Artem Filippenko, Regional Director of the Odessa branch of the National Institute for Strategic Studies, a member of Self-Defense of Odessa, said at a briefing on what reforms are needed and what could give the cooperation with NATO.
The fighting in the East proved that we have the Army. We understand why it is needed.
But it is also clear that the Armed Forces need to be reformed. In September 2013 was adopted by the latter concept of the Armed Forces. Before that there were others. But, most of all, they all boil down to the so-called “optimization” – downsizing and reduced alertness. This decree was suspended in May. Today there is a group for reforming the Armed Forces. The difficulty is that it is necessary to reform the Army, which at the moment has been fighting.
Key promises to reform the Army should be kept in the national security strategy and military doctrine.
To truly understand how and what to change in the national security strategy, we need to understand how much changed the character of wars in the 21st century. So, now speak of a hybrid war. There are different views about this phenomenon. But in general – it involves the simultaneous action of a military nature, information warfare and economic pressure.
All that we see now in the East – Russia supports the separatists plus uses its regular units. In this case, Donbas destroyed infrastructure, and there are trade wars, using energy weapons, and conducted an information war. The latter is carried out in two directions – against the citizens of Ukraine, in order to engender distrust of the state, and of nationally Kindle interfaith strife. Provoking anti-Semitic sentiments. In parallel, the information broadcast on allies and potential allies in order to discredit Ukraine. Hybrid war – a war without war, where there is no officially declared a state of war, the countries retained some economic relations. Economy in the 21st century is so integrated that the conflict between the two of them captures the mandatory interests of third countries, which is why even the warring parties can not completely sever all relations.
Military doctrine was adopted in 2003, 2004, 2012. Its essence was set out to minimize the role of the Armed Forces. It was assumed that the armed conflict may have three forms. Internal armed terrorists, local (attack one country) and regional (attack several countries). In this case, any of these types called unlikely and strategy for action in all cases was the same – to localize the conflict, and to seek assistance from international organizations to help those in its settlement. In the best case, expected to demonstrate a willingness to protect.
In the context of Russian aggression must radically rethink the nature and essence of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The main thing is defense, and not preventing or limiting the conflict. Serious attention should be paid to the information component of the war.
In 2004 was adopted a series of acts, provided for Ukraine’s accession to NATO. But then the question in a society looked questionable. Attitude of the majority of the population to this was negative. Raised the question of neutrality and non-aligned status of Ukraine. In Europe, there are countries. In each of them, it has developed in the specific historical conditions. But they are increasingly taking part in joint activities with NATO. For Ukraine, this status was a compromise. But when a country agrees to become neutral, had necessarily to withdraw the foreign military bases. Now in Ukrainian society opinion on NATO changed. But now, in a state of war and annexed Crimea start there is not as easy as before. Besides now it requires much greater efforts to reform the social and economic spheres.
Alliance now created 5 trust funds to assist Ukraine in reforming its Armed Forces. They will work on the modernization of communication systems and technology to help our wounded, reform of logistics and standardization, the fight against cybercrime and cyber defense. Romania will take last. A couple of years ago it was difficult to imagine. After all, Romania in recent years was considered as a potential enemy.
NATO membership should be one of the key areas of the Ukrainian foreign policy, so that the country became a full member of the North Atlantic collective security.