"TOMORROW". Leonid G., it is well known that there are - and for more than one century - transnational financial-industrial corporations, which are closely interconnected. The same is said about the existence of the world scientific community, the world intelligence community. There is a "constellation" of open information and cultural space: from classical music and ballet to sports and journalism. We assume the presence of a global political elite, a "world government" that permeates almost all traditional states. Is there anything in today's world, the global military elite, or at least the preconditions for its occurrence: economic, political and ideological?
Leonid IVASHOV. If considered fair classical formula of Carl von Clausewitz that war is the continuation of politics by other means, it is clear that the military elite must be an extension of the respective political elites. Let - special, specific, but still - a continuation. And all the armies of the modern world continue to be armies of sovereign nation states. Yes, large TNCs can have a powerful influence on the policies of these states and, accordingly, on their armed forces, may in one form or another use the national armies to ensure their interests, but always and everywhere in the modern world this happens not directly, but through the state political mechanisms.
"TOMORROW". Even in the case of private military companies or "Islamic terrorist" structures?
Leonid IVASHOV. Let's agree with the fact that the name “Islamic State” itself arose only because this terrorist organization, banned in Russia, set as its goal the attainment of the status of a state, claimed it, and strove for it. Same thing with PMCs - all of them are registered in the jurisdiction of a State, it is its legal entities, and their employees - or the citizens of the respective countries or stateless persons. No one anywhere recognizes you as a citizen of Facebook, Apple, JPMorgan Chase, or even the Bilderberg club ... This moment, it would seem, is obvious and understandable by itself, but it needs to be fixed in order to have a point of support for further reasoning.
"TOMORROW". Does this include, inter alia, unrecognized or partially recognized states - for example, such as Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria or the people's republics of Donbass are today in the territory of the former Soviet Union?
Leonid IVASHOV. Of course, concerns. There are states without armies in the world, but an army without a state is not an army by definition. Therefore, there is simply no global military elite in the modern world, since there is no single global state. And it can not be, because such a single global state will not have an external enemy - unless there will be some "aliens" ...
"TOMORROW". Is such an elite being formed today within the framework of NATO, other political structures of the "collective West"?
Leonid IVASHOV. To the extent that the political priorities of the United States and other countries of the world coincide, such a formation, of course, takes place, but this is a very complicated and ambiguous process - all the more so because the main factor in the unity of the “collective West”, the opposition to the military potential of the USSR and its allies, already a quarter of a century is missing.
"TOMORROW". Today, trying to revive him, in every way mussiruya theme "Russian aggression."
Leonid IVASHOV. This is done just by the politicians, not by the professional military, who are well aware of the real situation.
"TOMORROW". Is the commander-in-chief of NATO forces in Europe, the four-star General Philip Breedlove, who has recently been noted for his loud statements about the "Russian aggression", is not a professional military man?
Leonid IVASHOV. Philip Breedlove came to the military Aviation in a very roundabout way, and the high post in NATO, which he is now losing to Curtis Scaparotti, was for him just a springboard to big politics ... By the way, in the United States, a military career is primarily for the middle class. In contrast, say, from Britain and Japan, where the army is commanded, as a rule, by hereditary aristocrats. In the political life of the United States, the military elite stands apart. It is not customary to openly express one's political preferences during service. And this applies to both domestic policy and foreign.
Anyway, actively liaising with the US military in Europe, I found quite quickly in touch with them and understanding on all military matters. Moreover, as professionals, they are rather critical of their politicians. Here, for example, the same Balkan crisis of 90-ies - and with four-star general William Crouch, and then with three-star general George Casey it was possible to find points of contact, to develop common solutions. When I explained to them that the Albanians are mafia-out of control, which will still shoot at both Russians and Americans, and if you start supporting them, the Serbs will shoot at you, and the responsibility for the death of soldiers will be laid on you - it had its effect. But when we sign a document in which zones of presence are designated, and then from the Pentagon they receive an order to be present in other sectors of the conflict, Chernomyrdin and Talbott agree on something else - and it is clear that the situation when they are controlled from the State Department and the CIA, perceived by the military as humiliation. Joint Chiefs of Staff in the US resides in latent opposition to the minister of defense - civilian, usually face. And its chairman, along with the Secretary of Defense, is a permanent member of the US National Security Council — the military insisted on this, since they take these issues more responsibly than politicians. Both in the Afghan campaign, in the Iraq campaign, and in the Yugoslav campaign, the American military demonstrated, in my opinion, a clear understanding of what their country's national interests are and what the role of the armed forces should be in ensuring these interests. But very often the interests of large capital, broadcast through the political machine of the state, are dominant, and the generals are forced to do what they themselves do not consider to be true.
"TOMORROW". It is clear that in such a situation their actions are unlikely to be effective - or will they begin to cooperate directly with the “customers”, as was the case with drugs in Afghanistan or with oil and antiques in Iraq? This is more profitable, and promotes career growth. Similarly, the lion's share of the giant US defense budget goes to large companies and generals responsible for these problems, too "commercialized".
Leonid IVASHOV. That is why, with all the external political neutrality, the US military establishment is still closer to the Republicans representing the interests of the military-industrial complex. And only in the twentieth century general who became president of the USA, the famous Dwight Eisenhower, also ran for the Republican Party. Every Republican president seeks to increase the maximum defense order, unleashing more wars, and all this opens the way to new military ranks, new resources, and so on. However, with the military-industrial lobby has to be considered as any US president: Republican even though a Democrat.
There is one more point - the Americans are weak “on the ground,” they, in fact, have never carried out large-scale land operations and seek to minimize their stay on the battlefield. With the help of aviation, fleet, rockets, money, politics - anything and whatever.
"TOMORROW". During the Iraq campaign in the spring of the year 2003, I remember, the American troops just stood for a few days in front of Baghdad, taking no action until they agreed with the generals of Saddam Hussein that there would be no serious resistance.
Leonid IVASHOV. Yes, there was a bribe, and the amounts were almost nine-digit. But all this leads to the fact that ground forces are considered secondary and almost second-rate in the US Army. The marine corps and the fleet as a whole, aviation, and special forces units are the “white bone” of the American armed forces. That is, the emphasis is on the overwhelming superiority, including technological, with an opponent equal or close in strength, the Americans do not like to fight, they don’t know how, and they don’t risk, as a rule. They also have a contract army, in essence - a mercenary, and these are well-known pros and cons compared to a conscript army.
"TOMORROW". US National Guard is also a concern?
Leonid IVASHOV. Yes, this is only the “second working contract” for the majority of its participants, moreover, a contract with the government.
"TOMORROW". And how to construct the interaction between the military elite of the USA and its European allies?
Leonid IVASHOV. The experience of real military campaigns shows that there is no close interaction even at the level of staff structures between the Americans and their allies - for example, in Iraq -. The British, I must say, even look at the American generals a bit haughtily.
"TOMORROW". And what is this attitude caused by?
Leonid IVASHOV. Well, they still internally consider America to be something like a big Australia - their colony, where convicts and other marginalized people were exiled, Irish slaves were sold to slavery, etc. Without Britain, in their opinion, no United States would be on the world map today. It was. But in practice, this is manifested, for example, as follows. American Wesley Clark is the commander of the allied forces in Europe in 1999, and Briton Michael Jackson is the commander of KEYFOR. And when our battalion occupied the airport in Pristina, Clark demanded to attack "these Russian", and Jackson his tantrum simply ignored.
The French military's attitude towards the Americans is also not the best - they tolerate them, are forced to endure them, but, for example, any demarche of mine against the American diktat during negotiations was accepted by them, as they say, "with a bang." France is generally a very militaristic country, "French number one" is undoubtedly Napoleon, and Joan of Arc and Charles de Gaulle are in the top five national heroes ...
"TOMORROW". By the way, were the generals of the GDR incorporated by the military elite of Germany and NATO?
Leonid IVASHOV. No, they were completely squeezed out - with the rare exception of those specialists who were needed to service Soviet equipment. But not a single case that someone from our East German colleagues became a general of Germany, was not.
"TOMORROW". But after all, in other Warsaw Pact countries such a “ban on the profession” from the US and NATO, it seems, did not exist?
Leonid IVASHOV. Yes, there the change of senior military leadership to pro-American cadres was relatively calm and for a long time. Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic were accepted into the North Atlantic Alliance only in 1999, the “second wave” of expansion took place in 2004. And in Germany such a “transition period” was not at all, the National People’s Army was not included in the Bundeswehr - it was disbanded, and all the generals were simply fired. Here is another illustration on the relationship between the military and political elites.
By the way, many generals of the Third Reich continued to serve in the Bundeswehr, and the head of the operational division of the general staff of the Wehrmacht, Adolf Heusinger, successfully became chairman of the NATO military committee.
But Germany is still a country occupied by the Americans, and relations there are such, I myself was an unwitting witness. After 1991, the Germans actively cooperated with us, including in the military sphere along the Russia-NATO line. And during one of the open events, I asked the German general if I could drive the Leopard II tank around the range a bit. I graduated from the Tashkent Combined Arms School, Tanks knew and loved, so 10-15 minutes of instruction - no longer needed. They said to me: "No problem, Mr. General!" But problems arose. Because at such events the American watcher was always present. A colonel or even a lieutenant colonel who, as a rule, chewed gum and did not interfere in anything. But then, when the team went that the Russian general would sit in Leopard, he immediately called my colleague to him, and that two-star general ran to this American colonel ... And when he returned, he said that he would not fulfill my request today no possibility. Of course, I told him that it’s okay, everything is fine, he should be happy - after all, an entire colonel of the great American army is commanding you, not some sergeant ...
Yes, there is one more thing: Americans are actively using the "democratic" methods of manipulation within the alliance. When it is unprofitable for them to position themselves in some situation — for example, on the issue of creating a collective security system in Europe — they use the services of Poles or Balts who “suddenly” show “independence” and put forth demands on their behalf on their own behalf - under the pretext "Russian threat". Americans themselves seem to have nothing to do with it: they say the right words, agree with rational arguments ... They are here only to ensure the safety of every European ... But these "stubborn" people democratically argue with the Germans and the French and the British and with the Americans, insisting on their own. And everyone understands everything: yesterday they already received the appropriate instructions in the American sector, but, according to the rules, a consensus is needed to make a decision, and so the “old Europe” slowly twists their arms ...
I would stress that the Europeans do not want to fight today, and they understand that the United States is dragging them into adventures, which may result in the transformation of their territories into a theater of military operations, for which the same Yankees will be happy to watch from overseas.
So, in my opinion, it is impossible to talk about a common NATO military elite. There is a hard gradation: American superiority over all others, only the British aside.
"TOMORROW". If we move from the West to the East, we will see three noticeably superior to all the other militarily powers: China, India and Japan. They are inferior and possessing nuclear weapons Pakistan, and Iran, and Vietnam, and North Korea. But there is not even such a formal military-political unity that exists within the framework of NATO.
Leonid IVASHOV. The role of the military in each of these seemingly very different and competing countries is, in my opinion, dominant even in the political sphere itself, where it acts not only as a guarantor of their state stability, but also restrains the appetites of big business.
If we take China, which has now become the second largest in the world after the United States in terms of defense spending, the PRC Military Council is, in fact, the highest government body, which, if necessary, has the authority and opportunities to change and control the CPC and the government of the PRC. The People’s Liberation Army of China, the PLA, in fact, created the People’s Republic of China and is the foundation of its unity. It is no coincidence that the current political system of the PRC provides for the preservation of the leader, who resigns from the post of chairman of the PRC and general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, as chairman of the Military Council, with which he continues to monitor the activities of his successor.
In Japan, after 1945, the Americans applied about the same model of political structure, which was installed in Germany after 1918. With only one, but the most important difference - the Japanese saved their emperor, both as the nominal head of state and as the symbolic leader of the nation. For almost two decades after the capitulation on board the battleship Missouri, the Americans kept the Japanese military in black, as it were: a demilitarized constitution was adopted, the army dissolved, and self-defense forces were forbidden to conduct any force actions outside the Land of the Rising Sun. But the Japanese, as soon as they recovered from the shock of defeat, slowly, without even changing the constitution, began to regain their military potential. Today, remaining, like Germany, an occupied country (although they squeezed out all American bases on Okinawa), they have their own ministry of defense, powerful armed forces, and it seems to me that they are already modestly talking about their own nuclear weapons, that is, fully prepared for their creation or even more. So, in the near future it is quite possible to expect military-political surprises from Japan - at least in the wake of a confrontation with China or a dispute with Russia around the South Kuriles.
As for India, if not for the military, it is unlikely that this state today could exist as one of the largest world powers. Moreover, an important role in the power structures of India, which hold the line of political neutrality, is traditionally played by the Sikh element. And I want to say that just with Sikhs, who simply cannot be deceived, Russia's relations are seriously spoiled - because of our side. For a very long time, our government officials, from Ilya Klebanov to Anatoly Serdyukov, were banally deceiving, not fulfilling their promises, demonstrating their complete disregard for Indian colleagues. Now, with Sergei Shoigu, the situation seems to be straightened out, but after all, what happened was - that was. After all, for example, the same Serdyukov could fly to a meeting of the interstate military-technical commission almost on a sports plane, sit on another airfield - not the one where they were waiting for, the guard of honor was lined up ... Then, while I was there, it turns out he already needs fly away, the whole program went to ashes, that is, complete disrespect. Or he could cancel joint exercises with the Indians of the Pacific Fleet because of the need to urgently provide humanitarian aid to Japan, although the Indian ships sailed more than two thousand nautical miles for this, and the fleet for India is a shrine. Do you know with what offense this decision was perceived by Indian sailors ?! "I have not heard before that rice was transported on destroyers," one of the Indian admirals said on this occasion and was, of course, right.
"TOMORROW". Leonid G., due to the limited temporal and spatial framework of our conversation, we will leave aside the topic of the Middle Eastern military elites, including the Israeli, as well as Latin American and African, because, with all our respect for them, they do not define the face of the armed forces of the modern world. But at the end of the discussion, the question is: do modern military elites have some general ideas about future wars, some concept of future wars, as universally recognized as the doctrine of von Clausewitz you mentioned, or all the generals, as always, “prepare for the last war” , and real conflicts will proceed quite differently? Are “informational”, “organizational” and “hybrid” wars real?
Leonid IVASHOV. As for the "hybrid wars", then in the United States three years ago, the headquarters for cyber threats was created. And this means that the information space becomes, along with the space, the priority space for conducting combat operations, in the language of the Second World War, the direction of the main attack. In the United States OKNSH for a long time they did not agree to this, trying to keep the cyber divisions within the traditional armed forces, but the Democrats, who are now in power, managed to push through the corresponding decision. And what do we see? We see the complete absence of any result, complaints about the Chinese hackers, or the Russian “trolls” and RussiaToday ... One thing is the technology of “color revolutions”, and quite another is the Crimea and the Donbass, not to mention Syria. But does this cancel the series of “point strikes” to destabilize, for example, the financial system or nuclear facilities in the territory of the “target country”? The consequences of such acts of aggression may be no less serious than the arrival of several nuclear missiles with divided warheads. So today, we, the West and China, have no proven, well-defined strategy and technology for waging new generation wars. Although the synthesis of military experience gained in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine, goes on continuously. I think that the formation of such a technology will take more than a dozen years - all the more so since the very structure of providing information space is changing very quickly now, and the format of military capabilities in this area is constantly changing: something appears, and something, on the contrary, disappears.
"TOMORROW". Of stories it is well known that ideologically motivated army, ceteris paribus, always has additional advantages over unmotivated army, and military education for foreigners has always been an effective channel of "projection of force" beyond national borders. How do you assess the situation in this area today in Russia?
Leonid IVASHOV. According to the current Constitution of 1993, the Russian Federation does not have a state ideology, and therefore there is no official ideological motivation other than monetary. More recently, they wanted to turn our army into a “professional” contract, but very quickly became convinced that the risks here are comparable and even much more than the possible benefits. There is an idea of patriotism, there is an idea of justice: and social justice in the country, and justice in international relations - now they are actively used by the political leadership of the country, but for now it is too “selective”, is it? At the same time, the socio-political course of the government is still liberal, in fact, denying ideas of both patriotism and justice. In this I see one of the biggest problems for our Armed forces in general and for our military elite in particular. This is not only a question of the internal unity and fighting efficiency of our army - it is also a question of the allies. To attract them to your side without an ideological component that everyone understands is very difficult. This also applies to the training of foreign military specialists. Everything is not so simple and simple here, but I think that if Hugo Chavez studied military science not in his native country, but in US military establishments, his social and political views could turn out to be somewhat different, and there was no such thing in Latin American history. would be the page of the "Bolivarian Venezuela".