Military education reform in Belarus to take into account regional threats

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October 24, 2016 11:30

Belarus aims to step up the training of military officers, and provide the highest possible practical insight. This will require a major reform of the entire military education system and a large-scale human resource upgrade. Own efficient power potential may become the only factor, which could help ensuring Belarus’ neutrality.

On October 19th, 2016, President Lukashenka instructed the Defence Minister and the Security Council Secretary of State to review the system of officers’ training to meet the Belarusian army’s needs.

After the regional security crisis started in 2014, Minsk made proper conclusions from the Russo-Ukrainian war and undertook steps to strengthen the national defence and security. Initially, these measures focused on combat training, improving the organisation system and technical re-equipment (as far as finances permitted). Now Belarus is talking about the basics, i.e. training of officers. The president said that the existing military education system was not adapted to the modern warfare requirements.

In particular, President Lukashenka emphasised problems with the teaching staff, implying there should be no place for teachers with no practical experience or little experience in combat units. That said, such teachers make a lion’s share of the teaching staff, if not most. In addition, the president requested to put main emphasis on practical knowledge and training of future officers, which could be applicable in a real combat situation. Achieving this without upgrading the teaching staff is impossible.

Training is the basis for any system as it lays the foundations for its efficiency. Apparently, due to the crisis of the regional security system, the Belarusian authorities are transforming the national defence organisation. The Belarusian authorities do not count on the de-escalation of the confrontation between Russia and the West and Ukraine in the near future. Moreover, such confrontation could grow into a military conflict. Minsk has repeatedly emphasised its desire to maintain equidistance from the parties to a potential conflict, should it develop. That said, having own effective power potential could become the only factor, which could ensure the neutrality of Belarus.

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