Head of the Center for Military Forecasting - on the correct age of conscription, "wrong" contract soldiers and real enemies of Russia
Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff Vasily Smirnov said that the Ministry of Defense proposes to increase the term of the spring conscription of citizens for military service until the end of August, raise the level of draft age from 27 to 30 years and make a number of other changes to the manning system of the Armed Forces. The main reason is that the Russian army is sorely lacking conscripts. The head of the Center for Military Forecasting of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis Anatoly Tsyganok comments.
Call: property and educational qualification
Russia has now entered a demographic hole, and it will remain in this hole for at least another 5-6 years. In this situation, it was necessary to clearly understand what kind of army we need, but first to determine what real threats exist.
We are told that NATO is the enemy, but in reality it is not. NATO has reduced its grouping by about 60% (however, the Russian army has also reduced the Moscow and Leningrad districts - by about 40%). And the real enemy is where there are conflicts - and they are in the south, with our southern neighbors.
Once we have entered the demographic hole, there are two ways to get out of it. Either calculate what army is needed and reduce the draft, or do nothing and increase the draft. We will go according to the worst option if we increase the draft period to 30 years and deprive all students of all indulgences.
Optimization of military education, which provides for a reduction in the number of military departments from the current 229 to 68, will cause colossal damage in the training of specialists in new specialties for the Russian army. The Defense Minister decided to unilaterally break off relations with the Ministry of Education, warning that military departments will remain in 35 Russian higher educational institutions, where reserve officers will be trained. In another 33 civilian universities, military departments will be transformed into military training centers (UMC), which will train both reserve officers and officers for service in the Armed Forces.
At first glance, it is logical to reduce the excess, according to the military, military departments and the student army of 170,000 people, which is now being trained at these departments, when there is an overabundance of reserve officers: after all, up to 17 mobilization kits have been prepared in some specialties for many years.
In fact, the transition to a new system of training reserve officers introduces the division of universities in relation to their service in the army into three grades. Graduates of "universities of the 1st grade" (the ones where military departments will remain) upon graduation from the military department will immediately be sent to the reserve. This list includes 12 universities in the capital, five in St. Petersburg, two educational institutions in Kazan and Novosibirsk, and one each from 14 other cities in Russia.
33 universities are classified as "second grade", upon admission to which young people will conclude a contract with the Ministry of Defense. The contract means for them an increased scholarship during the training period (five times higher than the federal one) and service in officer positions for at least three years. If the graduate wants to terminate the contract, he will have to return the scholarship in full.
The rest of the universities are classified as "third grade". Their graduates will be drafted and serve in the army in rank-and-file positions. In fact, we are talking about the introduction (albeit tacitly) of a kind of property qualification: a native of the countryside, albeit gifted and talented, but does not have the means (and it is almost impossible to enter a Moscow or St. positions. Urban young people, with a complete lack of abilities, have the opportunity to either avoid conscription altogether, or, having received an education at an elite university, immediately go to the reserve. At the same time, the army turns into a "student - workers 'and peasants'" army. The logic of the army leadership is simple and straightforward. “We do not need a platoon commander trained in a civilian university, but intellectual officers, programmers, computer scientists are needed, and in fact, they will do the same thing as in civilian life, but only in military uniform from 9:00 to 18:00 ", - said the head of the Personnel and Educational Work Service Nikolai Pankov. It would be nice - but in real life this does not happen.
Without dwelling on moral assessments of such an arbitrary division of higher educational institutions in Russia, I think that these lists need serious adjustment for the simple reason that this undermines both the security of Russia and the combat readiness of the army.
Which regiment to serve
I have been teaching for many years and at one time I conducted a survey among students of the 1-3rd years - they all flatly refuse to go to the army. But the 4th and 5th year students are already ready to go to serve. You need to understand that a boy who goes to university at 18, and almost a man who graduates at 23, are two completely different people. I am convinced that the age of conscription needs to be changed in Russia. Previously, they were taken to serve at the age of 21. The fact is that a boy between the ages of 18 and about 21 is in conflict with the whole world, including himself. But if you give a person the opportunity to finish their studies, then by the age of 23 he will most likely graduate from the university, and who does not want to study, he never will. We need to achieve two things: to allow a person to get a higher education and at the same time to enable our military-industrial complex to teach highly educated specialists in military affairs.
But for this, the army needs to be reformed and modernized.
The army, in essence, cannot carry out modernization. I believe that it is necessary to act as Peter I did. He realized that the rifle troops were not being modernized. He left them and began to create two regiments - Semenovsky and Preobrazhensky. A new Russian army grew out of these regiments. Russia now had to do the same: leave the army, which is not being modernized, and start creating new separate units and subunits. But Russia is trying to create a new army structure and build a new weapons system - although it has not fulfilled the new weapons program three times.
Now we must first of all give our military-industrial complex samples of weapons that the army really needs. The military-industrial complex should create these weapons - and give them a priority to schools and academies. And when officers and sergeants learn how to handle this new type of weapon, it should begin to enter the unit. And only then will it be possible to talk about reforming the army.
Today the Minister of Defense is completely unsuitable. The fact that he is trying to establish contact with society is quite understandable. But the way he does it is surprising to me. All the flaws in the structure of the Russian army are now quite obvious. When the head of the personnel department cannot explain what they should prepare for in military schools and academies, this causes bewilderment and suggests that a person simply does not know the subject for which he is entrusted with responsibility.
Military science is on the wane. There will be no military intellectuals in the Russian army this year. A military intellectual is a person who studied at a school, then at an academy, after which he graduated from the Academy of the General Staff. All commanders of divisions, regiments, and individual battalions had an academic education. Now the situation is quite interesting: the courses are reduced to one year, explaining this by the lack of students. I am convinced that it is impossible to get an academic military education in one year. Trying to train a specialist with a higher military education in one year is useless. At the same time, we do not pay attention to the soldiers. We do not understand for what purposes our army is serving, we have not counted how many soldiers and sergeants we need, we have not been able to prepare military equipment, and we still do not have a good regulatory framework. Besides, we are talking about a contract army. Personally, I am categorically against such an army. Contractors are conscripts who could not get a job. We are seriously lumpening the army institute.
I have an extremely negative attitude to the proposals of the Ministry of Defense. We must first identify the threat. After that, it is necessary to determine the composition of the army - this cannot be done without understanding the threats. If we can sort out at least these two points, the contract will be cut in half.