He pointed out that any useful idea can be discredited if introduced without any real need, and when a useful idea is used for cheap populism, it is discredited completely. According to Jamalyan, a number of the Armenian government’s proposals are of a cheap populist nature.
Jamalyan said he approved of voluntary military service for women, but it would be worth paying attention to more urgent problems now. “At a time when there are unresolved basic problems in the army, it is inexpedient to go for deep reforms,” he said.
There are many problems to be resolved, from the arms supplies to the problem of reinforcing the army with lower and middle-ranking officers. He also called for stimulating contract service and developing military education.
“To stimulate contract service in the army, we should not inflate the patrol service, this institution of freeloaders, but channel this money to pay contract soldiers and make this type of service more attractive. Money should be spent on military education,” Jamalyan added.
According to him, the Armenian authorities only want to distract the public by showing that they are allegedly taking measures to improve the combat readiness of the army, while in reality they are doing nothing. “If you want to restore the army’s combat capabilities, make it strong enough to really be able to impose peace on the enemy, you have to address other issues,” the expert said.
As part of the army reform, serious funds will be spent on building new infrastructure, but the need for that kind of spending is questionable, Jamalyan believes.
“The authorities are merely imitating the restoration of the army, trying to divert the people’s attention. In a relatively peaceful time, it makes sense to go for bold reforms, but now there are many unresolved basic issues,” he stressed.
On April 21, the Armenian government approved a package of bills to amend the law “On Military Service and the Status of Servicemen” and the law “On Defense”. Defense Minister Suren Papikyan said that a system of “mandatory military service on a voluntary basis” for female citizens was proposed. Women are expected to receive a payment of 1 million drams (210,000 rubles) upon completion of service.