Friday, 23, March, 2018

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting of the Security Council at the Situation Center of the Academy of the Armed Forces Wednesday. It took place on the eve of the 26th anniversary of the establishment of the Uzbek Armed Forces marked on January 14. 

Highlights of his the speech:

Problems in Uzbekistan's defense capacity 

There are still serious problems in the field of the country's defense capacity, over which we will have to work hard in 2018 and beyond. During the past year, I analyzed the state of combat readiness and capability of the Armed Forces, observed exercises at the Kattakurgan ground, visited the units of the Defense Ministry and Border Troops in the South-West, Eastern and Tashkent military districts, and today I got acquainted with the state of affairs in the military unit in the city of Chirchik, talked with military personnel, heard reports of officials. As a result, a number of serious systemic problems that have accumulated over the years have been identified – in terms of personnel issues, equipment of troops, social protection of servicemen and military-patriotic education of youth and military personnel.

We took specific decisions on many priority issues in the past year. However, we must admit that this work was not systemic, but fragmentary, focal. Realizing this, including the magnitude of the existing problems in such an important field as the national security and defense, we adopted the new Defense doctrine that reflects the main vectors and modern approaches in matters of military development and development of the Armed Forces.

New Defense Doctrine

In a short time we managed to achieve concrete results and develop a strategic approach to develop the Uzbek Armed Forces.

Uzbekistan's defense doctrine was qualitatively updated based on the principles of flexibility and openness of our foreign policy, most importantly, development of friendly and constructive ties with neighboring countries, priority of preserving Uzbekistan's sovereignty and independence. For the first time, the doctrine is open, which demonstrates the transparency of our defense policy. The doctrine defines the principal approaches of Uzbekistan's defense policy, the tasks and grounds for the use of the Armed Forces, as well as promising areas for further construction and development of the national army.

The provisions of the Defense Doctrine should not remain on paper. We need to ensure their practical implementation. To this end, it would be expedient for the Parliament to exercise constant parliamentary control over the implementation of the Defense Doctrine. In general, our deputies and senators should pay more attention to the issues of military development, strengthen their activities in this direction. At sessions of the chambers, the situation in this sphere should be discussed twice a quarter.

New tasks of military districts

Taking into account the provisions of the Doctrine and Uzbekistan’s geostrategic location, the structures and tasks of military districts have been revised. In particular, the structure of all divisions and units of the Ministry of Defense has been completely revised and updated. We, at last, resolutely moved away from the structure, which did not allow units to fully engage in combat training, strengthening the professional skills, and to be ready to accomplish tasks for their intended purpose.

Physical training for military personnel should be one of the main components of official activity, military career, lifestyle in general. Concerning the psychological stability of servicemen, it should be noted that, as the recent armed conflicts in different parts of the world show, the main losses in the course of hostilities among personnel are associated with significant psychological stresses disorders, the consequences of which can not be easily overcome even in peacetime. Heads of the defense, security ministries and agencies should develop fundamentally new documents on launching of physical and psychological training of servicemen of all categories, focusing on its military-applied orientation. Servicemen should have strong health, have strong stamina and able to withstand difficult physical and psychological stresses.

The Ministry of Defense launched measures to transfer troops to a new organizational structure, which must be completed before the start of the school year. I will personally monitor their implementation. In this issue it is important not only to create, it is extremely important to launch this mechanism. The troops should be able at any time to carry out the assigned tasks, constantly engage in the new system of combat training, each serviceman must successfully

Many officials did not match our expectations

Why are these demands so strongly put on the agenda? Because many officials in the Ministry of Defense did not meet up our expectations, showed themselves to be passive and un-active, can not and do not know how to take firm personal decisions and take responsibility. However they were given all the opportunities to prove themselves. Such shortcomings, in my opinion, are the result of the activities of the former leadership of the Ministry of Defense, which worked mainly with old methods. The connection with the troops was poor, proper attention was not paid to the training of military personnel, there was not enough determination to make independent decisions if necessary. Unfortunately, as a result, military commanders are often accustomed to working on orders from top. I want to emphasize once again: every commander must be able to promptly take independent, comprehensively grounded decisions based on the conditions of his military units and districts, the real combat situation.

At the request of the Defense Minister, two of his deputies, heads of the Academy of the Armed Forces and the Chirchik Military School, were dismissed from their posts. At the same time, the Defense Minister himself has already sacked about 40, with 36 military servicemen demoted. What does it say? This, in the first place, indicates that there is no rating system in this sphere that allows to give a concrete assessment of the activity of an officer, as a result, the state of affairs is unsatisfactory in the sphere of selection and placement of personnel. In order to eliminate such and other shortcomings, to organize all the work as a system in accordance with the requirements of the current times, further deepen the reforms in the military sphere, I have appointed a new chief of the General Staff and commanders of the military districts.

Tasks of the National Guard

We have formed the National Guard. This special military formation is tasked to ensure public and state security, protection of human rights and freedoms, protection of the population against various terrorist threats, criminal and other unlawful actions. For a short period the National Guard has become one of the important links in the country's security system and has established close cooperation with the structural units of the Armed Forces.

Unfortunately, in the past 15-20 years, due to a wrong approach to the issues of public order and security, work in this area was not carried out systemically. It should be said directly, including the Security Council did not give them the attention due. In fact, there was no specific structure responsible for the sphere, and the units dealing with these issues were part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, then the Ministry of Defense, and therefore their role was not so palpable. Practically no training and educational measures were taken to protect public order and security. As a result, operational decisions were not made on time, and the tasks were performed ineffectively. After all, as you know, all over the world, not the army, not the Ministry of Defense, but a separate structure is engaged in ensuring order in the country and public security.

Based on the concept Safe City - Safe Country, we are now carrying out large-scale works aimed at ensuring public order in the country. That is why a new structure has been created - the National Guard. Now in each city and province for the implementation of the "Safe Territory" project, the protection of public order will be the responsibility of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Guard. To fulfill these tasks, the National Guard carries out its activities in close cooperation with local authorities and public organizations.

Tasks of the State Committee for Defense Industry

The first and important step in the formation of the national defense-industrial complex was the formation of the State Committee for Defense Industry, which united the country's all key enterprises. We should frankly admit that having adequate scientific and industrial potential, for 25 years we have not given due attention to the creation of the country's defense-industrial complex, which, naturally, affected the level of the Armed Forces equippedness.

Take, for example, the project we have implemented to produce radio equipment. As you can see, it took only nine months to complete it. This gives reason to think. World experience shows that the developed defense industry is one of the important components of an innovative and high-tech economy. I am confident that the work we have begun to form a full-fledged defense sector of the economy in the short term will not only provide the national army with modern weapons and military equipment, but also create jobs and will also help to diversify the country's economy. In this area, we still have to solve a set of tasks aimed at developing the production of import-substituting, competitive and export-oriented military and dual-use products.

Our country has great potential and great opportunities for developing the defense industry complex, but we do not use them. For example, heads of local authorities have great opportunities to organize in the regions the production of special clothing, equipment for military personnel, various tools, dry rations, creation of other enterprises for the production of dual-use products. All this will allow us to create jobs. Recently, a decree of the President has been adopted, which gives them appropriate additional powers. Now the activities of regional governors and commanders of military districts will be evaluated based on the results of implementation of these tasks.

We decided to place the State Committee for Defense Industry on the territory of the Tashkent Agricultural Machinery Plant so that its managerial staff directly and permanently could work in the so-called production atmosphere.

Threats and challenges in the world

In the world, including around us, threats of international terrorism, extremism and radicalism are increasing, in some regions armed conflicts are not ceasing. Such an unstable situation requires us to adequately respond to emerging challenges, determines the great importance of the work on further reforming, increasing the combat readiness and combat capability of our Armed Forces in order to ensure the peaceful and stable development of Uzbekistan. In this regard, I consider it extremely important to focus on the following priority tasks.

Firstly, it is the activation and enhancement of the role of civil society and state authorities in the field in strengthening the country's defense capability. The leaders of authorities of all levels should take an active part in the daily activities of the troops, create and improve the infrastructure of military camps, military-patriotic education of the youth and strengthen the sense of pride, loyalty, patriotism, spirit and readiness to defend the Motherland at any moment.

Heads of the defense and security ministries and departments, local government bodies should strengthen the work on perpetuating the memory of the heroes of Uzbekistan's modern history, providing all-round care and support to their families and friends. In order to glorify their heroic deeds, educate the younger generation on bright examples of genuine patriotism, Prime Minister A. Aripov, State Counselor H. Sultanov, together with the relevant ministries and departments, prepare proposals for the publication of the Book of Memory within a month.

Secondly, we must increase the potential of our army in order to effectively accomplish these tasks by further improving the military composition of the military districts, enhancing their combat readiness and combat capability, and automating and optimizing the command and control system.

Thirdly, it is necessary to revise the regulatory and legal framework for the planning and application of the Armed Forces in connection with the renewal of conceptual documents to ensure the country's security, improvement of organizational and staff structures.

Fourthly, an important task is to further improve the system of combat and operational training of troops, to enhance and increase the effectiveness of exercises and training. They should be conducted with the maximum coverage of units and the involvement of interacting structures. This will allow us to assess the capabilities of command and control agencies, the actions of every soldier - from the soldier to the commander, the appropriateness and adequacy of the tactics used to accomplish combat missions.

Fifthly, the focus of our constant attention should be on the system analysis of the real needs of the troops, increasing their level of equipment with modern weapons and equipment. In this regard, the Ministry of Defense, the State Committee for Defense Industry should fully implement a comprehensive program for the modernization and equipping of troops with modern weapons and military equipment, designed for 2018-2021.

Sixthly, the further development of the social security system for servicemen remains a key task for us. From this point of view, it is urgent to adopt a set of measures to improve the system of social development of the Armed Forces until 2020.

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