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    RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER: GENERAL STAFF REQUIRES RESTRUCTURING

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    MOSCOW, 24 January. /RIA Novosti /. Russian defense minister Sergei Ivanov stated at a meeting of the Academy of Military Sciences that governing bodies of the Russian General staff required significant restructuring.

    The minister stated that "first of all, Main operative directorate, General organizational and mobilization directorate and Main Intelligence directorate required restructuring and improvement for only through increased efficiency of those intellectual components the General staff could play the role of the Army's "brain".

    According to him, the General Staff did not only work out principle decisions on matters of military security of the state, construction and development of its Armed forces but also was forced to become engaged in their implementation and to exercise control over certain operations.

    The minister stressed that "all that objectively diminished the performance level and resulted in the situation when brilliant ideas were far from often transformed into the best results." Ivanov stressed that the "General Staff had to really become the "Army's brains" to fully correspond to the famous definition given to that body by Soviet Union Marshall Shaposhnikov.

    The minister pointed out that many people were reproaching the General staff management for spending excessive amount of time on administrative matters and routine management of troops.

    Ivanov stated: "I have to definitely state that these reproaches are unfair. Until recently the General staff acted in accordance with the realities which emerged in the country and in the Defense ministry and they, frankly speaking, were not favorable." In his opinion, in order to ensure survival of the Armed forces the General staff had to undertake excessive administrative and managerial functions, sometimes to the detriment of its principle objectives.

    Ivanov explained that by the situation, which existed at that time and stated that "the fact that the troops maintained their combat capabilities should be credited to the General staff activity." According to him, the contemporary situation demands comprehensive strengthening of the role of the General staff. The minister stressed that "such strengthening should, first of all, be achieved through more precise definition of functions and objectives assigned to the higher bodies of military command.""

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