Over the past ten years a number of European countries have experienced dramatic political, economical, social, or even cultural changes. The breath-taking pace of these changes has constrained politicians, intelligence professionals, political scientists and historians to share ideas and exchange views referring to an almost identical period of time. Due to the velocity of the developments - the concept of national security has unified the objects of interest of the different scientific disciplines - history, political science, intelligence - under the same focus in time.
The project National Security and the Future was initiated in February 1999, in order to fill a gap present in Central and Southeast Europe, where there are no national or international journals in the area of national security.
It is not our ambition to be just another journal on national security, nor just a local or regional journal. The initial editorial board consists of people not only from transitional countries, but also from the USA, the Russian Federation, Great Britain, Sweden, etc. Their reputation, knowledge and experience support the need and ambition for a new approach and consideration of international relations and national security.
The stress is not only on international relations and national security, but also on the future - the one we are facing, as well as the potential one which may not happen because political decisions, agreements and processes (deliberately or accidentally) took one of many possible routes.
In the formation of political, social and historical events, intelligence and intelligence assessment play an important role. Politicians who have access to intelligence reports rarely express their opinion on the usefulness and value of these reports. As a rule, political scientists and historians do not have access to intelligence usage or available intelligence assessments at the time when poltiical and historical decisions are made. On the other hand, intelligence officers do not have the right to judge the political implementation of collected intelligence data.
Thus, a crucial link in the formation of political and historical events is hidden and insufficiently evaluated. We would like to subject this missing link to analysis and evaluate its role in the decision-making processes on the national and international levels.
Therefore, National Security and the Future will be dedicated to the advancement and understanding of principles and practices of intelligence and national security in contemporary history and foreign policy.
The NSF journal should have manifold purposes: to research and understand practices of intelligence and to advance the theory and methodology of intelligence; to contribute to understanding and research the phenomenon of national security. We believed that NSF should have a specific pioneer and educational purpose also - by opening space for contemplating serious problems of national security and intelligence in the public of the Central and Eastern European countries, where great need for such debates exists. We also want to contribute and develop the emerging academic study of intelligence as a distinctive discipline.
Thematically, the journal should be focused on Central and Eastern Europe, but it will not be just for the public in those countries. Namely, in the selected and elaborated topics the emphasis will be on their relevance to the broader issues of international relations and security. The actual historical moment of these geographical territories and the importance of local events for the wider international relations make virtually any theme selected to relevant for the broader international public.
The actuality of the journal will be attained not only by the selection of relevant topics, but also by authoritative authors, which is guaranteed by very international composition of the Editorial Board.
Editorial Board. The first meeting of the Editorial Board for the international journal National Security and the Future was held in Dubrovnik from the February 26 - 27, 1999. Participants of the meeting in Dubrovnik were: Gen. Todor Boyadjiev (Bulgaria), Mr. Oldrich Cerny (Czech Republic), Prof. Dr. Stevan Dedijer (Sweden, Croatia), Mr. Richard Kerr (U.S.A.), Prof. Dr. Janos Matus (Hungary), Mr. Miroslav Međimorec (Croatia), Gen. Leonid Shebarshin (Russian Federation), Mr. Richard Stolz (U.S.A.) and Prof. Dr. Miroslav Tuđman (Croatia). Among those who had accepted the invitation to participate in the project National Security and the Future but could not attend the meeting in Dubrovnik were: Doc. W. Agrell (Sweden), Prof. Christopher Andrew (G. Britain), Mr. Luigi Calligiris (Italy), Dr. Günter Joetze (Germany) and Mr. Uri Neeman (Israel).
Editorial Board accepted the following policy.
Language. National Security and the Future will be published in English, it will appear quaterly i.e. four issues annually.
Structure. Each issue of National Security and the Future will consist of four main parts:
- Main topic - each issue will be focus to one main topic which is impotant for strategic-oriented understanding of the future.
- Case Studies of main problems and events in transition countries: Political history and/or history of intelligence.
- Theory and methodology of national security and intelligence.
Overview and reviews of publications.
The main Topics. The main topics that the journal will cover in the near future will be:
- Conflict resolution - sources, perspectives
- Intelligence in transition
- Intelligence and national security in the 21st Century
- Non-national intelligence collection
- The future of intelligence services
- Intelligence support to international organisations (e.g. UN, NATO)
- Covert action: pluses and minuses for the 21st Century
- Overt collection of intelligence
- Intelligence and knowledge management
- Intelligence and the public
- Inter-relationships between intelligence and policy makers
- Oversight in a democratic society
The publisher of the NSF is St. George Association - a non-profit, non-governmental scientific association which gathers scientists and researchers dealing with the problems of national security and intelligence.
Conflict resolution is the main topic of the first issue of the NSF. Theoretically and practically, conflicts are the central problem of international relations, they are central objectives of intelligence acitvities and central motives of political and strategic studies. Today we are faced with another manifold crisis in Kosovo. That conflict alread has and will have in the future many consequences not only on the regional level, but also on the international level (the role fo the NATO, military doctrine, the European security system, the role of the United Nations and the UN Security Council etc.). The nature of conflict resolution also raises numerous questions about international sovereignty, human rights, spheres of interest etc.
The contributions for the first issue of the NSF were prepared mostly in the autumn of 1999. We would like to thank all the authors and all the people who suported this project from the very begining. We would like to give special thanks to Senator Francesco Cossiga, former President of the Republic of Italy, for his contribution to NSF.
We hope that the general public, professionals and specialist will accept our Journal as relevant and timely. But we would also like to open our Journal as a forum for different ideas and contributions.