Center for Strategic Assessment and forecasts

Autonomous non-profit organization

Home / Defence and security / / Articles
American experts believe that the armed forces post-Soviet States its own traditions to prevent building the New world order
Material posted: -Publication date: 25-12-2010

One of the significant problems of the American administration is the question of finding an approach to external management of such national-territorial units that received U.S. diplomacy in the name of "weak States" or "failed States".

The study of this problem in recent years was devoted to a series of studies conducted by several serious analytical centers[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6].

Of particular interest to us are the conclusions that the authors of such works had been done in the States that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union and Eastern European States that were in the orbit of influence of the USSR.

In particular, the experts note that, despite a number of measures to democratize and dismantle the old state structures in the former socialist countries (and also in some other countries), conducted in the end of XX century in the framework of the General project of liquidation of the Communist system, today we have to accept the fact that in a number of countries remains the Foundation of public relations typical of the former political systems.

What is particularly important is the conclusion of experts that the basis of the Foundation is, as a rule, the war machine of these States, mainly military elite represented the highest army General.

The key conclusion, which is based on the stated assumption is that the presence of army corps, which has not been able to accept basic democratic principles, may pose a hidden threat to the new democratic governments, and in some cases - and the U.S. national interest. The generals, according to the researchers, certain conditions can challenge not only the law enforcement system, but also the political system of the "new wave" in General. Moreover, in most of these countries in the hands of a military elite is a market of arms and military equipment, the income from which is quite substantial.

It is natural that a special place in such studies is the assessment of the situation in the former Soviet republics. According to American analysts, the failure of democracy to a considerable extent linked to lack of reforms in the defense sector, as the Ministry of war remains the Foundation on which rely the authoritarian regimes of these States. Experts note in this regard the armed forces of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Ukraine that preserved, mainly, tradition and system of training the officer corps of the Soviet Army.

It is noted that after a small success in the first years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, political transformation, economic liberalization and the reform of the defence sector is almost completely stopped except for several countries of Central and Eastern Europe, where rapid integration into the Western community contributed to the consolidation of the results.

This situation has led to the fact that in the current environment of the development situation in the world there are many unreformed state machines contributes to the expansion of the number of "failed" States that are, or may become a refuge for international terrorists, which is already a threat to the national interests of the United States.

Experts note that such a situation was possible because implemented since the end of last century program to support military structures of the former socialist countries has been focused mainly on financial and technical assistance to new governments, but does not change the ideological foundations of the building of law enforcement agencies in the new environment.

In such circumstances, the experts offer a course to radically change the approaches of providing financial and technical assistance to the troops of the Ministry of "weak" States, directly linking them with the "uprooting" of the old, "outdated" traditions and historical memory of the military elite.

To this end it is planned to develop a special program for "the construction of the defense Ministers a new type". The basis of the assumption about the creation of a transparent national institutions of defense, in the presence of democratic control over its activities, which can create and maintain armed forces adequate to the national interests of a particular subject of international law with the minimum expenditure of funds for their maintenance.

Experts believe that in many cases national governments will abandon the proposed road development, as even today many helps them to stay in power and reform they will not allow. Therefore, it is anticipated the development of a set of measures of pressure from the international community to compel to fulfill the necessary conditions.

It is also noted that the process of creating new defense structures requires constant attention, and in some cases direct intervention by the international community, primarily in "soft" form, in the form of standards, targeted assistance, responsibility and incentives.

The main theses of the new defense agencies should be:

  • the presence of a transparent defense budget and national legislation in the field of defense;
  • the civilian leadership of the defense Ministry;
  • independent oversight of the military agencies by the Parliament;
  • an independent examination of the activities of the military structures of the society;
  • possibility of audit of expenditure on all articles of the defense budget;
  • the training of officers and the formation of a new military elite;
  • an open system of military justice;
  • depoliticization of the military mechanism.

As an important criterion for assessing the effectiveness of the defense policy of a state is known by experts at the RAND Corporation assumes the introduction of a "global safety index" (GDDI). The presence of such an evaluation would, according to experts of RAND, to set which countries require special attention; to legitimize international involvement in the process of transformation of the defense Department; to specify that the adjustment of priorities and resource use within specific countries; to reflect the interconnectedness of economic assistance and progress in the reform of defence structures; giving internal reformers an instrument for political use and, where necessary, would guarantee international condemnation.

In addition, the RAND experts consider necessary the participation of international experts in the design and development of military doctrines "weak" States. First of all, such participation is expected to reach production requirements of military doctrine. According to them, it logically follows that countries receiving economic assistance should take into account the interests of the leading countries and the world community. In this case it is also necessary to adjust the ratio of military threats, the military forces involved and the cost of maintaining them with the political interests of specific subjects of the world politics.

Monitoring of the implementation of the program of formation of new defense agencies, according to the American experts, should assume the World Bank, linking the results of the reformation with the amount of financial assistance for each country. At the regional level, these tasks should be entrusted to regional banks for reconstruction and development.

Experts note that the goal of the whole process of transformation is determined by the formula: to form military establishments of developing countries in accordance with the standards and principles that meet the interests of the United States.



[1] Congressional Research Service Report RL34253, Weak and Failing States: Evolving Security Threats and U.S. Policy

[2] Born, H., Caparini, M., Fluri, P., (eds.), Security Sector Reform and Democracy in Transitional Societies (Nomos: Baden-Baden, 2002);

[3] Bryden, A., Fluri, P., (eds.), Security Sector Reform: Institutions, Society and Good Governance (Nomos: Baden-Baden, 2003)

[4] Edmunds, T., Security Sector Reform: Concepts and Implementation, DCAF Working Paper no. 3 (Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces: Geneva, 2002)

[5] Lilly, D., Von Tangen Page, M., The Privatisation of Security and Security Sector Reform, (International Alert: London, 2002).

[6] United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), ‘Democratizing security to prevent conflict and build peace’, Human Development Report 2002: Deepening Democracy in a Fragmented World (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2002), pp. 85-100

Tags: Russia , USA , security , CIS , threat


RELATED MATERIALS: Defence and security