Pretošanās ukraiņu stilā -2

vara bungas: sākums šeit. J.Butusova organizēta konference par UA teritoriālo aizsardzību. Tikai sanāk, ka VB gadījumā šis ieraksts ir prequel nevis sequel sākotnējai ziņai, jo konference notika š.g. februārī, kad likums vēl nebija pieņemts. Runātāji bija ļoti interesanti (tostarp ģenerālis Krivonos), diemžēl saprotamā valodā ir tikai trīs uzstāšanās, kas ir tā vērtas, lai klausītos.

Ivans Saveljevs – ieročmeistars un viens no pirmajiem (2014.gada) brīvprātīgajiem no 01:33:00

Haraldas Daumantas – zemessargs par Lietuvas Strēlnieku Savienību no 01:51:00

Aleksejs Lapins – darba grupas loceklis,kas gatavoja UA TA likumu no 03:23:00

Kopumā ņemot UA sastopas ar ļoti līdzīgām problēmām, kas joprojām piemīt arī mūsu ZS, galvenā atšķirība – ukraiņi un lietuvieši atzīst, ka TA vienības nekaros motorizēto vai mehanizēto bataljonu līmenī (kur nu vēl brigāžu – VB), miera lāikā tie ir mācību centri, kas paralēli OMD, dažādās pakāpēs gatavo brīvprātīgo mobilizācijas rezervi regulārai armijai un speciālistus irregulārām partizānu apakšvienībām. Ja pārnesam šo principu uz mūsu ZS, tad bataljoni beidz tēlot vienību štābus un pārtop par mācību centru administrāciju (instruktori, S1, S4 un komandieris), zs tiek iedalīti pēc aktivitātes un vecuma un tikai aktīvākie un gados jaunākie tiek tuvināti PD līmenim ar plašu pielietojuma spektru, parējie apgūst visu veidu atbalsta uzdevumu veikšanu, bet kā apakšvienības tiek gatavoti faktiski vienai kaujai pēc kuras viņu uzdevums skaitīsies izpildīts. Izdosies ilgāk pakarot – mērķis būs sasniegts un pārsniegts.

16 domas par “Pretošanās ukraiņu stilā -2

  1. Oh man, I wish I could translate this whole article:
    Maybe I will write a general synopsis if I can find some time. The article talks about the development of the Defence League/Territorial Defence of Estonia. Lets just say that it has not been smooth sailing even up to today. The trouble is that pretty much nobody has properly understood what purpose or role the Defence League should play during a conflict. The new commander has decided to go back to the roots of the organization because previous ideas don’t seem to have worked.

    Another interesting thing is that current Territorial Defence (the active part of Defence League during war) includes 6500 members, which is to be raised to 9000. I think it illustrates the disparity between membership numbers and actual fighting capacity quite well. It is one thing to have some members in your organization, however, it is quite another thing to give them a proper task and equip them for it.

    • The title of the article is “The third coming of territorial defence”. In essence, it dissects previous attempts at organizing the Defence League and the failures to achieve the established goals.
      Inspiration for the article came from a public back and forth discussion between the former Defence League commander, Meelis Kiili, and the current Defence League Headquarters commander, Eero Rebo. In essence, Kiili isn’t happy with the fact that the new leaders have decided to stop trying to build separate Regional Defence District headquarters (there were four main regions) and are focusing on malev’s (a sort of regional unit) instead. The reason why they are doing this is because it has been extremely difficult to find personnel for the headquarters and a lot of effort goes into trying to man them.
      The author then explains that the real issue with territorial defence is the need to develop capabilities for dispersed combat activity. In fact, this is nothing new because this issue has been on the table pretty much from the beginning of the organization. However, with each new commander comes a new direction and development of the Defence League has been constantly dithering between these directions.
      So, to explain a bit of the background of this issue and Defence League itself. The first mention of the concept of territorial defence goes back to 1995, when (at the time Colonel) Ants Laaneots wrote an article outlining the idea as part of Estonias “total defence”. By his ideas, the Defence Forces would form a general purpose force, which is armed and trained by the best standards. The purpose of such a force would be to directly fight with the aggressor wherever they would try to break in and liberating the territories that have been occupied. The purpose of the Territorial Defence would be to secure the rear of the Defence Forces, fighting with the enemies recconnaissance and deployable units, and conducting guerrilla warfare in the rear areas of the enemy. Laaneots also managed to outline the principles of combat for territorial defence units, which broke away of the conventional fighting principles.
      In 1996, those ideas even managed to find their way into the Estonian Defence Policy. Defence League received its general goals. Laaneots continued to expand his ideas and refine them. In his thoughts, the only way to defend such a small country like Estonia was to unite the whole nation behind this goal. In that sense, territorial defence would not only utilize the members of the Defence League, but would also mobilize reservists (note the importance of conscription in such a plan). The goal was to increase the size of territorial defence by at least two-fold. With his concepts, Laaneots drew a lot of influence from historical practices, including from the finns, swedes, afghans, chechens and even from Yugoslavias Territorial Defense. The main idea was that the whole nation participates in the defence of the country. According to him, Territorial defence would need to be decentralized, regional, divided into equal parts of combat forces and internal security forces, and practice dispersed combat activities/guerrilla warfare.
      Despite a comprehensive (and even politically approved) concept, the ideas were never actually implemented. Instead, since the beginning of the 2000’s, the Defence League was developed in the opposite direction. Training of guerrilla warfare fell into the background and the organization steered towards a more conventional approach to combat. In addition, four main malev’s were established (similar to the more recent Regional Defence District approach – think of them as brigades). Unfortunately this approach never worked. It was just too difficult and unsensible to establish such large units with volunteers. Also, this reform might have been one of the reasons why the number of volunteers decreased during that period. Some officers expressed the opinion that the largest unit that could be employed effectively with volunteers was a company with additional combat support elements. By 2005 it was clear that the current direction had reached a dead end.
      In 2006, Ants Laaneots was assigned the commander of the Defence Forces. Without too much deliberation, in 2007, he issued an order to develop an action plan for the Defence League. The order itself pretty much outlined a new doctrine for territorial defence. In the order he admits that the potential of the Defence League has not been utilized to the fullest and that establishment of regional battalions has not worked out. In addition to the new tasks of the Defence League, Laaneots also determined the types of vital governmental and military objects and tasked the Defence League Headquarters with compiling a list of such objects and assigning units for their protection. However, for various unknown (or untalked about) reasons, which the author of the article declines to speculate about (but probably could), these ideas did not reach their potential either. As a side note, I personally would hazard a guess that part of the reason was the economic decline, and another reason might have sat on a ministerial chair. I have certainly heard some personal anecdotes (no, not the funny kind) about that period from people who used to work in the ministry. Anyway, by the end of Laaneotsa’s tenure in 2011, the goals he set were not reached.
      Despite a new National Defence Strategy, which in principle carried similar ideas that Laaneots had expressed, the ship had sailed. The Defence League had been moving more and more towards convetional combat training with conventional units. This period is also characterized by the stratification of Defence League units. There were “green” combat units, which received better and more equipment, and “yellow” internal security units, which got only scraps. Because of the lack of instructors, the “green” units also received better training, wich increased the disparity between the “yellow” units even further, even though there were roughly 2-3 times more of them.
      A new commander brought a new era and a new approach to the organization of the Defence Forces and Defence League. The Defence League was tasked with the establishment of Regional Defence Districts and a separate Territorial Defence Headquarters. However, the plans didn’t have nearly enough detail to create a new direction for the Defence League. Instead, it was up to the Defence League itself to figure things out and hence things continued roughly on the same route – meaning preparations for conventional combat roles.
      The new commander of the Defence League, Meelis Kiili, admitted that he needed a lot more experienced personnel to man these new formations, around 40 people with 15-20 years of staff work experience. Clearly, such men don’t grow on trees, thus most of the energy and attention was spent on trying to get these headquarters manned and working. Because of that, training of actual units suffered. The new direction received a lot of criticism from former officers and also the former EDF commander, though nothing really came of it. In general, not much changed. The divison between “green” and “yellow” units remained and so did the conventional approach.
      In 2018, a new commander took the helm of the Defence Forces, and in 2019, the Defence League also received a new commander – Riho Ühtegi. I have shed some light on him in my previous post, but is worth reiterating. He is the former commander of ESTSOF. Actually, not just the the former commander, but also the establisher of the unit. He has a heavy special forces background and definitely has experience in dealing with insurgencies and guerrilla warfare. He is well respected in military circles and for good reasons (so is EDL HQ commander Eero Rebo for that matter). Anyway, in a short matter he decided to return the Defence League to its roots. Which kind of makes sense, since he was one of the re-establishers of the Defence League in the 90’s. He grew up within those roots and was technically a part of them. But I digress. Ühtegi has decided to put focus on individual companies – both combat and internal security units. The division between the capable “greens” and less capable “yellows” has changed, now all combat units are “green” and internal security units are “white”, with corresponding equipment and tasks. All units are also training in dispersed combat activities. Soon there should be a handbook which details the essentials of dispersed combat activity, small-unit tactics, and internal security techniques. The author admits that it is too early to tell whether the new direction will prove to be fruitful or not. It is clear that steering this ship, which has been sailing on the conventional warfare trails for a long time, will be quite difficult and time-consuming. The way of thinking in the military isn’t going to change overnight.
      In his conclusion, the author outlines some of the issues, which have stifled the development of the Defence League.
      Firstly, the overemphasis on headquarters and officers instead of goal-oriented training of the volunteers. Due to the fact that volunteers are quite different from professional soldiers and conscripts, they require a significantly different approach. They require more autonomy.
      Secondly, the lack of trust in volunteers. Like mentioned, they are not conscripts and don’t have the same motivations nor do they lack initiative. It is worth trusting in their ability to organize themselves. Mission command principle fits with the concept of a volunteer organization much better.
      Thirdly, the strict adherence to conventional warfare principles. One size does not fit all and this sort of rigid thinking prevents from analysing what is actually necessary and effective. Once that is realized, it might be possible to see the real potential of our national defence.

      I think the author brings out a poignant allegory to this whole thing. He says that territorial defence is not a nail, with which to press quickly through the enemy, but a screw, which will slowly turn itself into the enemy and won’t let go until the opponent is overcome with pain and desperation.

      In the end, the author emphasizes that is important to have an open mind in order to avoid re-making past mistakes and failures, to achieve success, and to retain that success.

      • “the only way to defend such a small country like Estonia was to unite the whole nation behind this goal. In that sense, territorial defence would not only utilize the members of the Defence League, but would also mobilize reservists (note the importance of conscription in such a plan). ”
        We noted the importance of conscripts, but in our case reserve consists of former professionals (many of them old as Munamagi) and used-to-be homeguards. Another source gonna be school kids after two weeks in boy scouts camp. Rest of nation is not qualified for task.

      • Discussion about failures to achieve set objectives is unheard of in LV. According to state audit office official statements, defence objectives have been found to be adjusted post factum to match the outcomes.

      • Aitäh
        Were there any noticable policy shifts after 2014 ukraine events? Or only after commander change in 2018?

        • On the political level? Perhaps. More focus was put on military spending, receiving foreign support and developing infrastructure. On the military side? Not significantly. The EDF was already in the middle of changing its organizational structure since the 2012 reform, and the so called “broad concept of security”, which was introduced in around 2010, was already being implemented on some levels. In that sense, there was no need for another shift. The main policy was already aligned with the threat perspectives and the events in Ukraine didn’t come as a huge surprise because the events in Georgia had already set the precedent.
          Unlike Latvia and Lithuania, we didn’t need to increase our military budget significantly (only the cost of receiving foreign forces was added on top) and we already had functioning conscription. So basically, the main policies were already correctly in place.

  2. Oh yeah, in addition, it is no coincidence that the current commander of Defence League is the former commander of ESTSOF. He has quite a bit of experience in fighting insurgency AND organizing local resistance. I recommend looking up what ESTSOF did in Afghanistan and how effective it was. Again, the focus on military support has been an organic and effective direction for the organization. “Force multiplier” is also not a coincidental term. Having to do a lot with very little is a complicated task.

  3. tad bataljoni beidz tēlot vienību štābus un pārtop par mācību centru administrāciju (instruktori, S1, S4 un komandieris) (c)
    Reāli tā jau arī ir 🙂 tikai to tēlošanu vajadzētu pārnest uz esošo brigādi 🙂 ļoti normāla mācību bāze 🙂

    • īstam štābam jāspēj bez atlaidēm ka pulkstenim kapāt 24/7 kaujas apstākļos vismaz mēnesi (sākot labi pirms iesaistīšanās kaujasdarbībā). Reāli kuram štābam ir tāda cilvēkresursu kapacitāte? Un vai vajag, ja daļu personāla aizkomandēs, daļa veiks ne pārāk sarežģīas un paredzamas darbības.


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