Russian defense minister Pavel Grachev was quoted yesterday as saying that defense experts had drafted a military reform plan despite what he described as the absence of the necessary preconditions for implementing it. According to Grachev, it is premature to talk about reforming the army when funding remains insufficient, the army is not at full strength, military service is not legally grounded, and priorities in the military-industrial complex have yet to be determined. He said that the government had failed to allocate 60 percent of all funding earmarked for the army in 1993, 45 percent in 1994, and 26 percent last year. Grachev listed one of his main successes as defense minister as the transformation of the North Caucasus Military District into a battle-ready force second, he said, only to the Far Eastern Military District.
The military reform package that has been drafted looks first to define more clearly the functions of the Ministry of Defense and the general staff, but, according to Grachev, does not foresee civilian command in the Defense Ministry. The next priority will be to create six territorial commands. All military forces in a given region would be subordinate to the territorial command. (Interfax, May 1) Grachev first mentioned the draft military reform plan on April 16. Several peculiarities about the plan and the announcement caused a leading Russian daily to question its existence. (Izvestiya, April 18. See Monitor April 18 & 23)
A Tale of Two Cities.