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A fully contract Ukrainian army – (suggests the Interior Minister?)

August 9, 2015

Last week, Minister of the Interior Arsen Avakov floated the idea of transferring all those who wish to be in, and remain in, the Ukrainian military, be moved to a contract basis.

“Думаю о волнах мобилизации по стране. О дебилизации действий военкомов, вручающих повестки прохожим на улицах Харькова, о контрабандистах Закарпатья, которых записывают в армию.. О боеспособности страны и ее вооруженных сил в этот непростой период..

С учетом того, сколько требуется государству средств и сил на призыв, обмундирование, обучение новобранцев от условного бухгалтера до среднего солдата.. С учетом невозможности достичь высокой квалификации воинов, при текущей мотивации и подготовке мобилизованных..

СЧИТАЮ:

Армию нужно сейчас и немедля переводить на профессиональную контрактную основу, снизив численность войск и увеличив зарплаты РЕАЛЬНЫМ КВАЛИФИЦИРОВАННЫМ военным и их обеспечение. Порядок, подготовленность и мотивация – бьет любое количество.

У такого подхода – есть будущее, у отлова призывников на улицах и в трамваях – нет.

Как министр и член СНБО выступлю с предложением о необходимости реализации такого подхода без промедления. Буду обращаться к Верховному главнокомандующему.

Ведь правда, вы не станете платить и не доверите свою безопасность пойманному на горячем закарпатскому контрабандисту или случайному прохожему?

Кому можно доверять всерьез? Только мотивированным, добровольно заключившим контракт профи. Имея за спиной опыт последних месяцев, уверен – проблем с формированием таких сил – не будет!
 Мы не достаточно богаты, что б не иметь профессиональной армии!” – Arsen Avakov Facebook 30 July 2015.

Avakov

His argument goes that firstly there would be sufficient people willing to move across from mass mobilisation/conscription, the national guard and existing military personnel, all with the desire to “soldier on” – whilst at the same time clearly inferring there are currently more than enough “men at arms” and those that wish to leave would by default reduce that number to somewhere close to appropriate/proportionate for the threats Ukraine faces – in his opinion.

Secondly, the current mobilisation process is unwieldy/messy/problematic/corrupt and unnecessarily expensive – which is indeed entirely accurate.

Remaining with the issue of economics,  it is far cheaper to train and kit out those who are inclined to remain in the military.  Thus he proposes an initial 6 month contract whilst the military and the individual decide whether they actually like each other – thereafter if no issues come to light, then an automatic contract extension occurs.

Economic savings by dumping mass mobilisation/conscription would then be used to pay the contract forces more – and equip and train them better presumably.

Lastly it would put an end to the nefarious incidents regarding corrupt regional Commissars tasked with meeting mobilisation numbers – or not for $ per conscript to avoid the draft, whilst simultaneously alienating those that are carrying weapons under the auspices of (pseudo) military units engaged in little more than organised criminality that willfully fall outside the command and control of the armed forces, and/or Mr Avakov’s Interior Ministry.

This by extension would probably ease the tensions within society regarding the conscripting of the apathetic and/or unwilling, and assist in differentiating between the genuine military and the unlawfully armed “others”.

So be it.  He intends to appeal to the President to make it so.

Naturally the first question is why is the Minister of the Interior and not the Defence Minister making such a proposal?

Is there perhaps more to this proposal than appears prima facie.

Mr Avakov’s Interior Ministry empire has grown, and not necessarily in a way he would like – or perhaps better stated, not in a way that suits him now.  Nor indeed has it grown in a way that would necessarily best suit the State.  Somehow the Ministry of Interior has turned into something of a dumping ground of an ever increasing number of new and reshuffled services.

Aside from the standard services, such as the Migration Service, the State Border Service, State Emergency Situations Service, Militsia etc., the MIA is now home to services that previously didn’t exist.  For example the new “Police” and the National Guard now fall within the MIA too.

Very soon somebody is going to start asking why all these services within the MIA have their own distinct stand-alone administrative support, their own training departments, their own IT departments, their own logistics departments, their medical departments etc.  How long before Minister Avakov is accused (perhaps rightly) of administrative waste on a grand scale by not centralising some, or many of those back-office requirements?

What “service” will get dumped, appropriately or otherwise, within the MIA next?

How many internal turf wars over institutional competencies and associated institutional boundaries, not to mention budgets will (and does) Mr Avakov want to have to referee?

Does he perhaps see the National Guard better suited under the Defence Minister, or perhaps now surplus to requirements entirely?  Does Ukraine need a National Guard under the control of the Ministry of Interior, which would give the perception  in calmer and more manageable times,  of nothing more than “internal troops” – a very undesirable “Soviet” image.

As the National Guard pretty much legalised and incorporated a large number of otherwise illegitimate militias and quasi-political movements that appeared after the Kremlin kicked off its Donbas engagement, is the choice being offered via this proposal one of contracting to the military within its existing units and command structure, or becoming illegitimate once more and fair game for law enforcement?

In short, is his interest in making such a proposal a way to “thin out” the services, reduce sprawling costs and more than duplicated administrations currently under his ministerial umbrella, ultimately with a desire to return it to the more traditional services associated with the Ukrainian MIA?  A deliberate move away from the quasi-military ministry it has by default become?

Perhaps that is all entirely wrong.  Yet a proposal to the President for a fully contract army is surely better – or at least far more appropriate – coming from the Defence Minister.  Why then is the Interior Minister making such a proposal?

Is it as simple as “early electioneering” prior to the local elections in October?

Mr Avakov surely has enough to do within the MIA, without publicly interfering via Facebook in another ministry without reason – so what reason has he?

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