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        • Review by Aleksandar Fatić

          The handbook titled The Point of Security Sector Reform published by the Centre for Civil-Military Relations in Belgrade consists of three studies: "Project of Security Sector Reform" by Dr. Miroslav Hadžić, "Democratic Civilian Control of the Army - a Prerequisite for Security Sector Reform" by Milorad Timotić, and "Reform of the Police and Security Services in Serbia and Montenegro: achieved results and unfulfilled expectations" by Bogoljub Milosavljević.

          In the first study, the author Miroslav Hadžić discusses the theoretical aspects of reforming security structures, relations of the scope of reform in Serbia and Montenegro with the needs of European integration, and general problems, not only military, but also so called "human security" after the newest changes in the structure of security threats throughout the world, especially after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, September 11, 2001.

          Theoretically conceiving new structures of security threats, Hadžić is based upon world systemic premises of social theory of Immanuel Wallerstein, and argues that the process of globalisation deepens old and creates new divisions in the world community, as well as additionally dramatizing the contradiction between what is in the world systemic theory called "world centre" and "periphery". Hadžić writes so convincingly: "The bipolar world is being cemented asymmetrically - on the smaller pole, knowledge, power, wealth, security, and force is accumulating, and on the larger pole, ignorance, helplessness, insecurity, poverty and misfortune (…) From there, a free flow of people, goods, capital, and ideas remain (become) one way - from the centre to the periphery, while in the other direction, there are unsurpassable barriers" (p. 16).

          One of the main factors for the collapse of the security system with new globalisation processes is also the doubt that the existing "systems of collective and common security can respond well to new challenges, risks, and threats (…)". Hadžić investigates some of the newest political and security analyses of terrorism and so-called "war against terrorism" initiated by the administration of Bush junior. As an example, one of the present most influential analysts of the "war against terrorism", Richard Falk, in 2003, published a book titled The Great Terror War, Arris Books, Gloucestershire, UK, which argues that the main global security mechanism, United Nations, did not meet up to antiterrorist policies and its priorities, and that if the regulations within the UN system are not adjusted, there is danger that certain countries, with the US at the lead, will exceed the limits existing in international law and will begin to systematically violate human and civil rights in its "war against terrorism". Falk’s warnings, even if they were published about a year ago, right before the beginning of the war in Iraq, already appear to be passé to some extent, as the US has begun systematically endangering human rights, as has the UN lost control over the "war against terrorism". Hadžić calls this tendency enthroning the principle of arbitration in international relations in the absence of adjusting international law to new security risks (p. 17). Hadžić argues further, sharing the same argument with Falk and the so-called "progressive community" in the US, that the interventionist policy of the USA and Great Britain is modelled today as a veil that hides their open expansionist pretensions (p. 18), and therefore concludes that "after the terrorist attacks on the USA, the anarchic state of international relations has been purposefully renewed, in which maintainable security can only be achieved by states with great economic, political, and military capacity" (p.19).

          The aforementioned conclusion made by Hadžić is interesting, as it opposes the conclusions of the so-called "progressive community" in the USA, which very convincingly claims that today, because of security threats, it has been shown that great economic, political and military capacities do not guarantee significant security because it has been seen that informal, widely networked terrorist groups can, through low budget activities, endanger the population in the most economically and militarily powerful countries using methods that do not have a developed response. Falk says "(…) most terrorist groups survive for years in enemy environments, despite the great efforts of powerful states to destroy them" (Falk, Great Terror War, ibid, p 59). The operation on 11 September 2001 cost less than half a million dollars, and the only weapons the terrorists used in the planes were scissors for cutting boxes (Falk, p. 52). However, 19 hijackers acted in synchrony, hijacking four commercial planes at almost the exact same time, and then they completed their plan by hitting already designated buildings with the planes fast enough after the hijacking in order to minimize the chances of being stopped, and succeeded in hitting the targets practically with full fuel tanks (Falk, p.52). In literature, analysts openly call this operation "tactic ingenuity". Therefore, there are strong reasons to believe that terrorism is actually leading in the opposite direction to Hadžić’s conclusion, that is, that economic and military state power is no longer a protection from terrorist threats, more so than it is the main security factor.

          In the first study within this handbook, Hadžić shows an extraordinary capability for summarizing formulations of some of the main controversies in international relations that focus on security. "Monocentric globalisation of the world community favours, amongst other things, the easier and faster totalization of new security challenges", he writes, continuing, "this all, however, unavoidably makes the central carrier of globalisation the main target, but also the main protagonist of the totalization of new security challenges, risks, and threats. What more, this allows them to, interfering with them (security challenges), purposefully produce them according to their needs or direct them away from themselves toward the others" (p. 20).

          In the sphere of discussing security sector reform in the western Balkans, Hadžić correctly positions the concept of security into the sphere of so-called "human security", therefore in a perspective different from traditional understanding by which security of the citizen is guaranteed only by security of the state. Therefore, a state can be safe but its citizens could be endangered, either by organized crime or terror, or by the state itself that is carrying out the repression. That is why the degree of reform and democracy in the security sector is an indication of the degree of progress and democracy of the entire society. Reform itself should be directed toward the citizen, and not on the state, said Hadžić, and it must be kept in sight that what is most frequently discussed in the context of reforming the security sector, namely military reform, can be a contribution but also a security threat to the citizens, depending how it is managed.

          Considering the uncertain future of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro within the three years, in reforming the Army, says Hadžić it is necessary to make two parallel plans, namely Plan A in the case that it remains a Union, and Plan B if the Union splits. Plan B is especially relevant when taking into consideration the disinterest of Montenegro in financing and maintaining a joint army of Serbia and Montenegro, which in 2004 was discussed at the highest level of the State Union. Relations within the State Union are additionally complicated by the inauthentic democratic reforms, says Hadžić, citing "the absence of a thorough separation from the authoritarian regime in Serbia, or rather the prolonged existence of its quasi-democratic mutant in Montenegro" (p. 29).

          This and similar analyses give a general idea of exceptionally well-developed theoretical studies in Hadžić’s study within this handbook.

          The other part of the handbook, written by Milorad Timotić, deals with the issue of achieving democratic control over the Army as a prerequisite for reforming the security sector. Timotić’s study is based upon a classic viewpoint of contemporary political sociology, according to which civilian control over the Army is achieved in the basic triangle of relations of the Army, political elite and citizens. Therefore, the military elite, political elite and elite from the field of civil society have a tendency to "mutually lock", or rather they overlap in different social positions, that they come into direct contact which gives them the opportunity for developing personal relations, which creates compactness between the three types of elite, and they develop into a ruling elite. In this way, the cohesiveness of the government is achieved, and it is possible that the citizens will remain to the side if there is no appropriate political legitimacy of the political elite (see John Scott, Power, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2001, chapters 2,3, and 5).

          An interesting aspect of Timotić’s discussion is a short review of the background of legally sanctioning the actions of the Army in Serbia, by which Timotić puts a special accent on the provisions of Dušan’s Legal Code from 1349, which, amongst other things, gave "the death sentence to any person who destroyed a Church during war". Timotić describes this article as an expression of the needs to protect "basic cultural values on the side of the enemy", which I would not agree with (p. 52, footnote 10). It deals with, namely, the army and the political elite in the time of Cara Dušan who were believers and considered it a sin to destroy a Church, but was not considered to be "destroying cultural values"! Therefore, with the exception of this, in our belief incorrect interpretation of this important moral and spiritual aspect of the Law Code, Timotić’s analysis is exceptionally informative and very valuable.

          The final study of this handbook, the author Bogoljub Milosavljević, deals with reform of the police, which the author characterizes in short as burdened by "inadequate shift from the communist model of the police" (p. 75). Milosavljević analyses in detail reform undertaken in the last decades in the police structures of Serbia and Montenegro, where certain advantage in assessment is given to democracy and modernizing the Serbian police and legislative process regulating its authority and effect in relation to several outdated regulations applied in Montenegro. An especially interesting part of Milosavljević’s discussion is his analysis of the state security services, which shortly after the fall of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, were even seven, and at present six, and out of this, four at the federal level (at the level of the State Union) and two at the level of the Republic. It is not so well known here that there are two such services within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, namely the Information and Documentation Service (SID) and Security Service (MIP). SID is a service that never had legal authority to engage in operative work, but there are indications that is did operate abroad during the rule of the Milošević political elite.

          The Military Intelligence service of the SMAF General Staff and Security Service of the Defence Ministry of the State Union were a subject of controversy, although there is reason for certain disagreement on Milosavljević’s viewpoint of all military security services. The Serbian public believes that the future of civil security services should be questioned, as they compromised themselves the most while serving political structures during Milošević’s rule and were involved in criminal acts, while military security services showed a considerable degree of integrity and professionalism. Therefore, this is the point of view of the author and a question of personal perspective and assessment.

          Milosavljević’s analysis is exceptionally stimulating as it contains important information on basic categories that are used within the security service, namely dividing the discussion in so-called "military, foreign policy and state security" (p.85, footnote 13). It deals with the division that lies in the basis of the structure of the security service itself in Serbia and Montenegro and with which it is worth arguing today when speaking of alternative concepts of reforming this service.

          Viewed on the whole, the handbook written by Hadžić, Timotić and Milosavljević is a very useful and honestly unavoidable reading selection today for all analysts and decision makers in the field of the security sector. It consists of three very high quality studies that should serve as a starting point for working out a new strategy and organization within the institutions of the security sector in Serbia and Montenegro. This book is worth being strongly recommended to all students, teachers, and analysts of security as an information source, but also stimulating and quality analysis.


          Prof. Dr. Aleksandar Fatić


          Group for Security Policies

          Centre for Management


        • Tags: SSR, theoretical aspects, human security, Western Balkans, Serbia, democratic control, police, army, security services, military intelligence
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