Friday’s NVO carried Gareev’s response to Makarov’s speech at the Military Science Academy. Or more accurately, it was his response to the reporting about the speech. Most of the text consisted of whining about how journalists have been misreporting the tenor of Makarov’s remarks, that he wasn’t actually criticizing the academy, but simply pointing out the various problems that beset the military and defense industry. What’s more Gareev argued that most of the problems discussed by Makarov do not fall under the purview of military science in any case.
After that start, Gareev pretty much just kow-tows to Makarov, talking about how members of the academy understand that they are to some extent to blame for the deficiencies in military science described by Makarov. It gets better by the end though, with Gareev complaining that the military hasn’t given the academy any assignments for 2011. In the last couple of paragraphs, he’s practically begging for something for the academy to do, promising that if the military were willing to give its members another chance to present their ideas, their experience and creativity would benefit the military’s transformation.
It all seems quite pathetic, really. Gareev had an illustrious career in the Soviet military. He is considered to be Russia’s greatest living military theoretician and has headed the academy since its founding in 1995. But he’s 87 years old. His formative years were during World War II and network-centric warfare didn’t come into existence until he was well into his sixties. So it’s not surprising that he’s not up on the latest in war-fighting theory. Perhaps it would be best if he were to retire and let someone younger and more familiar with the state of the art in military science run the academy?