Even invalids can make war for 800 thousand laris10.02.2011 | 20:19
A rush season started for the Georgian Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure: spring draft is in full swing. It looks like the officers of the ministry are having a hard time, so Tbilisi parliamentarians decided to cancel the medical commission for 16-year-old boys who undergo military registration for the fist time in order to facilitate the tough bureaucratic workdays. The curious initiative of the deputies who reckon to save over 800 thousand laris for the budget was discussed by GeorgiaTimes correspondent with Georgian military expert Gia Melitauri.
"In accordance with the order of Ministry of Defense, 4,5 thousand draftees are to join the army this year. This amount is enough, for the autumn draft provided 7,5 thousand recruits, - journalists were told by head of the military administration Ramaz Nikolaishvili at a briefing dedicated to the start of the draft. - The number of those wishing to join the army ranks significantly exceeds the required quota".
The fact that young Georgians are eager to get under generals' protection may hardly surprise anyone if we remember the catastrophic level of unemployment in the country. Better lead a modest life on a soldier's state allowance than vainly camp on the doorstep of the employment office. But the flow of Georgians wishing to fulfill their duty to the country is so great that there are no resources for the initial military registration of gfsenior high school students in the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure.
In all appearances, this was the idea that members of the parliamentary health care committee were guided by when submitting an amendment to the law "On military duty and service" for the lawmakers' consideration. Changes will concern the procedure of checking fitness for military service for the citizens of the country who undergo military registration for the first time. The draft law has already been read. When it is passed, military and medical experts of the commission will examine young people only after a decision about their military draft is taken. In the opinion of acting parliamentary secretary of the Georgian president Irakly Gordiladze, the draft law adoption will enable to facilitate the procedure of the boys' registration and reduce budget costs.
What can be said here? Tbilisi parliamentarians have got a nice idea but in their fit of well-wishing they must have forgotten an old saying about what is paved with good intentions. They demonstrated once again that the Georgian political elite is guided by short-time interests without caring for the country's strategic development. Anyway, that was the conclusion made by Georgian military expert Gia Melitauri, to whom GeorgiaTimes correspondent turned for comments.
"It is good that the draft law does not imply medical commission that would examine a draftee directly. The law concerns medical examination that is to check the state of health of the designated personnel, I mean 16-year-old young people undergoing military registration for the first time. No one is going to draft invalids, one-legged, blind and others into the army, - Georgian analyst remarked. - As far as I know, the cancellation of medical commission is justified by cost cutting, which is more important for the state than the opportunity to define two years before the draft whether a young man is fit for the army or not and register him. In two years, he will have to undergo medical commission anyway, right before the draft. On one hand, it might be justified by budget cost saving but it is absolutely inadmissible from the military standpoint, for the operational and mobilization departments of the armed forces at any levels or at the General Staff at least must consider the draft potential for the next two years. That's a necessary aspect of the military construction strategic planning. But they evidently decided that it's better to save money than embark on perspective military planning".
It looks like the financial situation is critical indeed if the officials are trying to save money in all possible ways. But that's not the saddest point. According to Gia Melitauri, the tendency of being guided by political environment is typical not only of the officials in charge of the military draft organization.
"Unfortunately, today, many decisions are taken according to this very moment's demand, on the spot, when there is a real benefit, for instance, a benefit from saving budget means and no one wants to do his work properly. PR-actions are often held in prejudice of the country's long-term interests. Now the saving of not very large sums of money will negatively affect long-term military planning", - the military expert complained.