5. THE FUTURE NATIONAL ARMYS COMBAT CAPACITIES IN THE PERSPECTIVE OF ACHIEVING THE MILITARY REFORM
of Moldova. The Constitution determines a very broadly defined objective, namely the protection of the countrys territorial integrity and sovereignty. Unfortunately, this way, objectives of large military bodies (for instance, the National Army) are not set; this looks more like an objective for the government and president. The National Armys goals should be precisely set, with the resources indicative for each performance of concrete missions. Thus, the objective should be stated by the President of the Republic of Moldova, as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Moldova.
5. THE FUTURE NATIONAL ARMYS COMBAT CAPACITIES
The Gendarmerie, having a numerical structure of 4,375 military personnel, insignificant heavy weaponry and armoured personnel carriers quantities (13 BTR- 80) has an actual combat potential score equal to 78.2 points and, according to the Military Reform Concept, carries out auxiliary missions. Like the Border Guard Troops, the Gendarmerie personnel are not trained to conduct infantry combat.
The heavy weapons shortage, as well as the tasks faced by the Gendarmerie and Border Guard Troops allow the assertion that their inclusion in the AFRM structure has little influence upon the AFRM military potential, which will be directly used for conducting defensive operations. And only indirectly will they influence the Armed Forces combat capacities, because the combat units will not distract part of their forces for a routine frontline maintenance, keeping law and order in the region, and annihilation of possible paramilitary and terrorist groups of the enemy.
Nevertheless, the total military potential of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Moldova has a score of 779.5 points, thus the ratio of forces with the Trans- dnistrian Armed Forces plus ROGT forces is of 1 to 1.93. As a summary, the global ratio gives guarantees of protection against an invasion, but certainly not against an armed conflict that already have certain spontaneous occurrence probability, as it happened in 1992.
Thus, the extensive way to increase the military potential of the Armed Forces (more precisely, to increase the numerical structure without essential changes in the approach of combat training and preparation, as well as the necessary heavy weapon and equipment reserves for the Gendarmerie and Border Guard Troops) does not result in an appreciable increase in the AFRMs combat capacities.
Therefore, the inclusion of the Gendarmerie and Border Guard Troops in the Armed Forces structure actually does not increase the countrys capacity to guarantee the counteract and repelling of a sudden aggression. Moreover, the mobilisation of the Armed Forces, the mobilisation of the entire country, for the purpose to increase the combat capacities designated to counteract an invasion (a measure that should be carried out under exceptional circumstances) does not result in a considerable increase of the AFRM combat capacities. The absence of armaments and military equipment explains this particular situation. The shortage of resources cancels out all efforts directed towards increasing the AFRM combat potential. So, according to experts estimations, the personnel mobilization re- source of the Republic of Moldova consists of 100-150,000 individuals; by the way, this resource will be reduced, due to the fact that the annual training of profes- sional military personnel will be reduced in time together with the National Armys effective force reduction. However, the states possibilities to arm and equip the mobilized personnel are limited to about 40-50,000 individuals. Heavy weapons, military equipment, mobile air defence systems for newly formed military units practically do not exist. Certainly, sending unarmed, newly trained military units into combat, unprotected from the air, is nonsense, even a criminal act, because they will be killed in a very short time.
This implies that the basic efforts during the military reform should be di- rected towards the creation of arms and military equipment stocks necessary for strengthening military units during mobilization. Simultaneously, it is necessary to undertake measures for consolidating the Gendarmerie and the Border Guard units by providing them with heavy weapons and equipment under exceptional circumstances period, a fact that will give these troops the opportunity to use them in defensive infantry operations. This will raise considerably the AFRMs combat capacities in wartime.
Creation of the necessary material stocks requires significant financial re- sources. The approved Military Reform Concept provides for allocation of about 0.7 % of the state budget for defence purposes in the year 2000, with further increase up to 2.5 % by 2012. However, it is possible already to assert that the respective provision of the Concept is not implemented, and to assume, highly accurately, that it will be not implemented in the future either. The fact that in 2000, when the state budget was of approximately 19 billion Moldovan Lei, less than 65 million lei were allotted for defence, out of 133 million Moldovan Lei, as it had been planned is an argument for this statement. Having an estimated state budget of approximately 21-23 billion lei in 2001, the Ministry of Defence was allotted only 74 million lei, out of the168-184 million lei planned.
These facts lead to the conclusion that it is useless for us to expect the state to provide financial assistance along the implementation of the military reform.
Consequently, the implementation of certain provisions of the Military Reform Concept, especially in those areas where high expenses are required, is in the doubt and, most probably, will not be accomplished..
There is no doubt, in such a situation, the National Army has to rely on its own resources, and to start from the assumption that at least the Ministry of Defence budget will not be decreased and will be kept adjusted to inflation at the level of 2001. This objective, namely keeping the level of financing, is a respon- sibility of the minister of defence as a member of the government and as officially appointed person in charge with the National Armys material and technical maintenance. Civilian ministers of defence of other states are responsible at least for this issue, in addition to others
Once again, a traditional question appears: what has to be done? Is it necessary to take money for covering the expenses of the military reform, which are more or less precisely provided for the second and third stage of the reform?
In 1999, an army mathematical model was created in the National Armys Main Headquarters, with assistance provided by representatives of the US Depart- ment of Defence,. A math model containing real data the basic model was produced. Based on this basic model, two versions of structure of the National Army were prepared. The mathematical model allowed the determination of the National Armys real status. It gave the possibility to mathematically accurately determine the requirements of financial and material resources, and to make a forecast of a potential situation of the army, in case the financing approach is not changed.
The overall objective of the drafted scenario for a five-six year period is to increase the mission capable combat potential score, without getting additional resources from the state reserve. According to the scenarios, the financial re- sources for implementation of measures aimed at increasing the combat potential should be received from the sale of MiG-29 aircrafts. For these calculations the existing legislation was taken into account, which provides that only 30 % of allotted financial resources could be distributed to the Ministry of Defence for technical maintenance, current needs, for purchase of new weaponry and military equipment, and armaments and military equipment modernization. Thus, approxi- mately 9 million USD can be used to implement all measures necessary to in- crease the National Armys combat potential.
Scenario # 1 assumes that purchase of spare parts for armoured combat vehicles (ACV) and antitank weapons, as well as performance of all necessary repairs and technical services will increase the technical readiness ratio (TRR) up to 0.95-0.96 points within the next three years. The TRR increase will facilitate the increase of the National Armys mission capable combat potential score param- eters. The cost of the first scenario is of approximately USD 9 million, and it allows the carrying out of an ACV and equipment restoration program in three years, and an antitank equipment restoration program in two years.
The dynamics of ACV combat capacities, during and after completing the ACV and equipment restoration program, compared to the basic version of combat capacities is shown in the chart.
As it can be seen from the calculations, by 2003, the ACV combat potential will be increased by almost 100 points; that is especially important in the light of the necessity to increase the armys mobility. As for the armys high mobility requirements for a modern war, many studies have been conducted and this became an axiom already. Mobility, for the implementation of rapidly-developing missions, however, is especially important for the elimination of local conflicts.
Thus, the high mobility allows the neutralization of a conflict in its initial stage of development.
The Dynamics of the ACV Combat Capacity
Mission Capable Score (Ba- sic Variant)
Mission Capable Score (Vari- ant # 1)
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
0 100 200 300 400 500 700 600
Increasing antitank combat capacities is particularly important, due to the fact that the opposing side (with which the conflict occurrence probability is pretty high) has more than 130 battle-ready tanks and more than 250 ACVs available. The comparative analysis of dynamics between the combat potential score of the National Armys antitank equipment during and after the antitank equipment restoration program and the basic scenario shows an increase of the combat potential score by up to 20 points. The comparative curves shown on the diagram lead to the interpretation that, after the completion of the antitank equipment restoration program, their combat potential will be maintained at the level of 1998. This is explained by a residual financing principle that might be used for this program financing, meaning that the financial resources will be used for this program after implementation of the ACV restoration program. The antitank equipment combat potential dynamics is shown on the diagram
The general change in the National Army combat potential, as a conse- quence of implementing the measures foreseen by scenario # 1, and its compari- son to the combat potential, calculated for the basic scenario, are shown in the following chart:
The Dynamics of the National Armys Combat Potential
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1400 1200
MP value Actual Score (Variant # 1)
Mission Capable Score (Basic Variant)
Mission Capable Score (Variant
The Dynamics of Antitanc Equipment Combat Potential
Mission Capable Score (Ba- sic Variant)
Mission Capable Score (Vari- ant # 1)
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
0 50 100 150 200
Therefore, the performance of the programs planned by the first scenario allows an increase of the National Armys combat potential of more than 110
points by 2002 compared to the basic scenario. However, it is possible for us to keep the combat potential at this level (748 points), without increasing the Ministry of Defences budget, only for a 5-7 year period. The only reason is that the financial resources for completing the scheduled maintenance service both for current and medium-term repairs from the Ministry of Defences budget have not been assured for several years. Such practice will be barely changed for the following ten years and therefore, the scenario of equipment restoration is a single measure bringing a short-term improvement, and cannot maintain the combat potential to a high level for a long period. After implementing the pro- grams in 3-4 years, financial resources need to be allotted for the armaments and military equipment maintenance.
Scenario # 2 assumes the re-equipment of the eight MI-8 transport helicop- ters into combat versions, and through this, the antitank equipment combat potential will improve. In addition, the design and purchase of antitank, air defence, artillery, ACV simulators, will result in a reduction of expenses for combat training. It will also raise the National Armys combat potential and allow for the redirection of a part of the unused funds for replenishment of material stocks and purchase of armaments and military equipment. Thus, the second scenario envis- ages implementation of two three-year programs, including the MI-8 helicopter re- equipment program, and the armaments and military equipment simulators design and purchase program.
The dynamics of the National Armys combat capacities, as a result of imple- menting the measures provided by scenario # 2 compared to the basic scenario and scenario # 1 are shown in the chart.
The second scenario is better, both from the point of view of the combat potential absolute value (it will be raised up to 815 points), and from the army development perspective. If the first scenario envisages financial resources for armaments and military equipment restoration that will for sure increase the combat potential for a given term (5-7 years), the second scenario provides for the investment of funds in long-term programs.
The Dynamics of the National Army Combat Capabilities
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1400 1200
Actual Score (Variant # 2) Mission Capable Score (Basic Vari- ant)
Mission Capable Score (Variant # 1) Mission Capable Score (Variant # 2)
Using the created training basis, the National Army personnel will have a training facility for a long term (between 20 and 30 years). The combat potential will grow also as a result of the increased level of combat training The first scenario is more applicable in case of invasion or threat of military conflict as an investment of resources for a rapid achievement of the purposes in a short period of time. Such a threat does not exist now, and, consequently, the second sce- nario is more appropriate.
Scenario # 3 implies the transfer of the focus from creating the National Army on creating a peacekeeping brigade, which would ensure the Republic of Moldovas participation in peacekeeping operations at a battalion level. Inclusion of a peacekeeping battalion in international operations for peace maintenance should be carried out according to the Law on participation of the Republic of Moldova in International Peacekeeping Operations (¹1156-XIV) adopted by the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova on July 26, 2000.
Estimations made by the Ministry of Defence experts show that one peace- keeping battalion is capable to earn up to 15-17 million US dollars per year.
Certainly, such estimations are a little bit exaggerated, but, nevertheless, it is quite possible to get funds of up to 10-13 million US dollars; for instance, Ukraine gets annually funds within this range. The Ministry of Defence With could raise about 7-10 million US dollars per year, in addition to its budgeted funds, as expenses for strengthening the battalion with equipment, the equipments repairs and restoration, and for keeping the battalion in an area of a peacekeeping operation.
These financial resources would be possible to direct, for the first three years, for implementing the armament and military equipment restoration programs, and for the training basis development, as it was mentioned in scenarios # 1 and # 2.
Thus, about four million US dollars would be possible to use annually for main- tenance of welfare programs, housing facilities, increase of the National Armys personnel benefits, growth of the militarys salary, etc. After three years, it would be possible to begin updating material stocks, and to implement the National Armys re-equipping programs, as provided in the Military Reform Concept. Thus, for the peacekeeping battalions preparation, at the first stage, and the peace- keeping brigade preparation at the second stage, financial resources are possible to obtain from the sales of the MiG-29 aircrafts.
For this period of time, maintenance of a combat potential at a level ranging between 700 and 800 points is quite enough to deter any potential aggressive actions of the self proclaimed state (Transdnistria).
The first three scenarios presume constant geopolitical conditions. And, as an essential element, the self proclaimed Moldavian Transdnistrian Republic and ROGT exist on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. The quite close presence of the separatist self-proclaimed state, which tries to get out of control of the Republic of Moldova, and the presence on its territory of the armed forces that are barely considered as being friendly to the Republic of Moldova, compels the
maintenance of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Moldovas combat potential at a level ensuring the counteract of any aggression.
Changes in the geopolitical situation, however, are possible and will allow for a reduction of expenses for maintaining the National Armys combat potential.
Using these savings will make a possible solution of numerous problems, which have been accumulated because of insufficient defence financing.
Scenario # 4 presumes the ROGT withdrawal from Transdnistria based on political goodwill. In case of implementing the ROGT withdrawal agreement, the Transdnistrian combat potential will be reduced to 580 points that will allow for the lowering of National Armys combat potential down to 400-500 points.
The combat potentials reduction can be achieved through the following steps:
reduction of all brigades, except for only one complete motorised infantry brigade, a Special Forces Battalion and a peacekeeping unit. In peacetime, re- duced brigades will only have personnel for headquarters and protection detach- ment. Armaments and military equipment should be preserved for a long term.
The training centre should be created in the premises of a brigade. Thus, the National Armys numerical structure can be reduced to 6000 individuals. That will cut down expenses for the maintenance of personal structures (without expenses for utilities) by 15-20 million lei per year.
in order to reduce expenses allotted for combat training in active military units, soldiers should only be allowed to be sent, after passing a basic military training, to the training centre, where the above mentioned simulators are to be used. Additionally, it is necessary to provide three-month training in the train- ing centre for the personnel of the Gendarmerie and Border Guard Troops, where they will be trained for infantry field combat;
getting rid of the out-of-date weaponry and military equipment, which restoration requires significant expenses, and their subsequent selling. All funds obtained from sales could be directed towards replenishing the material stocks and creating the reserves intended for mobilization of the Armed Forces and conducting the first-wave defence operations; part of the funds could be allotted for maintenance and implementation of the Armed Forces building plan, accord- ing to the Military Reform Concept.
The calculations show that, getting rid of the Uragan mobile rocket launch system (11 units), as the operational life of these rockets expires in 2001 or earlier, and the MiG-29 aircraft, will result in a lowering of the combat potential down to 530 points. That will ensure the counteract of any aggression or keeping a pos- sible conflict with Transdnistria under control.
Diminishing the obligatory military service term from 18 months to 12 months will automatically increase human mobilization resources by 30%, and, taking in consideration the reduction of the National Army personnel structure down to 6000 individuals, the annually trained number of human mobilization resources will stay at the same level. The scenario of preparing a peacekeeping battalion re- mains valid. The rotation of battalions should be made once every half a year