The Arms Forces need qualitative changes now

“First of all, I also believe that under the leadership of the President, a separation of powers should be between the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces (not the “General Staff”, because the General Staff is a component of the armed forces)” the general said.

Ihor Kolesnyk further said: “There is movement, but it has slowed significantly, especially in recent months. Where there is a duplication of authority and function, there is always a conflict of interest. Where there is a conflict of interest, there is always bureaucracy, always inefficient use of funds. Therefore, problems with the state defense procurements, the use of the budget, the execution of functions and the introduction of new forms and methods of using troops.

The Ministry of Defense should be an executive body of the central authority, transferred to a civilian structure, devoid of the functions of a military authority. It should be entrusted with the functions of setting up the defense policy, military security, exercising civilian democratic control over the armed forces, as well as being the coordinating body among other ministries and agencies, the security and defense sectors. The ministry should not interfere in the implementation of military policy, it is the competence of the Armed Forces, and this will reduce costs and duplication.”

The General believes that a similar separation of powers should be made in the armed forces: the General Staff, various types of troops, the Joint Forces Command, to be formed on the basis of the Joint Operational Headquarters have to decide who will be responsible for generating troops: training and manning must be separated from the troops use. Unfortunately, the authorities duplicate each other now. Everyone is engaged in training and manning, which greatly increases the bureaucratic apparatus. The separation of powers will lead to a dramatic change in the number of structures of governing bodies at all levels, from operational to strategic, which will reduce the costs of maintaining this bureaucratic apparatus, which is large in governing bodies.

“Accordingly, the Ministry of Defense budget needs immediate changes. There are 5 programs in the military budget, but the main program sounds like “Armed Forces Maintenance and Development”. It is the only one, and it should be split into two separate programs: the Armed Forces Maintenance and the Armed Forces Development programs. It is logical to create sub-programs for the development of each type of troops. Each commander shall be responsible for development, and accordingly, have its separate budget.

The Military Technical Commission of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff should work but unfortunately, in these five years, it has never met, has not determined the main directions of development of armament of military equipment, and, accordingly, not set priorities. First and foremost, the Armed Forces need forces and means of intelligence, electronic warfare (as a separate kind) and air defense, all that can protect our Armed Forces, as well as the ground forces from enemy influence. Then it will be possible to build other types for the protection of the state”, General Kolesnyk emphasized.

“Staff turnover is another serious problem. Staff lose interest in the service, and most military units after the return of the combined operations are replaced by two-thirds. Training and provision costs are inefficiently spent. People change every time because of uncertainty about the future. All conversations regarding the review of retirement benefits and social security of servicemen discouraging them from wanting to serve should be urgently stopped. The whole social package must be reviewed, as it must, first of all, motivate the personnel to keep on servicing, and not wait for retirement. When servicemen is in the military, he must know that he is socially protected.

In the today’s employment market, civilians have more money than military. If a security guard in a supermarket receives UAH 20K, and a sailor in a civilian fleet has USD 3K, then we cannot guarantee this level of financial security. The social package of the military should encourage service in the army.” Ihor Kolesnyk says.

The General also mentioned that permanent deployment points should be established immediately for newly formed military units that have been living in non-equipped deployment points for the fifth year. At the same time, the funds for the construction of the dislocation camps are inefficiently spent.