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          • Year: 2002
          • The Army of Yugoslavia in DOS

          • 31. august 2002. - Occasional paper No.2 Miroslav Hadžić, PhD, Faculty of Political Sciences Belgrade / Centre for Civil-Military Relations

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          War origin exclude the central YU states from the model of transsocialist transformation which occured in the Central and East European countries so the comparison is almost impossible. Military-police cohorts, always linked with new/old eliths, here remained to be the main and dangerous obstacle for democratic reforms which will not take place until the security sector is radically changed. This thesis is to be tested on the example of the FR Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and the analysis will explore the time and events after Milošević and his regime had lost the elections. A brief review on political origin and character of DOS should enable understanding and evaluating this coalition's achievements and failures after October 5th. The focus is on orientations which was taken by DOS and its immediatelly born factions toward security sector reform and changes in the Army of Yugoslavia. The final discussion is on the prospects of Serbian final and irreversible exit from socialism and war.

          Basic description of military-social character of the Army of Yugoslavia presents its role in the destruction of the SFRY as well as its political and ideological background. Its professional identity, low technical standards, ..., controversial constitutional status and lack of the national security strategy are discussed. Paradigm "Pavković« is used as a model to reflect different problems in post-October Serbia. The actions which Yugoslav President Vojislav Koštunica, Democratic Party of Serbia, the rest of DOS led by Democratic Party and Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić, as well as the President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović, did (not) undertake in the civil-military sphere are explained. A short list of the changes in the Army, mostly unimportant ones, which were carried out by DOS and its partners, is given.

          The key process in relation between the Army and DOS during 2001 had two main points: first, after the FRY had entered international organizations, the discussion on cooperation with NATO and entering PfP was not dangerous any more. Second, generals have loudly announced the reorganisation and modernisation of the Army of Yugoslavia, which has been their central topic in 2002, too. Yet, the public attention was focused on different incidents: Milošević's arrest, mass graves, »Red Berets« rebellion and the sources, kinds and range of security risks for the citizens of Serbia remained the same. Why are we still waiting for the reform of the AY? The answers are given in the broader context of changes in Serbia.

          There is a whole list of chalenges and difficult obligations DOS faced at the moment it gained power. It is understandable that military reform was not DOS’s priority. The Army of Yugoslavia did not bring any risk for new rulers or social changes. The other reason, which became obvious very soon, is that DOS also suffers from lack of political will for changes. Whether it was for this lack or constant calculating different DOS leaders’ interest, yet old regime decomposition in Serbia is irreversibly delayed. There are two more reasons, hidden even deeper than those already mentioned: first, the new authorities want to avoid or at least postpone the moment when Serbian war inventory has to be opened and second, it seems they try to deny a real demand for war crimes to be sanctioned, which makes cooperation with the Hague Tribunal a matter of political calculation. These two motives, connected far below the surface, make the focus point of present Serbian disputes and that is proved by the fact that three key incidents - Milošević’s arrest, mass graves discoveries and "Red Berets" rebellion - were basically motivated by the participants’ and mediators’ wish to avoid their own or somebody else’s responsibility for war and war crimes.

          What is to be done? The first and the most difficult task is to create new and different notions of security and army. In order to diminish the possibilities for any present or future abuse of the Army, DOS is obliged to provide all the necesary normative framework - in Constitutional Charter of the Union of Serbia and Montenegro, as well as in the new Serbian Constitution - for democratic control of the army and other armed forces. Further crucial steps are listed at the end of the text.

          Belgrade, July 16th 2002

           

          Note: this text was published in: Republika, Belgrade, No. 290-291, August 1-31 2002, p. 27 - 40; the paper is a part of the project »Put Srbije k miru i demokratiji« organised by Republika in cooperation with »Hajnrih Bel« Foundation.

        • Tags: Army of Yugoslavia, miltary, DOS, army, Security
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