10/10/09

The Return of the Internal Enemies




By the end of last year, the MPs at the National Assembly have
been served several draft laws and two strategies in the sphere of
defense and security. The greatest attention of the MPs was invoked,
quite justifiably, by the National Security Strategy and Defense
Strategy, as well as draft bills on military security services and the use
of armed forces in multinational operations. These are extremely
important documents and their adoption had been long awaited.
Despite certain deficiencies that plague these documents, they will,
without doubt, contribute to legal regulation of the security sector
and provide at least some type of guidelines for the security policy
of Serbia. Nevertheless, overshadowed by far by these important
documents, there is a Law on Amendments and Supplements of the
Law on Serbian Armed Forces, which only at the first glance appears
to be less important. Among other things, this Law proposes to
include Article 14a in the existing Law on Serbian Armed Forces.
Due to far reaching consequences that may occur if this article is
adopted, it is quoted here in entirety:
“Professional members of the Serbian Armed Forces are
not allowed to participate in the activities of the associations
aiming to achieve the following goals: reform of the defense
system and the Serbian Armed Forces, harmonization of the
regulations with the generally accepted standards and regulations
of the European Union, development of the defense
strategy and the Serbian Armed Forces Doctrine determining
the composition, organization, and formation of the Serbian
Armed Forces; operational and functional capability, the
Serbian Armed Forces’ use and recruiting; readiness and
drafting; combat equipment and material; commanding and
reporting in the Serbian Armed Forces and the defense system
management; participation in the multinational operations
and internal relations in the Serbian Armed Forces.”

If I understand Article 14a right, it forbids any contact between
the professional members of the Serbian Armed Forces and civil
society organizations directly or indirectly dealing with the issues of
defense and security, and there are 40 of them in Serbia. This number
is even higher when we ad associations dealing with European
integrations having in mind that they, too, are “blacklisted”.
Professional soldiers is forbidden to, e.g. participate in the round
tables, expert discussions, and panels organized by these associations.
Moreover, they would not be able to publish papers in the scientific
magazines and professional publications edited by these associations.
Finally, any possible cooperation between the civil society
organizations and the Army, constituting an integral part of the
modern democratic civil-military relations, would be precluded at
the very beginning.

The criticism of the Article 14a has both legal and political
dimension. As for its lack of a legal basis, one must point out that
the existing Law on Serbian Armed Forces, in Article 14, has already
deprived the professional military personnel of a right to membership
in political parties, as well as a right to a strike. These solutions
have been adopted with a view to depoliticizing the Army and they
stem from the Serbian Constitution itself, which in article 55 sets
forth that “members of the army may not be members of political
parties”. Nevertheless, the Constitution does not restrict anyone –
professional members of the Army inclusive – when it comes to participating
in the activities of the citizens’ associations as foreseen by
the proposed Article 14a. In addition, this article is also contrary to
Article 141 of the Constitution, which says that the “Serbian Armed
Forces (are) placed under democratic and civil control”, as well as
Article 29 of the Law on Serbian Armed Forces, which sets forth
that “democratic and civil control of the Serbian Armed Forces is
carried out by the National Assembly, Ombudsman, and other public
administration bodies according to their competence, the citizens,
and the public”. The question is how can the citizens exercise control
over the military, if their associations are forbidden to have contact
with the professional members of the army? In addition, if
Article 14a is implemented, this will create a paradoxical situation
where the military may become members of foreign professional
associations (Article 50 of the Law on Serbian Armed Forces), but
in turn they are forbidden to participate in any of the activities of the
local associations.

Even more important than the lack of its legal basis are the political
consequences of this Article. The oversight function of the public
and civil society is one of the several pillars of the democratic/civil
control of the security sector (in addition to parliamentary control,
executive power control, internal control, judicial inquiry, and independent
institutions control). The communication between the independent
research centers and the public security sector is both
achieving a democratic character of the debate on security policy
through the inclusion of a large number of stakeholders therein and,
as a rule, leading to better quality, smarter policies. It was back in
Thucydides’ time, that he perceived that the democracies are much
more successful in waging war than autocracies. This is supported
by historical statistics showing that the states having democratic systems
were winning in as much as 80% of the wars they waged,
which is far more than the states having other types of systems. One
of the reasons for such outcome lies in a very simple fact that more
people are smarter than fewer people. Finally, the modern military
sociology also warns against the perils of alienating professional
army from the broader societal values. Isolation of the professional
members of the Serbian Armed Forces from the civil society will definitely
not help in living up to this challenge, which we must face in
the future.

In the nineties, the citizens’ associations were treated by the security
sector as “internal enemies”. After the year 2000 their status has
been promoted to “inevitable nuisance” – an unpleasant, but still an
integral part of the democratic transition and reform of the security
sector. Ten years later, instead of celebrating the citizens’ associations
being promoted to a “useful resource” for the security sector, the
Article 14a brings us back to the starting point. In the last several
years, a lot of effort has been put in on both sides, to establish communication
channels and sustainable forms of cooperation. Article
14a threatens to undermine this cooperation, or even demolish it by
a single blow, by way of outlawing it. The best solution would be to
remove the discussed article from the Law. However, if this is not
possible at this moment, then the Law better should not be implemented.
Although it would be bad to fully implement the article 14a,
the worst case scenario would still be selective implementation as a
tool for dealing with disobedient parts of civil society.

10/8/09

Povratak "unutrašnjih neprijatelja"


Ovih dana se pred poslanicima Narodne skupštine nalazi nekoliko predloga zakona i dve strategije iz oblasti bezbednosti i odbrane. Najveću pažnju poslanika s pravom privlače Strategija nacionalne bezbednosti i Strategija odbrane kao i predlozi zakona o vojnim službama bezbednosti i o upotrebi oružanih snaga u multinacionalnim operacijama. Radi se o izuzetno važnim dokumentima na čije usvajanje se već dugo čeka. Uprkos određenim propustima od kojih ovi dokumenti pate, oni će bez sumnje doprineti zakonskom uređenju sektora bezbednosti i dati barem kakve takve strateške smernice bezbednosnoj politici Srbije. Međutim, u dubokoj senci ovih važnih dokumenata nalazi se i naizgled manje važan predlog Zakona o izmenama i dopunama Zakona o Vojsci Srbije. Ovim predlogom se između ostalog predlaže i unošenje člana 14a u već postojeći Zakon o Vojsci Srbije. Zbog dalekosežnosti posledica koje mogu nastupiti ukoliko se ovaj član usvoji navodim ga u celosti:

Profesionalnom pripadniku Vojske Srbije nije dopušteno učešće u aktivnostima udruženja kojima se ostvaruju sledeći ciljevi: reforma sistema odbrane i Vojske Srbije, usklađivanje propisa sa opšteprihvaćenim standardima i propisima Evropske unije, izgradnja strategije odbrane i Doktrine Vojske Srbije kojom se utvrđuju sastav, organizacija i formacija Vojske Srbije; operativna i funkcionalna sposobnost, upotreba i popuna Vojske Srbije; pripravnost i mobilizacija; opremljenost naoružanjem i vojnom opremom; komandovanje i rukovođenje u Vojsci Srbije i upravljanje sistemom odbrane; učešće u multinacionalnim operacijama i unutrašnji odnosi u Vojsci Srbije.

Ako ja dobro razumem član 14a, njime se zabranjuje bilo kakav kontakt između profesionalnih pripadnika vojske i organizacija građanskog društva koje se posredno ili neposredno bave pitanjima odbrane i bezbednosti, a takvih u Srbiji ima preko 40. Ova brojka je još i veća kada tome dodamo i udruženja koja se bave evropskim integracijama s obzirom i da su ona takođe stavljena na ovaj "crni spisak". Profesionalnim vojnicima bilo bi zabranjeno, na primer, da učestvuju na okruglim stolovima, stručnim raspravama i tribinama koje organizuju ova udruženja. Dalje, oni ne bi smeli da objavljuju tekstove u naučnim časopisima i stručnim publikacijama koja ova udruženja uređuju. Konačno, svaka potencijalna saradnja između organizacija građanskog društva i vojske koja sačinjava sastavni deo savremenih demokratskih civilno-vojnih odnosa, bila bi u startu onemogućena.

Kritika člana 14a ima pravnu i političku dimenziju. Što se pravne neutemeljenosti tiče, podsetiću da je postojeći Zakon o Vojsci Srbije u članu 14. profesionalnim vojnim licima već uskratio pravo na članstvo u političkim strankama kao i pravo na štrajk. Ova rešenja usvojena su sa ciljem depolitizacije vojske i proizilaze iz sâmog Ustava Srbije koji je u članu 55 propisao da “pripadnici vojske ne mogu biti članovi političkih stranaka. Međutim, Ustav ne ograničava nikoga - pa ni profesionalne pripadnike vojske - da učestvuju u aktivnostima udruženja građana kao što se to predviđa predloženim članom 14a. Takođe, ovaj član je u suprotnosti i sa članom 141 Ustava koji kaže da je “Vojska Srbije (je) pod demokratskom i civilnom kontrolom” kao i sa članom 29. Zakona o Vojsci Srbije u kome stoji da “demokratsku i civilnu kontrolu Vojske Srbije vrše Narodna skupština, Zaštitnik građana i drugi državni organi u skladu sa svojim nadležnostima, građani i javnost”. Postavlja se pitanje na koji način građani mogu vršiti kontrolu vojske ukoliko je njihovim udruženjima zabranjen kontakt sa profesionalnim pripadnicima vojske. Pored toga, ukoliko se usvoji član 14a biće stvorena paradoksalna situacija u kojoj vojna lica smeju postati članovi stranog stručnog udruženja (član 50 Zakona o Vojsci) ali im je zato zabranjeno bilo kakvo učestvovanje u aktivnostima domaćih udruženja.

Još važnije od pravne neutemeljenosti su političke konsekvence ovog člana. Nadzorna uloga javnosti i građanskog društva je jedan od nekoliko stubova demokratske-civilne kontrole sektora bezbednosti (pored parlamentarne kontrole, kontrole izvršne vlasti, unutrašnje kontrole, sudske provere i kontrole nezavisnih ustanova). Komunikacija između nezavisnih istraživačkih centara i državnog sektora bezbednosti ne samo da demokratizuje diskusiju o bezbednosnoj politici tako što u nju uključuje veliki broj zainteresovanih strana već i po pravilu vodi ka kvalitetnijim, pametnijim politikama. Još je Tukidid smatrao da su demokratije mnogo uspešnije u vođenju rata od autokratija. U prilog tome govori i istorijska statistika prema kojoj su države sa demokratskim sistemom pobeđivale u čak 80% ratova koje su vodile, daleko više nego države sa drugačijim uređenjem. Jedan od razloga za takav ishod je i izuzetno jednostavna činjenica da je više ljudi pametnije od manje ljudi. Na kraju, savremena vojna sociologija takođe upozorava na opasnosti otuđenja profesionalne vojske od širih societalnih vrednosti. Izolacija profesionalnih pripadnika vojske Srbije od građanskog društva sigurno neće pomoći u otklanjanju ovog izazova koji nas čeka u budućnosti.

Tokom devedesetih godina udruženja građana bila su tretirana od strane sektora bezbednosti kao “unutrašnji neprijatelji”. Nakon 2000. godine njihov status unapređen je u “nužno zlo” – neugodan ali ipak sastavni deo demokratske tranzicije i reforme sektora bezbednosti. Umesto da se deset godina kasnije radujemo promovisanju udruženja građana u status “korisnog resursa” za sektor bezbednosti mi se članom 14a vraćamo na sâm početak. Puno je napora u poslednjih nekoliko godina uloženo, i sa jedne i sa druge strane, da se uspostave kanali komunikacije i održivi oblici saradnje. Član 14a preti ovu saradnju ne samo da podrije već i da je uništi jednim udarcem, stavljajući je van zakona. Zbog toga se duboko nadam da će predstavnici građana u Narodnoj skupštini, koji o tome ovih dana odlučuju, prepoznati ovaj problem i odbiti da usvoje ubacivanje člana 14a u Zakon o vojsci Srbije.

10/6/09

O spoljnoj politici Srbije



Peščanik 379.
16.10.2009.

Govore: Ekonomista Miroslav Prokopijević, Filip Ejdus sa FPN, sociolog Vladimir Ilić, knjževnica Biljana Srbljanović