General Serino: “The Russians are fighting like 30 years ago, but today you can’t win without technology”

The Army Chief of Staff speaks: planes and helicopters can’t resist the modern battlefield. Today that model no longer pays

General Pietro Serino, you are Army Chief of Staff, command over 90,000 men and women, you are a great expert in military planning, you know the war for a living and for having studied it for a long time during his training: what do you think of a clash we have been witnessing for two months in the heart of Europe?
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What do you feel like sharing in the analyzes that have been carried out in recent weeks?

“I was born as a deputy telecommunications officer, and periodically in my life I have had to update my knowledge on new technologies. Every war, ever since the ancient Romans waged, is based on the effectiveness of communications and technology. Russia’s versus Ukraine makes no difference, e the Russians may not have understood this all the way “.

What do you mean?

“I have an image: today the fighter-bombers of the past have been replaced by drones, the radio has been replaced by the satellite, let’s find out who are the new travel companions of a modern army. I think the fact that armored formations need to have been underestimated technology tools different from the pastand also for this reason today we can find ourselves in great difficulty ».

They had planned a blitzkrieg in the Kremlin and it didn’t.

“I believe that one of the most relevant considerations concerns precisely the new cyber and space areas, which perhaps are not decisive, but certainly play a decisive role: if they are unable to exploit access to cyber technology and the domination of space, modern armies they can get into great difficulty ».

Could this gap between the Russians make a difference in the long run?

“I seem to observe that at this moment the use of satellite systems and the use of drones is not balanced by the two contenders, the armored forces are protected with airplanes and helicopters that today are unable to survive the modern field of battle, also dominated by shoulder missiles, both counter-aircraft and counter-tanks. Air coverage today is too risky and therefore is not effective, and we are still witnessing a use of attack formations in classic mode, the one we knew in the 90s, so to speak I am referring to the Gulf War: today that model is not pay more “.

Does this mean that all analyzes on the numerical strength of the Russian army have a relative value?

“We have been discussing for weeks about the strength of the forces, of the tens of thousands of soldiers deployed, but little is known about the numerical entity and nature of the opponents on the field. Of course, the land must be manned, human resources remain fundamental both to defend a land and to conquer and maintain it, but the troops without the mastery of technological means eventually succumb, it is a classic rule, since the times of the Roman wars ” .

The Italian army turns 161 tomorrow. You are directing a very large transition of the armed means at your disposal. Is our army modern enough?

“In the last twenty years it has also been a flagship of our country, both inside and outside the national borders, also earning the trust of all our allies and the populations with whom we have come into contact. Now that we are faced with different missions, we must renovate the fleet of armored forces. We are working on it, investing not only in new tanks and helicopters, but above all in ammunition, an artillery system with great precision up to 70 kilometers. In the helicopter field we are leaving behind a park that dates back to the 1980s. The resources are there and I hope that Parliament, this one as well as the next, will continue to share the indications of Minister Guerini who believes in the need, for national strategic interests, for a necessary and effective modernization of the armed force, which I like to define. Army 4.0 “.

What do you think of the project for a European army, which has accelerated since the war in Ukraine?

«I believe that the key concepts are integration, interoperability and synergistic relationship between military forces and European industries. Our first mission is the defense of the Nation and its interests, the second is that of the defense of Euro-Atlantic interests. A fundamental cornerstone is that the two dimensions, NATO and European, continue to coexist, but with a military capability that is based on the non-duplication of military apparatuses, with a single set of forces that can operate under both organizations: this is a concept indispensable “.

Let’s go back to the ongoing war.

«The cyber dimension is now so pervasive that entrusting operations to individual armed forces becomes counterproductive, even with classic coordination. We need a joint approach, with a very strong centralization towards a single command of all operations, and I believe that in the Western world there is much more awareness of this ».

May 3, 2022 (change May 3, 2022 | 08:22)

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General Serino: “The Russians are fighting like 30 years ago, but today you can’t win without technology”


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