The best way to rearm: how to establish an effective state system

On November 19, 2020 a round table on "The best way to rearm: how to establish an effective state system." was held by the USSI in IA Ukrinform.
The best way to rearm: how to establish an effective state system, USSI

Roundtable participants:

  1. Valentyn Badrak– the USSI Board member, Director of the Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies (CACDS);
  2. Serhiy Zgurets– the USSI Board member, Director of the « Defense Express media and consulting company».
  3. Oleksandr Myronyuk – Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine
  4. Valeriy Ivaschenko – First Deputy Minister for Strategic Industries of Ukraine
  5. Ihor Kabanenko – Admiral, President of the UA.RPA
  6. Anatoliy PinchukPresident of Ukrainian Strategy
  7. Serhiy Chepel– director of Radio Satcom Group

The experts discussed:

  1. Problems of the formation and implementation of the SDO (state defense order) and how to get rid of them in 2021.
  2. Formation of state target programs as a way to abandon “manual control” in rearmament.
  3. Priority formation issues.
  4. Efficient decision-making, domestic order and import balance.

Valentyn Badrak, the USSI Board member, Director of CACDS:

  • “Frankly speaking, neither the reform of the defense industry nor the reform of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has yet begun.
  • There are serious risks of disrupting the developments of the defense-industrial reform in Ukraine and the National Security and Defense Council could become a platform for a dialogue.
  • “… The time has come to say that even by 2030 the Khomchak`s General Staff (now the General Staff of Commander-in-Chief Khomchak) does not even see the development of the idea of a professional army. And, accordingly, this means the absence of a motivational package, contradictory rearmament and walking around past the bloated size of the army.

At the same time, the relationship between the commander-in-chief and the Minister of defense, to put it mildly, is far from being constructive. The conditions have been created such that it has become more than difficult to resolve issues of supplying the troops. ”

  • Rearmament of the army is acute.
  • Today, a situation has arisen, when the Law “On Defense Procurement “ has not come into force and society already requires more transparent policy.”

Oleksandr Myronyuk, Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, during the round table informed that The Ministry of Defense is trying to solve the problems in the formation of State defense order and to reduce risks, in order to fulfill all the indicators defined in the state target programs for increasing defense capability within 2020.

“Taking state obligations to conclude contracts is carried out only within the framework of the budget year, for a period of up to one year, and not for the duration of the state defense order.”

“A problematic issue is also the frequent change in the General Staff’s priorities and needs in providing the Armed Forces with armaments and military equipment, which leads to inconsistencies in the SDO indicators, as well as to the constant adjustment of these indicators, “- said Deputy Minister.

Myronyuk also mentioned that given the importance of this document, the problematic issues that hinder formation and implementation of the State Defense Order need to be resolved quickly.

Valeriy Ivaschenko, First Deputy Minister for Strategic Industries of Ukraine, during the round table of the USSI said that  the Ministry was surprised by the statement of the State Corporation “Ukroboronprom” regarding the agency’s interference in economic activities and blocking the reform of the concern and the military-industrial complex.

The Ministry wants to carry out a deep comprehensive reform of the defense sector, not just the corporatization of Ukroboronprom enterprises,”- Ivaschenko emphasized.

Serhiy Zgurets – the USSI Board member, Director of the  Defense Express“The management system is going into imbalance, and the state begins to crack at all seams in important areas.”;

“Regarding the situation with Ukroboronprom. I think this is an attempt to cut off the state from managing its own resources, this is an artificial element of external influence that actually kills the connection between the state and key directions of development. I think, this should be brought to the attention of our citizens”- Sergey Zgurets  noted.

“According to the Deputy Minister of Defense, Mr. Myronyuk , all financial indicators will be met within the framework of existing state programs. But I would like to notice that indeed, procurements take place according to the priorities determined by state programs, but these programs are spelled out so widely that even the nails purchase can be prioritized.”- the expert said. “Considering this, the 21- billion state budget is only one small part of what the Armed Forces actually need in terms of re-equipment. “- Zgurets summarized.

“Technologies and technological advantage on the battlefield must be a priority,”- admiral Ihor Kabanenko, President of the UA.RPA, said.

The admiral is confident that there should be a constant dialogue between industry experts from the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff, and in general – between government agencies and non-governmental structures, because these are the foundations of the vitality of a liberal-democratic way of life and society.

“I believe that technological cooperation and partnership with Western countries, as our strategic partners, is a key for updating Ukroboronprom, as well as our armament, military equipment and market, both internal and external, renovating”- Kabanenko stressed.

Anatoliy Pinchuk, President of Ukrainian Strategy: “The Armed Forces of Ukraine, unfortunately, do not have a strategy to counter a possible full-scale aggression of the Russian Federation or a plan to return all occupied territories.”

“That is why there is no corresponding process of rearmament aimed at effective asymmetric counteraction,” the expert continued.

Anatoliy Pinchuk also expects that this shortcoming would be eliminated by joint efforts in the development of the Military Security Strategy and the Defense Industry Development Strategy.

Serhiy Chepel, Director of  Radio Satcom Group: “Complex called “Asymmetry + Technological Superiority” will ensure victory in a future full-scale war.”

Serhiy Chepel, who has been engaged in defense programs for 40 years, believes that since we do not have a numerical superiority, therefore, we must provide an asymmetric approach and technological advantages, primarily in the field of effective command and control.