armed conflict. Again, such a general formulation of threats gives hope for a high stability of the forecast of this kind, but the value of such a forecast is small: more specific formulations are needed that could serve as a basis for the formulation of goals and objectives in the military and military-technical fields aimed at parrying these threats.

What is meant by concreteness in this case?

The first is the definition (statement) of the source of threats, that is, the countries or coalitions from which these threats emanate (will come). This will determine the potential or degree of threat, that is, to assess the presence and dynamics of changes in the danger of a source of threat in relation to our country in the military and military-technical fields.

The second is the definition (statement) of how this threat can be realized. An example of such a statement is the following wording: a regional threat against Russia can be realized:

  • in the aerospace sphere - the possibility of mass use of strategic and operational-tactical nuclear weapons, the likelihood of the destruction of our orbital group by anti-satellite weapons;
  • in the land sphere - the invasion of large masses of ground forces, many times superior in number to our troops;
  • on sea routes - blocking pouring areas, seizing ports and landing troops to support ground forces.

    Based on this definition of the nature of threats to the military sphere for a super-long period (30 – 50 years), the following principles of development can be formulated, for example:

  • preservation of the potential of strategic deterrence, sufficient to counter threats (deter aggression) by the military-economically developed states (coalitions);
  • preservation of the potential of non-strategic (regional) deterrence to counter threats (deter aggression) by regional states (coalitions);
  • the preservation of the capacity of the general-purpose forces to ensure the conduct of local war against any non-coalition state.

    Then, respectively, for the military-technical sphere, such principles will be:

  • maintaining in the forecast-planning period parity in the field of strategic weapons (nuclear or equal to them in effectiveness) with the most powerful in this regard, the power of the world;
  • the presence of tactical, operational-tactical and operational-strategic weapons (nuclear or equal to it in effectiveness), ensuring the defeat of the regional power in the event of a regional war;
  • the presence of conventional weapons, ensuring the effective defeat of groups of troops of any state that is not part of the coalition, in a local war;
  • the creation of a scientific and technological reserve for the armament of the future, ensuring the prevention of the unacceptable reduction of the above listed potentials, and waging a local war, and, if necessary, switching to new principles of deterrence.

    Moreover, it is clear that the listed principles can be detailed in relation to various areas of military confrontation. Thus, it can be formed in qualitative terms “skeleton” of an ultra-long forecast.

    With this approach, the development of such a super-long-term forecast plan will not have significant methodological difficulties. The fact is that this forecast plan can simply be built into the existing system of long-term planning in the field of military construction. Based on the provisions of such a forecast plan, it is possible to formulate State weapons programs, for which the content of the forecast plan will be a combination of software installations (principles, conditions). Moreover, the transformation of these installations into a set of specific program activities of the LG may be carried out using the existing methodological base.

    Taking into account the results of the implementation of the current LG and the content of the draft of the new program, it is possible to update it once every five years (within the five-year planning cycle) of the very long-term forecast plan. This will ensure its “glide in time” (actualization), preventing the degradation of software installations.

    Specific techniques and tasks will help.

    The development of methodological support for the development and updating of the super-long-term forecast plan will require some effort from both the research organizations of the Ministry of Defense and the Russian Academy of Sciences and the military-industrial complex. These efforts should be focused on the development of methodologies and models necessary for substantiating and evaluating the effectiveness of super-long-term plan-forecast measures, determining rational ways to implement super-long-term installations during the formation of the SAP project.

    What are the main directions of the formation of such methodological support?

    The block of methods and models for providing research in the military sphere, as it seems, should be aimed at solving the following tasks:

    1. Prediction of likely scenarios for the development of the military-political situation in the world and changes in the potential of groups of troops in various directions.

    2. Identification of possible threats to national security, forecasting the possible nature of wars and armed conflicts involving Russia.

    3. The definition of the content of the tasks, the solution of which will be entrusted in the forecast period to the Armed Forces of our country.

    4. Determining the structure and composition of the Russian Armed Forces, taking into account the nature of the tasks to be solved

    5. Determination of requirements for a weapon system as a technical basis for solving problems by the Armed Forces.

    In turn, the block of methods and models for research in the military-technical sphere should provide:

    1. Evaluation of the appropriate duration of the life cycles of existing weapons, taking into account the formed requirements for the weapons system.

    2. Estimation of the start time for the development of promising (new) weapons and the risks of their creation to ensure the countering of threats to national security in the forecast period.

    3. Determination of the priority directions of creating a scientific and technical reserve for future weapons.

    4. Determining the direction of the creation of industrial technologies and capacities to ensure the development and production of weapons of the future.

    It should be emphasized once again that with ultra-long-range forecasting, various assessments and proposals should be primarily of a qualitative nature. In some cases, quantitative estimates can be obtained using probabilistic models, the development of which is quite time-consuming and difficult task. Basically, the specific (quantitative) characteristics of the samples to be developed by the AMS, their production volumes can and should be determined taking into account the real economic and production possibilities, that is, within the framework of the State armament programs developed for a ten-year period.
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    1. AVV
      AVV 28 November 2013 13: 45
      Forecasting for long time periods is a good thing, but ungrateful !!!
      1. alone
        alone 28 November 2013 23: 07
        You can predict anything! it's like in a joke:
        or the Shah will die or the Donkey !!
    2. Stiletto
      Stiletto 28 November 2013 15: 35
      The article contains a lot of the word "Definition". I would like, pardon the tautology, more definite.
    3. makarov
      makarov 28 November 2013 16: 38
      For me personally, the described is not a discovery for a long time. It's just that everything has a beginning and an end, and the middle can be predicted with a high degree of probability. This is a kind of big game of analytic teams. Something like general staff games.
    4. amp
      amp 28 November 2013 17: 05
      Generals and military experts are always preparing for the last war. Even here there are many people who want to build aircraft carriers and large surface ships, although even in Soviet times there were various killers of aircraft carriers, from the Akula nuclear submarine and the Lun ekranoplan and hovercrafts with Mosquito missiles.
      One thing is obvious: planning for the development of the armed forces for the distant future cannot be entrusted to the military. It would be wise to create a center for strategic planning, where the military would not play a major role.
      In my opinion, the main attention should be paid to the development of the Air Force and space. In particular, the placement in space of strike weapons. We must consider the possibility of creating a strategic missile base on the moon. In principle, this is quite possible even now, with current technologies. Such a base guarantees a retaliatory nuclear strike more reliably than strategic nuclear submarines.
      1. Greenwood
        Greenwood 28 November 2013 17: 56
        Quote: amp
        wanting to build aircraft carriers and large surface ships

        Quote: amp
        although even in Soviet times there were various killers of aircraft carriers, from the nuclear submarine "Akula" and the ekranoplan "Lun" and hovercraft, with missiles "Moskit"
        Well, if that the USSR, in parallel to the Sharks, Moons and Mosquitoes, was building the Ulyanovsk aircraft carrier and the Orlan project 1144 heavy cruisers. One does not interfere.
        Quote: amp
        In particular, the placement in space of strike weapons.
        Somewhere I already heard it. Oh yes, Reagan seemed to be offering to shoot from the space at the Union in the 80s.
        Quote: amp
        We must consider the possibility of creating a strategic missile base on the moon. In principle, this is quite possible even now, with current technologies.
        With the current level of the Russian economy and according to forecasts of its development from the Ministry of Economic Development to 2030, the base on the moon, we will see only in the year 2100, and that is not a fact.
    5. catapractic
      catapractic 28 November 2013 17: 21
      oh thankless job these predictions ...
    6. Greenwood
      Greenwood 28 November 2013 18: 02
      The Ministry of Economic Development has worsened the forecast of socio-economic development of Russia until 2030 compared with the approved in the spring, the agency "Prime" reports. As the head of the ministry Aleksey Ulyukaev said at a briefing, now, in particular, the country's economic growth during this period is expected to average 2,5% per year.
      In general, by 2030 Russia will remain a country with a dominant oil and gas sector, poor roads, low levels of medicine, high regional differences in living standards, capital outflows and budget surpluses. At the same time, it will still lag behind the quality of life both from developed countries and from average values ​​for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
      1. zub46
        zub46 28 November 2013 18: 20
        Given our current realities, most likely it will be so. But in the near future, the emergence of new political forces cannot be ruled out, instead of the current ones, capable of turning Russia onto the path of development more familiar to its historical structure. In this case, the foregoing forecast will be adjusted in terms of the economy. Its military division is likely to change slightly.
    7. The comment was deleted.
    8. Egoza
      Egoza 28 November 2013 18: 16
      Only living in a vacuum can you make a long-term forecast! It is impossible to foresee all influencing external factors. Then it is better to lower the "iron curtain" again, but to raise the country's economy. Here you can predict.
    9. Stinger
      Stinger 28 November 2013 18: 47
      Theoretically, everything is correct. But the author of the article himself was convinced more than once in practice that during the preparation of each GPV, one has to proceed only from budget allocations predicted by the Government for the same period, and which are always barely enough to support what is available, and only recently has the opportunity to update B and BT in more or less acceptable volumes.
      And from the point of view of forecasts, I propose to see this forecast. Nostradamus with Wanga rest:
    10. optimist
      optimist 28 November 2013 18: 48
      Forecasting comrades also need to eat something! laughing But seriously, all our "tsars" always happily "lay down" on all forecasts, considering themselves smarter. All these "vy.perdyshi" of our government about communism by the 80th, to a separate apartment for each family by the 2000th, etc., in all normal people, at best, cause a smile, and in the standard, a lot of mat! One thing can be said for sure - the current political, social and economic paths lead Russia to one place: LOST !!!
    11. voliador
      voliador 28 November 2013 20: 38
      You can make, at least approximate. The difficulty lies in the fact that the more accurate the forecast should be, the more variables should be taken into account in it, the value of which, if simplified, with what sign "+" or "-" the variable should be taken into account, it is also necessary to predict. And there are more of these variables than the Chinese.
    12. Egen
      Egen 29 November 2013 06: 29
      Well, all this is very elementary and for a long time :)
      How many years ago did Sun Tzu say that any plan is good before its implementation? :) In business for 100 years (abroad), strategic plans of large corporations are drawn up for years like 10, are divided into 5 or 3-years, and those by quarters and months. Upon completion of the link at the bottom, the link at the top is adjusted, so the whole chain is a living dynamic model. True, there’s no point in guessing more than on an 10-year, few of the initiators of forecasts will stay at the helm so much :), even in the USSR there were 5-years who successfully completed in the 4 of the year, which indicates the accuracy of forecasting growth reserves :) nevertheless, taking into account the same Kondratiev models, etc. The dynamic model of forecasting years on 20 is very real. On 50? Maybe a really bunch of factors need to be taken into account, this is the institute’s work for a long time, but theoretically why not, only some development of military equipment if made on the basis of this model - so they will still be based on the existing element base, meaning - not lots of.