Dear soldiers and sergeants, officers and generals, veterans of the Armed Forces, distinguished compatriots!
I have great delight to earnestly and cordially congratulate you on the remarkable date in the life of our nation – the Day of Motherland Defenders, the 23rd anniversary of the establishment of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan!
Today we have every reason to assert that the path of building the modern democratic Uzbekistan has always been inseparably connected with the formation of the armed forces of the country, who attained tenacity in complicated circumstances in our surroundings and who have proved many times over that they have always been a reliable warrant of securing the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, the peaceful and harmonious life of our native land. It is no accident that the might and capabilities of any country is judged by the fighting efficiency and combat readiness of its armed forces.
In the process of shaping the military forces of the sovereign Uzbekistan we rejected a direct copying of the experience of the obsolete military organization we had inherited, and we took into comprehensive consideration the actual and real geostrategic and geopolitical circumstances, the nature of modern wars and armed conflicts, analyzed the peculiarities of the probable theaters of hostilities of the Central Asian region, and relied on our age-old national specifics and traditions.
By and large, the decisive prerequisite in the creation of our military has been an effective and consistent implementation of a gradual and interdependent program of reforms that is built on a profound examination and use of advanced international expertise in military organization, arrangement of service-combat activities of troops as well as the achievements of contemporary art of warfare.
In this context, our critical priority remains focused on the enhancement of interaction with defense ministries of other nations, with many of whom we have established and expanding mutually advantageous partnership relations, while plans of bilateral military and military-technical cooperation are being implemented.
In accordance with programs of building the armed forces, we have been persistently realizing measures in the modernization and re-equipment of the military with state-of-the-art weaponry and machinery, including air defense systems and helicopters, armored vehicles, artillery systems, communication means, individual and collective protection.
Indisputably, of imperative significance are the continuous efforts to perfect the systems of training military cadres in the Academy of Armed Forces, military high schools and those for training sergeants on the basis of cutting-edge methodologies that ensure the introduction of innovative forms and methods of teaching with the application of contemporary achievements in the sphere of advanced information and communication technologies into the process of learning.
In this sense it is essential to note that a big positive role in boosting the professional skills of officer and sergeant corps is attached to the profound study and adaptation of training systems and organization of duty activities of servicemen and women in the armies of leading countries around the world. Owing to the practical measures being realized in this realm, the officer corps has been steadily enlarging its world outlook and enhancing erudition, and has high professional and spiritual-moral qualities, commands logical thinking by active employment of nonconventional approaches in addressing the challenges it faces. Without any exaggeration, sergeants have become – not in words, but in practice – reliable and irreplaceable aides that officers can bank on, and caring mentors for the rank and file.
One of the principal tasks in defense organization remains the further advancement and perfection of the system of operational and combat training of command bodies and troops. Contemporary exercises are inherently distinct from those we used to conduct in the initial years of our national independence. From one year to another, the drills carried out in circumstances approximate to combat conditions as much as possible allow us to critically analyze the entire system of training combat forces, to evaluate the capabilities of each battalion and platoon as well as the feasibility and adequacy of chosen methods in fulfilling combat tasks from the viewpoint of interchangeability of units and command of related professional training fields by the personnel.
Of utmost significance is the extensive application of expertise garnered by us in the course of shaping and reforming the national armed forces in the arrangement of comprehensive and targeted works with all the categories of service people and pre-draft youths. Military service has been acquiring a special meaning for our younger generation; it is turning prestigious with the lapse of time. Its appeal owes not only to privileges being granted and the high level of social and material provision of the military service people, but also primarily due to the fact that the army has in fact become a school of life for our youths that nurtures courage, persistence, high sense of patriotism and the devoted love for the Motherland.
We can state with pride that during the independence years, an entire generation of young people has come to the forefront in Uzbekistan with comprehensive training and combat tenacity, willing to stand up for the defense of the native land at any time.
Of special importance is the implementation of government programs dedicated to provide the service men and women with housing and improve the social conditions of their living and service. Each military person who has devoted their lives to this audacious profession should be firmly confident in that their issues will not be left careless and that the wellbeing of their families is reliably guaranteed.
The year 2015, announced in our country as the one of attention and care for the senior generation, requires unconditional fulfillment of approved government decisions and state programs directed at boosting the material and social support for participants of war and veterans of the armed forces and at providing them with all-embracing concern and the basic human attention.
Today, many of our distinguished veterans and teachers continue to energetically take part in the development of the country by sharing their unique expertise and passing their knowledge on to the new generation of Motherland defenders.
We ought to always remember that the welfare of service people is the brightest indicator of the high prestige of military service in our country.
Assessing the situation unfolding today in our surroundings and far abroad, one cannot but recognize the substantial expansion of the spectrum of threats to international security and stability, namely, the prevalence of forceful approaches to addressing the emerging conflicts, the intensification of geopolitical rivalry for the control of mineral resources and communications, proliferation of nuclear technologies and weapons of mass destruction, growth of international terror forces and the ‘creeping expansion’ of extremism, escalation of interethnic and interreligious confrontation.
To our immense regret, we should admit that the mounting threats, tension and rows across various regions of the world have hardly been addressed peacefully. They have, on the contrary, been intensifying.
Withdrawal of International Security Assistance Forces from Afghanistan has become a serious trial for all the states of the Central Asian region. As the experience of Iraq suggests rather clearly, any emerging vacuum in Afghanistan may be filled with various destructive and terrorist groups capable of spreading their vicious influence to extensive areas of the region within a short period of time.
Nonconventional challenges have been changing the nature of international conflicts, and a considerable threat is posed currently by the information-psychological impact aimed at disrupting the foundations of our army, primarily with attempts of influencing its moral-ethical bases, along with the use of online technologies to implant disparaging ideas and notions in the consciousness of our youth, thoughts that utterly run counter to our rich and creative culture, spiritual values and traditions.
For this very reason, amid the intricate and unpredictable situation in the region and the world in general, I believe it is extremely crucial to maintain vigilance, not to give up to the sense of complacency with achievements, to continue with resolute efforts to further the reforms in the armed forces, bolster their readiness to bar any attempts at provoking tension along our borders, give a timely and worthwhile repulse to any aggressive actions directed against the development path we have opted for.
In this regard, it is imperative to stress again that the Republic of Uzbekistan has always been committed to principles of peaceful policy. Our military doctrine is of defensive nature, and the consolidation of the armed forces of the country is dedicated first and foremost to safeguard its state sovereignty, territorial integrity, peace and harmony in the nation. Our defense doctrine does not envisage the participation of our armed forces in hostilities and military operations beyond the borders of Uzbekistan.
On this festive day, I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart on the 23rd anniversary of the establishment of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan and extend my words of sincere gratefulness for the selfless service to all service people – privates and sergeants, officers and generals – as well as the veterans of the armed forces, civil specialists, and all those who have bound their destinies with the fulfillment of noble and responsible duty of defending the Motherland!
I wish you all a robust health, happiness and the best of luck in the year 2015!
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces