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          • Year: 2004
          • Reform of the Army of Serbia and Montenegro

          • 12. september 2004. Colonel Branko Andrić, Administration for organisation, mobilisation, and conscript service of the SMAF General Staff


          Reform of the defence system means constitutional, legal, and organisational changes. The entirety of these changes, on the basis of national strategy, defines the organisational structure and establishes relations and authority in the defence system within the unified functioning of the state security sector.

          The defence system is a constituent part, or rather, a subsystem of the security system, organised in accord with the Constitution and laws that protect the vital interests of the state and citizens. A contemporary defence system must have preventive capacity (disclosing, removing, deterring…) which should influence potential carriers threatening its security. In this way one of the basic functions of the defence system is achieved.

          In basic projects on reform of the Army of Serbia and Montenegro, it is considered that defence is organized and in practice is realized as a unified system integrated with other institutions of the State Union. The final product of reform would be a system that does not represent too great of a burden for the state economy and which is capable of integrating into the international security system.


          Aims of reforming the Army

          The basic aim is to create an army that would be able to, in cooperation with other security sector forces and the defence system of Serbia and Montenegro, achieve its task defined in the Constitutional Charter, to join the international (Euro-Atlantic) integration and to efficiently react to security risks and threats with the support of civil authorities. The basic purpose of military reform is as follows:

          • integration into European regional security structures, primarily in the Partnership for Peace,

          • organisation of the army according to standards of European countries and future partners,

          • training special and other units for participation in anti-terrorist operations,

          • training individual compositions of the Army for participation in international peacekeeping and humanitarian operations,

          • modernization of the Army,

          • professionalization of cadres and

          • civilian and democratic control of the Army.

          It is unrealistic to expect that from the annual budget reform expenses can be financed. For this purpose, it is necessary to form a Fund for Reform, and managing it would be a long-term state task. In this way, it would reduce the burden of financing the army on a regular basis, creating conditions for its normal and stable functioning on the long run. From funds of the Fund, reform expenses and organizational changes would be financed according to earlier established priorities.


          Missions and Tasks of the Army

          On the basis of potential security challenges, risks, and threats, the situation in the surrounding countries and State Union, determination for integration, assessment of possibilities and needs of the State Union in the field of defence, the missions, tasks and visions of the new organization of the army have been established. The basic mission of the Army is regulated in Article 55 of the Constitutional Charter ("The task of the army is to defend Serbia and Montenegro, in accord with the Constitutional Charter and principles of international law regulating the use of force"). Considering foreign experiences and standards, one of the missions defined by the Draft Defence Strategy, is: deploying the Army in building and preserving peace in the world and giving support to civil authorities and to the citizens, in accord with the law.

          According to the missions, the tasks of the army were established:

          • Deterring from armed threats and other military challenges, risks, and threats;

          • Defending the territory, airspace and territorial waters;

          • Participation in international military cooperation and peacekeeping operations under the auspices of the OUN and system of collective security,

          • Assisting civil authorities and population in situations where human life, the environment, and material welfare are threatened.

          The established tasks of the Army impose the aim of reforming the Army, and that is to build an efficient, financially acceptable Army, equipped and trained to carry out the listed tasks. In order to realize the goals set, it is necessary to:

          • organize and prepare part of the professional peacekeeping troops to a high degree of combat readiness;

          • organize enough forces for deterrence and defence of the State Union which will be mobile and capable of engaging in combat action under all conditions;

          • prepare a number of the units for participating in peacekeeping missions and operations in accord with the OUN Charter and

          • training forces to participate in rescuing the civil population.

          In today’s time, of great and frequently crucial importance for achieving efficiency and winning in an eventual conflict is the quality of arms and military equipment. The Army of Serbia and Montenegro is equipped with relatively old arms and military equipment and there is an urgent need for more modern means in order to successfully execute military tasks.

          The existing organization of the Army was created and built under significantly different conditions than today. It was established in 1992, after constituting FR Yugoslavia and transforming the former JNA and territorial defence into the Yugoslav Army, and then into the Army of Serbia and Montenegro and corresponding subjects and civil defence forces. In the last 12 years, and despite many problems the established organization enabled executing the function of defending the country, but with great strain and considerable loss of material and human life, especially during the armed NATO intervention. Such a trend caused problems to grow in the functioning of the Army, amongst which the following are most important:

          • lack of adequate normative and doctrine regulations,

          • separating functions of the Defence Ministry and General Staff was not materialized through uniform organizational changes,

          • a logistics system was not established,

          • material reserves were reduced to a critical level of reinforcement,

          • because of the unfavourable position of professional members, there is a large cadre of younger staff leaving,

          • school system is not efficiently organised.

          The listed problems and weaknesses in the functioning of the Army, respecting the essence of the process of the new Euro-Atlantic security milieu, in which the universal approach to security and stability dominates, imposes the demand to find new solutions for organizing the Army. That is why it is necessary to establish a reform framework, or rather to adopt new legal-normative regulations and on the basis of the Defence Strategy establish the relations and authorities within the defence system.


          Phases of reform of the Army

          Reform plans and organizational changes are based on provisions of the Constitutional Charter, The Law on Implementing the Constitutional Charter, Draft Defence Strategy and other normative documents and commands of the Supreme Defence Council and SCG Defence Ministry.

          It is anticipated that the organizational changes in the Army are carried out in three phases:

          a)       The first phase (2003 to 2004) includes: adopting normative documents, reorganizing the General Staff and more efficient organizing the Army at the operative and tactic level. Within the framework of these changes, units will be disbanded and institutions that don’t have an adequate purpose and equipment, and reforming and dislocation will improve and increase combat readiness of the Army. Also, in the first phase we planned more intense participation in international peacekeeping missions and joint exercises with the countries in the region.

          b)       The second phase (2005 to 2006) includes further organizational changes on the operative and tactic level. The accent is on creating contours of the module principle of organization with battalion-division-squadron as the basis for organizing the Army. The characteristics of this phase is the final transfer of authority of guarding the state borders, forming and equipping units for participation in peacekeeping missions, continuation of the organization of joint exercises with foreign armed forces, continuing the participation in peacekeeping missions, continuation of schooling and training cadres abroad, carrying out the social program, realizing decisions on transforming military profitable institutions, defining the development program and equipping with modern arms and military equipment (from our own production and cooperation with foreign countries).

          c)       The third phase (from 2007 to 2010) means completely coordinating organizations with adopted standards. In this phase the status of the State Union will finally be resolved and conditions will be set for completion of the first cycle of organizational changes and realization of the project of professionalization and technical modernization of the Army.

          The first phase of organizational changes is taking place, and its scope and importance can be illustrated by the following data:

          • disbanding 21 units ranked regiment-brigade and reform 26 units ranked regiment brigade

          • the SMAF will be reduced for about 11000 members, in peacetime, and around 82000 members in war

          • four garrison points are abandoned: Knjaževac, Ćuprija, Prijepolje and Smederevska Palanka,

          The following is being pulled out of use:

          • Tanks T-55                                                  131 pcs.

          • Armoured personnel carriers OTM-60    145 pcs.

          • Howitzer 105mm                                        108 pcs.

          • Howitzer 155mm                                          36 pcs.

          • Cannons 130mm M 46                                36 pcs.

          • TH 152mm D 20                                           18 pcs.

          • VBR 128mm M63/94                                     6 pcs.

          • POT T-12                                                    138 pcs.

          • SO 90mm                                                   108 pcs.

          • LRSP 9P 133                                               12 pcs.

          • PAT 20/3                                                  1774 pcs.

          • PAT 20/1                                                    929 pcs.

          • Mortar cal. 60.82 and 120mm                  600 pcs.

          • Armed infantry                                       60 000 pcs.

          At its 15th session held on May 26, 2004, the Supreme Defence Council adopted a document "The Organisation of the Defence Ministry" verified also by the Council of Ministers at the session held on June 1st, 2004.

          In this document, the new organization of functions in the defence system of Serbia and Montenegro is defined, the basic structure of the defence system of Serbia and Montenegro (Scheme no. 2):

          At the moment, in the Defence Ministry and General Staff, intense activities are being carried out on the implementation of adopted reform and organisational solutions.

          All analysis and assessments of the General Staff show that reform can be successful only if the needs and possibilities are correctly coordinated. Our needs are imposed by security challenges, risks and threats for which it is necessary to have enough forces. On the other hand, the most important limitation is the material factor, which crucially influences the demands of reform.

        • Tags: military, Defence, reform, Serbia, Montenegro, Security
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