The war showed that we have to do much more for the country than we did before. We trusted the fate of Armenia to the state institutions. Vardan was filming the war, showing the world what was happening in Artsakh, Eric was engaged in journalistic and analytical work, Phillip was procuring equipment for the army and volunteers. All this was necessary, but clearly not enough. For real systemic changes, we should unite and start the process of reforming all sectors of our state within the framework of one team.
The well-being, security and sustainable development of our country will be possible thanks to high-quality reforms. Chief among and most important one is the reform of the army.
How to do it?
● Approve the main directions of the Army Reform through public dialogue
● To form commissions and structures responsible for certain elements and directions of the Reform
● Develop a Reform strategy, stimulate and monitor its consistent implementation
Below are some areas of Army Reform that our team considers key and urgent.
Armenia is under constant threat of military aggression. This state of affairs demands that we move to a deep mutual integration of society and the army, including: improving the system of army conscription and service, taking into account the skills and potential of conscripts; attracting private business to participate in high-tech military industry projects.
This state of affairs demands that we move to a deep mutual integration of society and the army, including: improving the system of army conscription and military service, taking into consideration the skills and capabilities of conscripts; attracting private business to participate in high-tech military industry projects. In this case, it is essential to create a quality control system and stimulate the production of high-quality products.
Keeping funds within Armenia, providing jobs and improving the level of professionalism of Armenian specialists will create a military-industrial complex capable of bringing significant profits to the country in the long term.
Currently the top leadership of the armed forces do not have the necessary level of trust from the society for such reforms. There are many valid reasons for that. This trust can be restored by being open and transparent to show people of our country that changes are taking place and reforms are being implemented.
We should bring complete transparency for our citizens on procurement issues (outside of limited cases). The classified status of some processes and documents should not cause obvious questions and suspicions of society.
It is necessary to revise the personnel policy of the Ministry of Defense, in particular, the development of professional compliance criteria for selection of personnel. Creation of a career development system that rewards those who want to develop, who are aware of threats and have a realistic vision of the situation, understand the scale of the tasks facing us and the need for drastic changes.
Most importantly we need to reward those with initiative, who are productive, intelligent and willing to fight and improve. It is as important as to filter out the sycophants and the mediocre.
One of the biggest problems of today’s army is the system of mobilization of reservists. It should be re-compiled and optimized for the broad society. It is necessary to achieve the most effective distribution of reservists for their skills and military specialty.
An effective system to support the combat capability of reservists is required. Participation in military training camps should not only be honorable, but also useful for civilian life and career.
One of the key problems of the army is the lack of clear rules of engagement. Military analytical centers fulfilling orders from the Ministry of Defense could cope with this task.
Based on studies of the past war and other clashes with the enemy, as well as studies of world experience, we will have to develop scenarios for conducting wars and special operations.