Ani Goderdzishvili, presa.ge
The ministry of defense does not have program for the training of reserve army and the National Guardia does not have commander. Despite that, the ministry of defense with Bacho Akhalaia as a minister started call up for the reserve army. The reservists took corresponding medical examination in Vaziani military base. However, the reservists said that only small part of soldiers took medical examination.
“We gathered on the stadium and then they took us to Vaziani military base. I took medical examination but most recruits could not take it. The reason was end of the working day and the remaining people were called for examination next day. Military department of the district administrations called one part of the boys and gave summons to them.
“I was personally called up by phone-call and they said I would have to pay fine unless I go to the army; otherwise I would be punished under the law – I would be imprisoned,” said a reservist who took medical examination but could not join reserve army yet. He was promised to be called up later.
It is noteworthy that military-reserve service has been permanently changed since 2004. After the war in August of 2008 the fate of the reserve army has been unclear. On July 21, 2010 the parliament of Georgia introduced amendments to one of the articles in the Law on Military-Reserve Service; according to the amendments a soldiers shall serve in reserve army for 45 days instead initial 18 days.
The amendment to the law deals with the healthy males from 27 to 40 years old who will be recruited to the reserve army for no more than 45 days per year. However, they shall not necessarily be in the place of deployment. The service might divide into two or three –week periods of time and reservists will have to serve in the army several times a year.
Besides that, according to the law, the ministry of defense shall in advance announce the place and date of recruiting procedures and number of reservists. However, the minister of defense did not do that.
Military experts state recruiting of reservists in secret is incredible and blame the defense ministry in breaching the law. The officials of the ministry do not confirm the allegation and claim that everything is done in compliance with the law.
Presa.ge asked the officials of the ministry why they did not publish announcement about the place and date of recruiting for military reserve service and about the number of reservists but nobody replied to the question at the press-center. Neither the members of the defense and security committee of the parliament have information about it.
Military expert Kakha Katsitadze doubts there are some financial interests behind secret recruiting of reservists. “I doubt it is done for some other profit. Reservists will pay bribes to the local officials to discharge them from military service. It has very primitive explanation. And of course, it is illegal. A concrete person is authorized to implement every single resolution and s/he is responsible for it. We do not have similar person in regard with reserve army. The National Guardia does not have commander who can be responsible for it. Of course, interim commander cannot feel himself authorized enough. For example, interim commander is captain and I do not think he will be ready to give directives to colonels or vice-colonels. A commander was to be appointed within a month and several months have passed already. I cannot say where reservists are taken because I do not know what kind of reserve we have.”
Military expert Giorgi Melitauri thinks it is too early to speak about financial machinations but it is interesting what was the basis for recruiting soldiers when there was no corresponding decree of the minister? Melitauri thinks that it is violation of the law.
“In this case the defense ministry breached the law. Moreover, it is very easy to work out the resolution. It is usual process and the department of the National Guardia had to prepare the draft resolution regarding the reserve and military training which could be discussed by every department within one week. Afterwards, the head of the general HQ would have issued visa on the resolution and finally the minister would have signed it. I do not know why it was not done. It is fact that the resolution was not prepared yet. So, it is serious offence,” said Melitauri.
The military expert added that despite two-year-long attempt the reserve system has not been completed yet. “The only amendment to the reserve military service was increase of training period from 18 to 45 days. There is no information about the goals of the program or the number of the reservists. When you do something without concrete goals, it cannot have any results,” said Giorgi Melitauri in his interview with the presa.ge.
Military-political reporter Giorgi Tavdgiridze stated that defense policy is not well-developed in the country; the principles of the defense policy are not worked out; the methodology of the instruments for the safety activities in the country is not clarified yet.
”The problem is that several state institutions, which are entitled to lead defense policy, do not work. Reserve is very important service but it is only one part of the defense policy. It is not bad that local self-governmental agencies work on it, recruit young people and clarify the lists of recruits.
“You know that reserve army has not been properly controlled since 2008. They were not registered and consequently, the local self-governmental institutions try to somehow regulate those lists and have visual contact with reservists who are in Georgia, who can be contacted, etc. Mass mobilization of reservists does not happen in the armed forces nowadays; it is very restricted figure,” said Giorgi Tavdgiridze.