Focus
The first five years of the Croatian Intelligence Service: 1993-1998
(Volume 1, Number 2, Summer 2000.)
19 srp 2000 01:17:00
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Notes toward an understanding of the position, role, tasks and activities of the Croatian Intelligence Service and the Intelligence Community during the first years of the inception and formation of the Republic of Croatia

 

Miroslav Tuđman

ABSTRACT

After the first democratic, multiparty elections held in 1990, the process of building state institutions commenced within the framework of newly-sovereign Croatia. This article describes the development of the national security system: the history of the Croatian Intelligence Service and the Intelligence Community, and their origin, structure, tasks and activities. The first five years (1993-1998) of the national security system of the Republic of Croatia are presented in detail and evaluated. HIS was formed in 1993 as a central agency of the National Security Office (UNS). The main objectives were the liberation of Croatia's occupied territories and dealing with the regional crisis. HIS was also oriented toward co-operation and partnership with foreign intelligence agencies regarding intelligence assessments of the regional crisis and support of the international troops (UNPROFOR, UNCRO, IFOR, SFOR, etc). Preuzmite članak u PDF formatu The author stresses the legal and ethical criteria upon which HIS and Croatian intelligence community were established.

 

 

Introductory remarks

There are many reasons to record the history of the Croatian Intelligence Service and Intelligence Community of the Republic of Croatia. This is the first such record and I believe that the theme will be a subject of research in the future. Satisfying the curiosity of the public regarding the activities of the intelligence service in order to dispel preconceptions and fears and rebut constant attacks in the media is one reason and contributing to the understanding, monitoring and support of the security apparatus is another. My motives for this presentation is a little different but also less ambitious.

First, pointing out the spiritual and moral basis upon which the Intelligence Community apparatus of the Republic of Croatia was formulated or, second, commenting upon the amount or accuracy of intelligence products the intelligence communities provide to their governments does not in itself lead to the resolutions which governments recommend or the international community and key international factors impose. As a matter of fact, the Republic of Croatia was deeply involved in the resolution of the crisis on the territory of Southeastern Europe since 1990; therefore, the Croatian Intelligence Community was a subject of and partner in the collection and exchange of not only data and intelligence, but intelligence assessments on the crisis in the region as well as suggesting possible means for resolving the bloodiest European crisis in the second half of the twentieth century. I am therefore convinced that the lack of intelligence was not responsible for the long and bloody conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Intelligence can often influence the form and direction of political, social and historical events, but not always. I am still surprised today that ambassadors of various countries still display a large degree of misunderstanding as to the reasons and causes for the dissolution not only of the multi-national states (late 1980s to early 1990s) USSR and Czechoslovakia, but also the former Yugoslavia. Considering their position and responsibilities, this lack of understanding is a very disturbing indicator.

The intelligence services devote much of their efforts addressing the needs of diplomatic and international political relations. Since the services are only responsible for the collection of data (and their analysis) but not for political policies, those who are acquainted with the facts should be horrified that the knowledge and intelligence data regarding actual events, individuals and processes are being neglected, denied, or rejected due to reigning stereotypes and superficial media reports.

The first five years of the Croatian Intelligence Service coincided with the inception and formation of the (new) institutions of the Croatian state, the War of the Homeland, the liberation of occupied territories, and with intensive engagement in international relations (Washington and Dayton agreements), the presence of international forces (UN,NATO) in the Republic of Croatia (1992-1998), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and, ultimately, in Kosovo. During these five years, members of the Croatian Intelligence Community participated in large numbers in operations which undoubtedly contributed to all the major military and historical changes; therefore, their participation in these changes testifies to the successes of the intelligence community. In this period, the Republic of Croatia achieved its greatest goal: international recognition, liberation of its territory and integration into the most important international organizations. The successes of the Republic of Croatia are obvious even if based only on the changes in the political map of Europe between 1990-1998.

Nonetheless, in the nature of intelligence work there are no significant changes. This review, as every personal record, has an additional selfish motive: to provide an understanding of the nature of intelligence and the results of intelligence activities. My academic interest has always been centered around the organization and exchange of knowledge. Inteligence reports are certainly one form of knowledge which requires acquaintance with and prediction of future events; that is, such reports serve as a basis for reaching decisions of national interest.

It is not my intention here to enter into a theoretical discussion of intelligence. But I must admit that I have often been reminded during these years of Francis Bacon's divisions of prejudice (false conceptions), which he calls idols and which he divides into tribal idols, idols of the cave, idols of the marketplace and idols of the theatre1. I have often witnessed how the intelligence service (and the entire intelligence community) has been subject to prejudices of the media as well as politicians - sometimes with justification (because of a lack of transparency) - but for the most part without justification (when there is a desire to reject its findings), since it is easier for politicians and the media to hide behind stereotypical ways of thinking (prejudice) than to be exposed to risk. The destruction of some stereotypes, such as: Yugoslavia is a wonderful country and a perfect example of multinational communities - can be very bloody, and can lead to negative repercussions for the protagonists and founders of newly formed states in the eyes of those who for whatever reason do not wish to change their idols. Knowledge and intelligence can enable an understanding of the former and current state of affairs; intelligence announces change and possible new developments. The prejudices are often a result of the unwillingness to change one's views, or to reconcile one's views with actual processes. Politicians often provide proof that it is not necessary to change one's views and positions, at least not as long as their mandate is in force. In this case, intelligence reports are ineffective; they serve only to irritate. Therefore, reality attempts to form itself around idols proposed in advance. Bosnia and Herzegovina is an example of such an experiment: the massive efforts of the international community introduce into Bosnia and Herzegovina (along with good intentions and good will) a resolution reached in essence by means of knowledge but without intelligence. Instead of allowing the three nations within Bosnia and Herzegovina to independently reach a resolution and agreement on their own future after peace is re-established, the international protectorate often imposes resolutions based upon its lack of understanding and recognition of the facts, and thus is the cause of the Bosnia-Herzegovina crisis and tragedy.

The history of the Croatian Intelligence Service is a part of the story of the struggle of the Croatian nation for independence, freedom and autonomy, a story of the creation of the Republic of Croatia and state institutions. HIS, in its all-encompassing efforts toward freedom and independence, was comprised of people - for the most part those who participated in the War of the Homeland - who were not professional soldiers, but volunteers, patriots, and fighters who were given two new tasks. First, to provide the political leadership (in cooperation with other members of intelligence community) with relevent intelligence for the liberation of occupied territories of the Republic of Croatia and the resolution of the regional crisis provoked by the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia; second, in cooperation with their intelligence services, to acquaint the leading countries, that is, the international community, with the actual situation in Croatia and the entire region. In order to perform this task it was necessary to form the Croatian Intelligence Service (HIS) and the intelligence community.

 

I EPILOGUE: NATIONAL SECURITY OFFICE AND INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA.

 

In October 1998, the work of the Intelligence Academy of the National Security Office began. I appeared before the first graduates of the Intelligence Academy in a new role: as lecturer, and not any longer as director of the Croatian intelligence Service2; new tasks required of me an account of all that transpired during the first five years of the existence of the HIS and the intelligence community. The model of the Intelligence Community was simple to present: every action, every resolution had its justification and reason based upon the conditions in which it was created. A summary of this model is provided on the following pages3. The dry presentation of the facts eliminates, however, the intensiveness of the activities, most often during conditions of war, under which the intelligence system of the Republic of Croatia was created.

National Security Office

The National Security Office was formed by decree of the Croatian President on 21 March1993. The creation and development of the National Security Office and the Intelligence Community commenced with this act. The model for the Croatian Intelligence Community was based upon the experiences of the Western countries, especially the American intelligence community, and the core of the system is comprised of two civil and two military services.

The National Security Office (UNS) is a supreme state body which brings into conformity, directs and oversees the work of the bodies of state administration whose activities are connected to national security activities. The National Security Office, as appears in Article 2 on the Law on the National Security Office4:

  • coordinates the work of state ministries with the activities of national security
  • directs and oversees the work of the intelligence and counter-intelligence services
  • dissects, connects and analyzes intelligence data and reports necessary for the performance of the constitutional duties of the President of the Republic of Croatia and the government of the Republic of Croatia
  • provides counter-intelligence protection and security for the President of the Republic, Croatian State Parliament, the government of the Republic of Croatia and the buildings they utilize

In order to perform the duties of the National Security Office as prescribed by law, the following services were founded:

Croatian Intelligence Service
Security Headquarters
Control and Supervision Service

In order to perform the professional and technical activities of the National Security Office, the following services were formed:

Croatian National Signet Service
Intelligence Academy

The Office is administered by a director5 appointed and relieved of duties by the President of the Republic. The President of the Republic appoints - at the recommentation of the Director of the Office -the various directors of the individual services of the National Security Office. The Director of the National Security Office answers to the President of the Republic for the work of the National Security Office and the individual services of the National Security Office.

The Joint National Security Committee (SONS) was formed to direct and coordinate the work of the state ministries with the National Security Office on tasks relating to national security. The director of the National Security Office presides over meetings of SONS and the members of SONS are the deputy director of the National Security Office, the director of HIS and ministers of the state ministries.

The National Security Office prepares regular reports to the President of the Republic and the government of Croatia on issues and activities of interest for national security. Supervision over the legality of the work of the National Security Office is performed by the House of representatives of the Croatian State Parliament through the Committee on Domestic Policy and National Security. The National Security Office provides a yearly report on its work to this Committee and, at the request of the Committee, special reports on individual issues from in the area of national security.

The Croatian Intelligence Servcice is the central service for the National Security Office and the only external intelligence service of the Republic of Croatia which:

  • collects intelligence data of national interest outside Croatia
  • dissects, combines, analyzes and makes available intelligence data and reports to the President of the Republic, the director of the National Security Office, president of the government as well as state and other ministries within the government of the Republic of Croatia
  • works with foreign intelligence services
  • directs and organizes the work of the intelligence services of the Republic of Croatia

In addition to the aforementioned duties, the Croatian Intelligence Service performs other tasks in conformity with the law and other regulations.

The director administers the work of the Croatian Intelligence Service and is responsible for its work and for performing tasks received from the President of the Republic, the director of the National Security Office and the Joint National Security Committee.

The director of the Croatian Intelligence Service calls and presides over the meetings of the Coordinating Committee of the Intelligence Community, organizes the work of the intelligence and security services, and presents and represents the Intelligence Community and the Croatian Intelligence Service in meetings with representatives of foreign intelligence services.

The Control and Supervision Service monitors the constitutionality and legality of the work of the intelligence services. It also follows, collects and analyzes data on the work of the members of the intelligence services of the Republic of Croatia, as well as services and various sections of the National Security Office. Monitoring is effected through direct contact, investigation or as the result of a requested special supervision.

After the facts of a situation have been confirmed, The Control and Supervision Service delivers a report to the director of the National Security Office and the appropriate minister, in which ways for resolving problems or making progress in the work of the individual services and the Intelligence Community in its entirety are recommended.

The Control and Supervision Service is administered by the director and composed of permanent members named by representatives of the various intelligence agencies of the Republic of Croatia.

The UNS Security Headquarters is not really a service, but a body which coordinates, supervises and directs the work of the agencies that perform security tasks and protect individuals and edifices.

The Headquarters recommends goals, strategies and protection plans for the highest state officials of the Republic of Croatia, presidents of foreign states, government, parliament, delegations and individuals whose visit to Croatia is of great significance.

It also is in charge of security and protection of the President of the Republic, Croatian State Parliament, government of the Republic of Croatia and other protected persons, as well as objects they utilize.

The director of the UNS Security Headquarters presides over the Supreme Security Committee, whose members are: director of the Headquarters, deputy director of the Headquarters, assistant to the director of the Croatian Intelligence Service for counter-intelligence activities, the appropriate assistant to the Minister of Domestic Policy, the appropriate assistant to the Minister of Defense, the head adjutant of the President of the Republic, the commander of the First Honor Guard, and the director of state protocol.

The Croatian National Sigint Service (NSEI) is an expert agency of the National Security Office, which is functionally connected to the Central Sigint Services of the Directorate of Intelligence Affairs within the Croatian Army headquarters (GS OS RH).

The NSEI coordinates, directs and oversees electronic monitoring of all kinds of signals outside the borders of the Republic of Croatia as well as diversionary-terrorist communications and prohibited signals of an intelligence nature within the borders of the Republic of Croatia.

The NSEI director is responsible for the work of the service and performance of tasks received by the directors of the UNS and SONS.

The Intelligence Academy is an educational and research institute of the National Security Office which provides training and education of the cadres in order to meet the needs of the Croatian Intelligence Community. The Intelligence Academy organizes basic and specialized schooling for members of the intelligence community; it also has its own publishing activities.

Intelligence Community

The Croatian Intelligence Community is comprised of agencies who by special means and methods collect both within and without the country data of interest to national security. Goals and tasks of the Intelligence Community are determined by the Joint National Security Committee (SONS) and Intelligence Community Coordination Committee (KOOZ).

The Intelligence Community of the Republic of Croatia is responsible for obtaining data of significance for:

  • national security, and especially for conducting foreign and defense policies and ensuring economic well-being in accordance with laws and regulations
  • opposing terrorism and organized crime
  • protection of the highest state officials, diplomatic representatives in the Republic of Croatia, Croatian representatives outside Croatia as well as objects of state and national interest

The Intelligence Community is responsible for providing assessments and intelligence to the President of the Republic of Croatia, the president of the government, and ministers of state ministries in order to enable them to more effectively protect national security, that is, promote national interests.

The Joint National Security Committee (SONS).

The task of SONS is to direct and organize the work of the state ministries in performing actions relating to national interests. SONS sets goals, and tasks and approves work plans of the intelligence community, and also determines policies and strategies relating to protection of the domestic and foreign officials. SONS also prescribes measures and activities relating to protection of national interests.

The director of the National Security Office presides over the sessions of SONS, and members of SONS are comprised of the deputy director of the National Security Office, the director of the Croatian Intelligence Service and ministers of state ministries. The national security and domestic policy advisers to the President of the Republic of Croatia also participate in the work of the Joint National Security Committee.

Coordinating Committee of the Intelligence Community.

The coordinating committee of the Intelligence Community (KOOZ) is responsible for the implementation of tasks received from SONS. KOOZ coordinates the work of all agencies in the implementation of their appointed tasks.

The director of HIS presides over the sessions of KOOZ, whose members consist of the deputy director of HIS, the assistant minister of domestic policy (director of the Service for the Protection of the Constitutional Order), the assistant minister of defense for security, the head of the Security Intelligence Service, the head of the Directorate of Intelligence Affairs within the Croatian Army Headquarters and the head of the Department of international military cooperation of the Ministry of Defense. The director of HIS can when necessary invite representatives of NSEI, the Intelligence Academy, financial police, administrators of the Croatian customs, criminal police and military police to sessions of KOOZ.

Per the Handbook on the work of the Croatian Intelligence Community, the Coordinating Committee, among other things:

  • prepares yearly plans and work programs of the Intelligence Community
  • approves and accepts joint operative actions
  • organizes the work of the members of the Intelligence Community
  • performs analyses and evaluations of the more important operative actions
  • brings methods of the agencies' activities into conformity with regulations
  • monitors the state of affairs in the various services and undertakes steps to make improvements
  • suggests systems of training, procurement and preparation of members of the Intelligence Community in operational-technical sense
  • resolves conflicting interpretations in cases where jurisdiction of activities in various services overlap or are unclear, and other cases where conflicts exist

Members of the Intelligence Community

The core of the Intelligence Community is comprised of four agencies which perform intelligence work:

  • Croatian Intelligence Service (HIS)
  • Service for the Protection of the Constitutional Order of the Ministry of Domestic Policy of the Republic of Croatia (SZUP)
  • Security Intelligence Service of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Croatia (SIS)
  • Directorate of Intelligence Affairs within the Croatian Army Headquarters (ObU GSOSRH)

The Department of International Military Cooperation of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Croatia is a member of the Intelligence Community, but it is not an intelligence agency in the true sense of the word, as it collects data through diplomatic contacts and official cooperation with ministries of defense of other countries.

Croatian Intelligence Service.

HIS is the main and supreme service of the National Security Office (UNS). HIS implements the goals and tasks received from UNS. As the central agency of the intelligence community, HIS brings into conformity and directs the work of the intelligence and security services in activities of interest for national security and leads or monitors the joint operations of the Intelligence Community. HIS collects, analyzes and evaluates data which is obtained outside Croatia by direct operational work; within the territory of the Republic of Croatia, it is allowed to operate only in collaboration with other intelligence services.

HIS is authorized to work with foreign intelligence services.

HIS brings together, analyzes and evaluates data it has obtained through direct operational activities or from other members of the intelligence community. The analytical work product is provided by HIS to the President of the Republic of Croatia, the president of the government of Croatia and other appropriate parties.

Service for the Protection of the Constitutional Order (SZUP).

SZUP, in conformity with regulations on the Law on domestic activities6, performs tasks relating to the protection of the constitutional order, especially counter-intelligence tasks within the entire territory of the Republic of Croatia. SZUP prevents actions and intentions which violently endanger or destroy the constitutional order of the country. SZUP is also involved in terrorism and organized crime issues within the territory of the Republic of Croatia.

Security Intelligence Service (SIS).

In conformity with the Law on defense7, SIS collects information involving counter-intelligence protection of the armed forces and the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Croatia. SIS has no authority over civilian citizens of the Republic of Croatia except in cases of wartime operations when by order of the Minister of Defense the activities can be expanded to civilians in areas of military activity. SIS also performs counter-intelligence and security protection of military production regardless of the status of participants.

The Directorate of Intelligence Affairs (GS OS RH)

The Directorate of Intelligence Affairs collects intelligence data for use by the Croatian army. The Directorate is not permitted, in the performance of these tasks, to create a agent network or implement operations outside the Republic of Croatia, except in times of war. Outside Croatia it may only exchange intelligence data through official channels with military bodies with whom the Republic of Croatia cooperates.

Department of Internatonal Military Cooperation.

This service is responsible for procuring data which is obtained through official channels by military envoys of the Republic of Croatia outside Croatia from institutes by which they are accredited. Such reports are provided to the Minister of Defense and the Croatian Intelligence Service. This service may not act operationally either outside or within the Republic of Croatia.

Area of Activity of the Intelligence Community

The President of the Republic of Croatia provides direction for the work of UNS and the Intelligence Community of the Republic of Croatia. The director of UNS and state ministers determine the tasks of the services for which they are responsible. Every service prepares its yearly work plan according to the directions and tasks they have received. The yearly work plan of the Intelligence Community is prepared by KOOZ and consists of projects and operative actions in which two or more services must participate. The Joint National Security Commettee approves the yearly work plan of the Intelligence Community and monitors its implementation.

Between 1993-1998, the tasks of the Intelligence Community included the following areas of national interest:

  • protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia (liberation of the occupied territories of the Republic of Croatia)
  • problems of regional security (resolution of the crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina)
  • international terrorism and organized crime
  • counter-intelligence protection

From the beginning, the focus of the intelligence work of the Intelligence community was the territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia and regional stability, and two thirds of the operations and projects, that is, the capacity of the services, was devoted to these goals. Only one third of the capacity was directed toward international terrorism, organized crime and counter-intelligence protection8.

Form of reports.

HIS's information was utilized for the most part by the President of the Republic, president of the government and ministers of certain ministries. All reports sent to the above are sent also to the head of the National Security Office.

HIS sends to its users the following type of information: analytical articles (basic type of analytic work product), analytical studies (long-term character), and daily intelligence (selection of current information of short-term character). As needed, HIS also sends its users certain information from other members of the Intelligence Community.

Cooperation with foreign services.

Cooperation with foreign services is determined in the yearly plan, on the basis of agreements on cooperation with partner services. As the service which is authorized to work with foreign partners, HIS implements the majority of the cooperation programs with foreign partners. Other members of the Intelligence Community of the Republic of Croatia may work with related foreign services, but only with the knowledge and permission of HIS, that is, the Coordinating Committee of the Intelligence Community.

Cooperation with foreign services develops on the basis of exchange of information, technical, educational and, finally, joint operations as the epitome of cooperation between two partner services. HIS's basic area of cooperation with foreign services consists of problems of regional stability, international terrorism and organized crime.

Monitoring UNS and the Croatian Intelligence Community.

Monitoring of the work of UNS is performed by the President of the Republic. Monitoring the legality of the work of UNS is the responsiblity of the House of Representatives of the Croatian State Parliament through its Committee on Domestic Policy and National Security. UNS provides the Committee with yearly reports on its work and also, at the request of the Committee, special reports on individual activities within its jurisdiction.

Regular and special monitoring of the services of the Intelligence Community is performed by the UNS Control and Supervision Service.

Difficulties with the Model

One of the primary reasons for the formation of UNS and the Intelligence Community of the Republic of Croatia was the political necessity of coordinated and consistent reporting to the political leadership; until 1993, it was the case that the primary users were receiving conflicting reports on the same issues or even similar evaluations, but during different time periods, which provoked confusion.

Several years of intensive effort were needed to create trust between the services, services which by their very nature are distrustful. After some years, the Intelligence Community was functioning in conditions of full trust between the most senior individuals but also on lower levels. There were two critical reasons for such a development of events: first, there was too much work, too few people and too little equipment for just one service to perform the work alone; and second, in conditions of war in the country and the critical regional situation, no single service wished to assume the risk and responsiblity for eventual failures or miscalculations. The destruction and death were too great, and only by joint efforts could the danger be removed. The service chiefs and operatives realized and accepted this after several joint operations and successful actions such as Epilogue, or joint operations of security of international troops in the Republic of Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, operations in which literally all of the intelligence and security services of the Republic of Croatia participated.

Problems and misunderstandings occurred not in the Intelligence Community of the Republic of Croatia, but in the media representations of the Intelligence Community during the pre-election campaign rhetoric in 1997 and 1999. It was alleged that in the Republic of Croatia, there were nine or even eleven intelligence agencies9, and that there was complete confusion in relations between VONS, SONS and KOOZ10.

I am convinced that the prescribed model established balance between the politicians which determined tasks, and the goals, and the Intelligence Community, which implemented those tasks professionally and autonomously according to the law and rules of the trade11. In order for the Intelligence Community to have really been able to function as a group of synchronized agencies, it was necessary for all its integral parts to be able to operate successfully as individual units and to coordinate work relating to national security.

The most important coordinating body is the Joint National Security Committee (SONS), presided over by the director of UNS. Members meet as deemed necessary12 to analyze the security situation and to determine priorities of action for the Intellligence Community in the protection of national interests.

The Intelligence Community Coordination Committee (KOOZ) is comprised of all major figures of all intelligence and, as needed, security services in the Republic of Croatia. KOOZ transforms the strategic dimension, as defined by SONS, into operational tasks. KOOZ is also concerned with the precise division of work between the four intelligence services which exist in the Republic of Croatia: two civilian (SZUP and HIS), and two military (VOS and SIS)13.

The President of the Republic, director of UNS and state ministers determined the goals but were not involved in operations. The director of HIS and heads of the services (who were, in essence, assistant ministers) were involved in operations but not in setting goals for the service. In this manner, politicization of the intelligence system was avoided; in other words, any manipulation based upon eventual political interests was made impossible. Because of the two-tiered system of responsibility (subordination and coordination - service chiefs were primarily responsible to their minister, but also to the director of HIS14 for joint operations) the system was transparent for all participants, as there was no possibility of arbitrariness either in the selection of tasks or their implementation. Nor was it possible to abandon responsibilities which had been assigned. A series of legal acts and regulations determined the relations between the members of the Intelligence Community, that is, between UNS and HIS. Legal regulations which determine intelligence activities grow from year to year, and with this, pressure on operatives to strictly follow prescribed procedures. Parallel to this, the efficiency of the intelligence services has also grown and created a "surplus" of information which has been difficult to disseminate to a wide circle of users because, unfortunately, other potential users (in the government and Parliament) were not (and still are not today) sufficiently responsible concerning the sensitivity and protection of the classified documents and data.

II PROLOGUE: AMATEURS AND PROFESSIONALS

 

In the fall of 1993 in Washington I met for the first time with CIA Director James Woolsey. Although the HIS had just been constituted, meetings with foreign agencies were intensive from the very beginning, as everyone was seeking firsthand contacts and information. The American system, magnitude, potential and needs were impressive. This created an even larger imbalance between foreign agencies and the HIS, which consisted of a small number of enthusiasts and amateurs. We did not hide the fact that we were brand new in the field, amateurs who wished to learn the trade. It was because of this imbalance that I was surprised by the words with which Woolsey greeted me: "I hear that you've discovered the best kept secret in Washington - that we have no policy towards the former Yugoslavia." During a later visit, when I told the NSA director that the intelligence for a regional stability solution is not to be sought in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but in Washington, which in the meantime had assumed the leading role in the region, I received the following answer: "If something is a secret, we can discover it, but not if it's a mystery."

Soon we established very good relations with most intelligence agencies. I believe we achieved this due to our honesty, directness and dedication. In our relations with foreign agencies, we never falsified facts or idealized the reality (at least not intentionally). We took foreign operational officers and analysts on site, to the frontlines and into the battlefields, enabling them to get an insight into the actual situation and allowing them to reach their own conclusions. Our naivete spoke against us, but our openness, collected intelligence and results were to our advantage15. On several occasions I heard the same reaction from representatives of different foreign agencies. They were saying for the first time that they were dealing with real people, people who communicate directly and who actually do what they promise.

The relationship with foreign agencies was a two-way street of mutual recognition and establishment of trust. We established good relations with all those who wished to learn about the actual state of affairs in Croatia, as well as in the region. In the early nineties, not all countries or their governments were familiar with the causes of the crisis or the actual state of affairs in the former Yugoslavia. After several years of intensive cooperation, with all of the world agencies operating in this relatively small area, lack of intelligence could not be a reason or excuse for the fact that the crisis in Southeast Europe was still continuing. Croatia emerged from the crisis owing to its own political and diplomatic efforts and military operations. However, a hundred thousand soldiers, members of international forces, are still deployed in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania, and it is not certain that their mission will end in the near future.

How and why did HIS (i.e. the Croatian intelligence community together with the HIS) in such a short time become an equal interlocutor and later on, an equal partner to agencies with a very long history? Why are there no crucial differences in the assessment of the situation in the region? Why are existing differences being exaggerated at the diplomatic table?

Let us repeat once again: the HIS was formed in 1993 as a central agency of the National Security Office (UNS). The UNS was not a legal successor of any institution16. This means that the HIS did not inherit or take over anyone else's personnel or archives. The employment policy was not to hire people who had worked for the former agencies of the communist system. What was common to most people who started working at the HIS was their participation in the Homeland War17. As this was only one of the criteria in the very strict recruitment selection, the chief asset of the HIS was, from the very beginning, young, capable and modest people, who initially did not have any intelligence experience, but were aware of the on site circumstances and possessed the ability to assess and evaluate both people and events.

What we were all familiar with, regardless of our participation in the Homeland War, were the relations within former Yugoslavia, the main causes and actors in the crisis, as well as the views of the formal and informal leaders and their sanding on the political scene. All this was beyond the understanding of the foreigners, as their point of departure was a thesis and an image in which they wanted to believe, for one reason or another; namely, that former Yugoslavia was "a very nice country." All those who lived in it, but were not part of the communist establishment, knew how far that picture departed from the reality.

Where in then lay the advantage of the amateurs over the professionals? Did the advantage really exist or are we only imagining it?

I believe that the advantage did exist and that it was due to the fact that we were part of the reality, that we were familiar with the reality and knew what values we advocated and fought for. For us there were no multiple solutions - solutions theory and logic could devise and the illogical ones diplomacy proposed of. We knew exactly what the other sides in the conflict wanted. We wished the events to take only one direction in order to make a break from the past: the unitarian Yugoslav state and its communist regime. We knew the past very well and also knew what we not want. We probably idealized our goals, but not the past. Because of that, our road to the future was very clear, although not easy.

Our advantage lay in the belief that each intelligence assessment depended on a correct diagnosis of the situation. The theory that the prognosis is conditioned by the diagnosis can be explained by the following model18.

The essential thesis is a simple one:

Peace and stability in the region - i.e. some new, desirable reality - cannot be achieved by means, goals and models which depart from real diagnosis of the crisis. In other words, the means, goals and models shall only be realized to the extent that the initial premises (i.e. the set of information upon which the diagnosis of the present condition is based) actually coincide with the factual state of the crisis.

Viewed from the methodological standpoint this attitude is plausible. If we are to accept the thesis just presented, then we must be prepared to face the consequences thereof:

The goals and means for the resolution of a problem necessarily derive from the description of that problem ( facts and information by which a problem is described are the basic argument for the achievement of the desired objective);

There is no substantial difference between diagnosis and prognosis: the estimate of an existing condition and that of a desired condition are united by a common system of values which must be consistent, so that - as a result - both the evaluation of the crisis and the model for the crisis resolution are eventually consistent;

We only see what we want to see. We accept only information which we can understand. We understand only that which corresponds to our system of values; we propagate only those objectives, which correspond, to our Weltanschauung. In other words, the multitude of information and the ever-increasing quantity of data (relating to the crisis) do not have a cumulative impact. New quants of information do not increase our knowledge; rather, they increase the discrepancies between the opposing sides. The parties involved, having different points of view and departing from different systems of values, inevitably attribute a different meaning to the same set of information and data. Whenever there is a contradiction of interests among the various parties involved, their communication - in the course of time - progressively becomes ever more divergent and eventually results in an ever lower level of understanding.

I am deeply convinced that these postulates are valid for all participants in the crisis: for those advocating global and local solutions, for the developed and underdeveloped, great and small, powerful and weak, civilized and those who are not. These are simply the postulates of the organization and the exchange of knowledge which govern the behavior of social groups and political communities.

III CONTROVERSIES, REALITIES AND PREJUDICE

....... controversies

What was the reality and what were the objects of interest and activities of such a large number of intelligence agencies? What were the points of discussion and cooperation between the HIS and the Croatian intelligence community on the one side, and foreign intelligence agencies on the other?

Although it may seem superfluous, it is necessary to outline the basic contours of the events that were taking place in former Yugoslavia. These events still remain the cause of the unresolved crisis on the Southeast of Europe19.

A year and a half after the first freely held multi-party elections in 1990, Yugoslavia disintegrated. The process of decay was accelerated at the moment when all of the contradictions were exposed and the reality of Yugoslavia had become an illusion and a deception. The newly created countries celebrated their independence and emancipation, and the world pragmatically accepted the new realities as a fact, though - more often than not - it never actually understood the real reasons and causes of the disappearance of Yugoslavia.

Yugoslavia was a country laden with contradictions20. These contradictions are critical for the understanding of the past, the present, and the future of the relations between the nations and countries now created in the area of the former Yugoslavia. These contradictions are the determinig factors of the fears and desires, as well as the motivations and objectives, of the newly created subjects on the historical and political scene.

The co-existence of that time in the former Yugoslav state was equally cruel, as was the disintegration of the Yugoslav federation itself. Those who do not understand that, or do not take that into account, can never understand the situation in former Yugoslavia and will hardly be able to articulate paths and ways for finding a solution for the crises in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BH) and Kosovo today, and perhaps in the near future in Macedonia.

An obvious example of unresolved contradictions is the crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina. To the old contradictions should be added the new ones, provoked by the war and imposed by present/past solutions for multi-ethnic states.

The American idea of a nation advocates a multi-ethnic state, in harmony with the American experience, i.e. a nation as a single state having several ethnic communities. The European experience, however, is different. Europe is aware of and familiar with a state as a multi-national country and this view is also present in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BH): none of the three nations in BH is willing to give up its nationality.

The diverging American and European ideas of a nation come from two different historical experiences, two different interpretations of reality and, finally, two different visions of the future. The European models for the resolution of the Bosnian crisis followed the European experiences - mostly Swiss and Belgian21.

...... Realities and Prejudices

A number of democratic changes took place in Croatia in early 1990:

  • A multiparty political system was legalized and free elections were held;
  • The newly constituted Parliament met on May 30;
  • And in December of the same year, a new Croatian constitution, and constitutional laws regarding human rights and liberties and the rights of ethnic and national communities and minorities within the Republic of Croatia, came into being.

Aware that this process of democratization would call into question his plans for a Greater Serbia, Milošević offered his support to the extremist wing of the Serb minority within Croatia, who were threatening armed revolts and terrorizing those around them who held a different opinion. This was occurring with the logistical, political and propaganda support of both Serbia and the Yugoslav National Army (JNA). Military preparations for the realization of the project of Greater Serbia started in 1985 with the restructuring of military districts in former Yugoslavia in such a way that they covered the area of Greater Serbia22.

On May 19, 1991, a referendum was held in Croatia. Ninety four percent of voters voted for Croatian independence. Based on the results of the referendum, the Croatian Parliament adopted a constitutional declaration on the sovereignty and independence of Croatia on May 25, 1991.

 

The War in Croatia and the Reaction of the International Community

 

In July of 1991, after attempting a military intervention in Slovenia, the JNA carried out a brutally aggressive attack on Croatia, occupying about 25 percent of its territory. The JNA was controlled by the Serbs and, in the latter years of the war, was in effect reorganized into three different Serb armies: the Yugoslav army (JA), the Serbian Krajina army and the Republika Srpska army. The attack on Croatia, combined with the JNA's later activities in Bosnia-Herzegovina in cooperation with other Serb paramilitary units, provoked an extended security crisis in the region.

The aggression against Croatia carried out by the JNA came at an unfavorable time with respect to the international community, as it occurred immediately after the Persian Gulf War, and in the shadow of the crisis which shook the USSR, and led to its collapse. Today we know that only a military engagement in favor of the victims of Serb aggression could have been effective; however, nobody in the international community really considered this a serious option. All of the world's key actors were in support of preserving Yugoslavia. It is enough to remember the attempts made to preserve Yugoslavia with Ante Markovic, and later with Milan Panić.

The international community's response regarding the aggression of the then JNA against Slovenia and Croatia showed that it was taken by surprise by the ongoing events, and that it could not activate the necessary security mechanisms to put an end to the aggression.

After both Croatia and Slovenia postponed their declarations of independence for three months, upon the insistence of the European Community, the UN provided the Serb army an opening to pacify Croatia in September of 1991 by imposing an embargo23 on the import of arms upon the entire territory of the former Yugoslavia. This occurred under conditions of incredible military odds favoring the Serbian army over the poorly armed Croatian police and National Guard Corps units.

However, the international political players eventually had to face the fact that they had been trying to avoid: Yugoslavia, as a nation-state, was untenable. The only argument remaining for the regime in Belgrade was one of brute military force. Croatia, on the other hand, had free elections, a new and democratic constitution, and a referendum which confirmed its desire for freedom and independence to support its decision. Croatia expressed its determination in choosing and protecting its independence at all costs.

Serbia, however, did utilise its chance to realize its military goals. It could no longer hide from the international community the destruction and criminal activity for which it was responsible in Croatia. Croatia's military resistance and international public opinion, appalled by the extent of Serb aggression at the end of 1991, led to the first meaningful actions taken by the international community: the Badinter Commission24 confirmed the collapse of Yugoslavia as an international entity. Croatia was then recognized as a sovereign and independent state, first by the nation-states of Europe, and then by the rest of the international community. The United Nations, in cooperation with the Vance Plan, decided to send international forces to Croatia to carry out the plan25.

What did Croatia obtain with international recognition? On the one hand, it received political satisfaction, and on the other, it was able to incorporate the international community's mechanisms of operation for itself - UNPROFOR, and later UNCRO. Unfortunately, these mechanisms did not prove very effective. The political will needed to substantiate the signed agreements was absentand this resulted in a blockade that lasted from 1991 to August 1995. Consequently, Croatia may have been recognized as an independent state26 in 1991/1992, but it was forced to allow UNPROFOR and UNCRO into Croatia with all of their restrictions, limitations and prohibitions in the UNPA zones.

The War in Bosnia-Herzegovina

 

Milošević's war machine, which was brought to a halt in Croatia only after it had temporarily occupied of one fourth of its territory, soon turned its efforts toward Bosnia-Herzegovina. Its goal was comparable to that in Croatia, to destroy the country, reshape the ethnic picture within that territory and create a Greater Serbia.

With respect to both the level of brutality and the magnitude and intensity of the destruction, this episode of Serb aggression, committed against both Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, has been the bloodiest in European history since World War II. Because of these particular details, BH became a serious problem for the new European and world orders. It combined the interests of three national groups with divergent political interests: these were nations which belonged to different religious and cultural circles, something which has presented a deeply rooted historical problem in this region. This fact, along with the possibility that the conflict would spread to the neighboring countries of this region, prompted the international community to reconsider the political, military and security mechanisms in its concept of the new world order which had just begun to take shape.

Minimal consensus existed among the international actors only on one point: containing the conflict to the given territory and preventing it from spreading to the rest of the region. The questions of a political solution and territorial boundaries remained unanswered because these key international actors had such divergent interests that an agreement was impossible, an agreement which would eventually lead to the conclusion of the armed conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Diplomatic efforts of the international community were evident but unsuccessful. A "Cutileiro plan" was conceptualized prior to the escalation of the war in BH. However, no attempt was made to implement this plan. It was followed by the Vance-Owen plan in April 1993, the Owen-Stoltenberg plan in September 1993, and the Contact Group plan in June 1994. All the proposed plans were de facto failures as a result of the Serbs' repeated refusal to cooperate. With the international community lacking authority and the UNPROFOR forces lacking efficacy on the ground, a solutioncould not be formed. Consequently, this meant that the war in BH would continue. However, the search for a settlement opened up a whole new set of developments within Croatia.

In spite of different interpretations, Croatian policy towards Bosnia was clear and transparent from the very beginning. It rested on two basic principles, constitutiveness and territoriality for each of the three peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Constitutiveness and equality of all three peoples - Croats, Serbs and Bosniacs - is of crucial importance for the Croats, who are smallest in number. Territoriality, regardless of how it is described - provinces, cantons, union of three republics - is a precondition for a nation's continuance, and for the Bosnian Croats, it is a guarantee that they will not be repeatedly outvoted at the local level. It is because of this that Bosnian Croats voted for an independent Bosnia-Herzegovina at the referendum27. Republic of Croatia was the first28 to recognize Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent state and the only one to sign all the proposed plans for the resolution of the Bosnian crisis, because all of them more or less respected the principles of constitutiveness and territoriality.

The Liberation of Croatia's Occupied Territories: Operations Flash, Summer 1995 and Storm

 

During the summer of 1995, after a lengthy negotiation process with the assistance and mediation of the international community, Croatia was finally forced to face the fact that prospects for a peaceful return of the occupied areas were not viable in the near future. In order to protect its own national interests, the Croatian government decided to liberate the occupied territories by military means. Due to the geographic nature and circumstances in which Croatia found itself, the occupied territories presented a lasting problem for the normal development and functioning of the country.

The situation in Croatia was made more difficult by circumstances in BH, especially by the critical state of affairs in the Bihać region. Bihać, a UN "safe haven" in name only, had already found itself in dire straits a number of times because of continual siege by Serb forces, which included rebel units from Croatia's Knin area. If Bihać had fallen, Croatia would have been faced with a huge new wave of refugees. To make matters worse, the necessary conditions would have been set for the Serbian quasi-states in Croatia and Republika Srpska in the neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina to unite into one contiguous whole. In May 1995, the Croatian Army launched the military operation "Flash" and freed Western Slavonia. In coordination with the Bosnian Croat army (HVO) and the Bosniac army (ABIH), and on the basis of an agreement signed in Split29 outlining future military co-operation between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Operation "Summer 1995" was undertaken, freeing up the area bordering the Knin region on the Bosnian side. Some time later, at the beginning of August of the same year30, a much more elaborate operation, "Storm", took place. This operation liberated most of the remaining temporarily occupied territories in Croatia. The liberation of these areas created the conditions necessary for the active inclusion of the international community into the process of conflict resolution in the region. However, after the well known Republika Srpska army's occupation of the Srebrenica and Žepa31 "safe-havens" took place, the credibility of both the international community and the UN mission was destroyed.

After a lengthy but unsuccessful negotiation process, the actions of the Croatian Army allowed the international community to integrate itself actively and effectively into the crisis resolution process in the region. With a great deal of American diplomatic engagement, as well as NATO strength, the peace process was reinvigorated and the necessary results were achieved for peace and security to be established in the area.

Signed only after a great deal of painful compromise, the Dayton Peace Agreement32 marked the beginning of the normalization of relations between the republics of the former Yugoslavia, and an end to the aggression, war, devastating destruction and human suffering in BH. Even though the peace agreements deal mostly with Bosnia, it is worthwhile to note that the Croatian contribution was important. This was not only because it had changed the strategic situation on the ground by the successes of Operation "Storm", but because it had thwarted the Serb siege of Bihać, which had lasted 1000 days. It was also because of the key role played by the Croatian delegates in Dayton, even rescuing the peace process on more than one occasion.

 

*****

All these events and assessments of possible developments were and still are a topic of discussion between the HIS and foreign intelligence agencies. Differences in Croatian and foreign intelligence assessments of the regional crisis are not significant, particularly before the liberation of occupied territories in Croatia and the establishment of peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina33. Assessment differences became larger only after this period, when foreign agencies lost interest in domestic political developments of particular countries and when this interest shifted to non-governmental and "non-governmental" organizations and the diplomacy.

The differences increased first, in evaluation and assessment of the interior political situation, due to ignorance about the history and the past that determined the present circumstances and second, because of the fundamental difference in the conception of human rights in American and European politics as a basic instrument for the solution of the crisis.

Let us clarify the first thesis. The dream of a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural Bosnia-Herzegovina is not in conflict with the vision of the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but rather with experiences of the past: BH - as a multi-national and multi-cultural community - had been called, for years, "a small Yugoslavia". That is why the "Americanization of the Balkans" is in contradiction with both the history of BH and the history of (former) Yugoslavia, which makes the applicability of this concept to its future very questionable. Let us say once again: there is no contradiction in intentions; it is the vision which contradicts BH history.

Let us clarify the second thesis. American policy34 was guided by the human rights principle; however, American policy only acknowledges individual human rights and treats them as if they were universal human rights. Individual human rights form the basic principle upon which rests the American globalization policy. Unlike the American approach, Europe acknowledges both individual and collective human rights: the right to culture, religion, language, nation, etc. The Serb-Albanian conflict in Kosovo is essentially about collective, not individual human rights. It is because of their failure to recognize this difference that the NATO troops in Kosovo misdirected the goal of their mission, and KFOR is left with no prospects for ending its mission anytime in the near future.

IV - SAPERE AUDE35

During the first five years of their existence, the Croatian Intelligence Service (HIS) and the Croatian intelligence community contributed significantly to the liberation of occupied Croatian territories. HIS participated in intelligence assessment processes and its members personally took part in all military operations until 1995, not just as operatives and analysts, but also as members of military units. This was only possible in a unique period when patriotism made such solutions possible. That unique period is now behind us. Only those who have been at war, who have felt the bitterness of defeat and the glory of victory can begin to understand the relations of trust, courage and dedication established among people who began a job together and persevered until they reached their goal.

For a number of years, people were directly exposed to the dangers of war. It was mere luck that none of the HIS members were killed in military operations and operations in the battlefield. It was partially owing to the efforts of the intelligence community that the last occupied part of Croatian territory - so called East Sector - was peacefully reintegrated with the rest of the country from 1995 to 1998.

During the entire time the HIS and the Croatian intelligence community also cooperated with foreign intelligence agencies on issues of regional stability. They also provided support for the security of international troops (UNPROFOR, UNCRO, IFOR, SFOR, etc) in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Each year all Croatian intelligence and security services were praised and thanked for their efforts and assistance by commanders of NATO and the international forces36.

During its first five years the HIS dedicated two thirds of its actions and capacities to the tasks of the liberation of occupied territories and regional stability. About one third of assignments pertained to the antiterrorist program and organized crime. In war and postwar circumstances, this part of the program was partly related to the first group of tasks.

In a short time, the HIS established cooperation with a large number of foreign agencies37. these established partnership relations were and still are a contribution to the stability of the whole region. It is owing to these relations that particular countries, their services and governments, were able to recognize the realities in Southeast Europe in a better and more precise way, which means that the services cooperating with the HIS had at their disposal intelligence and facts about the reality in the crisis area. As has been said before, there is no prognosis without an accurate diagnosis of the situation. However, responsibility for the use of intelligence rests with the politicians. In spite of the availability of intelligence, one should not overestimate the power and role of intelligence agencies on any side, since their findings are just one of the sources that are ultimately determined by the worldviews, goals and possibilities of those who make the decisions.

In a speech38 delivered on the occasion of the adoption of the National Security Office (UNS) Act in May 1995 I indicated a goal to which we all subscribed and to which we dedicated our efforts: "To form an intelligence community with the UNS as a central institution and the HIS as an elite agency. The goal is to ensure strategic information for long-term strategic decisions by the leadership (the President of the Republic and the Government). To guide the activities in such a way that it is publicly known that we are creating, and that we are, an intelligence elite, both professionally and ethically. No action, operation or behavior of our members should be unethical. We desire respect not only from the Croatian political scene, but also from the international intelligence community. We must strive to be better than any services in the former socialist countries, and more efficient than most West European agencies.

"Our objective is to be a small, but highly professional and ethical agency. Our every member must be above average. The nature of our work is intellectual; we work using our minds or engaging others to acquire knowledge of a superior kind.

"To be an elite, intelligence elite is to be above any average. Therefore an easy goal is not our goal. Only that which is high enough and important enough for strategic decisions and assessments..."

From the very beginning the Croatian Intelligence Service was asked to aim for the highest goals: freedom and independence for Croatia, peace and stability in the region. In return, members of the Croatian Intelligence Service received the best that their country had to offer: a chance, opportunity and role in the historical changes. There are no words that can describe the feeling of belonging and participating in the struggle for the rights of the Croatian people and enabling all the citizens of Croatia to be able to choose and form their own faith and future.

 


 

NOTES

1 Today we could present Bacon's divisions in another way: cultural bias, personal bias, media bias (prejudice of public opinion), group bias (prejudice based upon interest).

2 I was the director of HIS and the deputy director of UNS from 1993 to May 1998. I resigned at my own reqeust. I was however appointed president of the Educational Council of the Intelligence Academy in October, 1998.

3 This report was written on the basis of reports and summaries prepared for lectures at the Intelligence Academy. Some formulations are taken from the brochure "UNS and the Intelligence Community of the Republic of Croatia", an internal publication of UNS from January 2000.

4 Law on the National Security Office (NN 37/95).

5 The following acted as directors of the National Security office between 1993-1998:

ˇ Hrvoje Šarinić (3.4.1993 - 12.10.1994)
ˇ Krunoslav Olujić (12.10.1994 - 18.5.1995)
ˇ Miroslav Tuđman - served as acting director (14.6.1995 - 1.2.1996)
ˇ Luka Bebić (1.2.1996 - 15.12.1996)
ˇ Ivan Jarnjak (16.12.1996 - January 2000)

6 Law on Domestic Policy (NN 29/91, 19/92, 33/92, 76/94)

7 Law on Defense (NN74/93)

8 Per the Proposed Work Plan for 2000, the main tasks should include:

ˇ Croatian national interests and regional stability
ˇ protection of sovereignty and integrity
ˇ international terrorism and organized crime
ˇ counter-intelligence protection of classified data in the state government bodies
ˇ protection of economic interests

It is obvious from this that during the years, changes have taken place regarding the main foci of the Intelligence Community, according to political and security developments.

9 The weekly magazine "Globus" (No. 468) published an article entitled "Nine intelligence and counter-intelligence agencies are active in the Republic of Croatia", to which the Secretariat of UNS responded in a statement of December 8, 1999.

10 VONS - Defense and National Security Council, which is appointed per the Constitution by the President of the Republic of Croatia

11 The work of the intelligence and security services of the Republic of Croatia is regulated by a series of laws. The most important are:

ˇ Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (NN 8/98)
ˇ Law on the system of state administration (NN 75/93)
ˇ Law on state officials and deputies and on salaries of legal officials (NN 74/94, 86/94, 7/95)
ˇ Law on the National Security Office (NN 37/95)
ˇ Law on Domestic Policy (NN29/91, 73/91, 19/92, 33/92, 76/94)
ˇ Law on foreign policy (NN 48/96)
ˇ Law on Defense (NN 74/93)
ˇ Law on changes and additions to the Law on Defense (NN 57/96)
ˇ Law on service in the armed forces of the Republic of Croatia (NN 23/95, 33/95)
ˇ Law on financial police (NN 89/92, 16/93)
ˇ Law on changes and additions to the Law on financial police (NN 94/93)
ˇ Law on additions to the Law on financial police (NN 28/94)
ˇ Law on customs agency of the Republic of Croatia (NN 53/91, 57/91)
ˇ Law on changes and additions to the Law on customs agency (NN 106/93)
ˇ Law on protection of classified data (NN 108/96)
ˇ Law on negotiating and implementing international agreements (NN28/96)
ˇ Law on investigatory commissions (NN 24/96)

12 SONS meets on an average of twice a month.

13 Or, according to other criteria: two intelligence services (HIS, VOS) and two counterintelligence services (SZUP, SIS).

14 Director of HIS has the status of state minister as he presides over the members of KOOZ, who are assistant ministers.

15 Since the very beginning we were open for cooperation. In his guidelines, Croatian president Franjo Tuđman always determined the type, direction and scope of cooperation. As a rule we received instructions for openness and directness in the passing of real goals and intentions of the official Croatian policy.

16 It is not true that the UNS is a legal successor of the Office for the Protection of Constitutional Order headed by Josip Manolic, as was reported in the media.

17 President of the Republic Franjo Tuđman visited the HIS on 10 October 1996. On that occasion I informed the President of the personnel structure in the HIS: eighty percent of men, i.e. fifty percent of all employees, took part in the Homeland War. HIS employees do not have military ranks, but there was also one general, two brigadiers, five colonels etc. with personal ranks obtained in the War.

18 I advocated this thesis in my paper "A view from Croatia. Peace and Stability in the Balkans and in Southeast Europe. Realities and Contradictions," Wilton Park Conference: Peace and Stability in the Balkans and in Southeast Europe, 27-31 October 1997.

19 See Tuđman, M. "Croatia as a Factor for Peace and Stability in Europe", in. M. Sopta (ed.) Croatia as a Stabilizing Factor for Peace in Europe, Croatian Center of Strategic Studies, Zagreb, 1998.

20 So were both the former Czechoslovakia - the CSSR - and the USSR. The downfall of these multi-national countries has a common point of departure: the need of the so-called small nations to achieve their independence and sovereignty.

21 Cutileiro, Vance-Owen and Owen-Stoltenberg plans had advocated a provincial, a cantonal partition model for BH, and/or envisioned BH as a union, consisting of three republics.

22 See Admiral Davorin Domazet (2000). How aggression against Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina was prepared or the transformation of the JNA into Serbian imperial force. National Security and the Future, 1(1)107-152.

23 25 September 1991. Upon Yugoslavia's proposition, UN Security Council adopted Resolution 713 on complete embargo on the import of arms in Yugoslavia. The JNA's attack on Vukovar had begun a month earlier, on August 25, 1991. A week after the Resolution had been adopted, on October 1, 1991, the Montenegrin-Serbian aggression aimed at the Dubrovnik region began along the entire border between Montenegro and Croatia. On October 7, 1991, JNA airplanes bombed president Tuđman's office Banski dvori, during his meeting with Stipe Mesic and Ante Markovic.

24 Badinter Commission, an arbitration commission of the Peace Conference for Former Yugoslavia, decided on July 4, 1992 that the "SFRY does not exist any more" and that the SRY could not be considered its "only successor."

25 On December 11, 1991 the Security Council was presented with C. Vance's plan for the UN peace operation in former Yugoslavia. The Security Council approved urgent deployment of 14000 blue helmets in Croatia on March 6, 1992.

26 Germany recognized Croatia on December 23, 1991, and EC countries did the same on January 15, 1992.

27 At the referendum on Bosnia's independence on February 29, 1992, 64.31 percent of citizens, mostly Muslims and Croats, chose an independent and sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina.

28 Croatia recognized Bosnia on April 7, 1992.

29 The Split Agreement on Military Cooperation, i.e. "Declaration on the Implementation of the Washington Agreement, joint defense from the Serbian aggression and achievement of political solution", was signed in Split by Croatian president Franjo Tuđman, president of Bosnia-Herzegovina Alija Izetbegovic and president of the Federation Kresimir Zubak on July 22, 1995.

30 Military operation "Storm" during which 26.5 percent of occupied Croatian territory was liberated, began on August 4 and ended on August 8, 1995.

31 The massacre in Srebrenica happened on July 7, 1995. and the fall of Zepa was on July 25, 1995.

32 During peace negotiations in Dayton, representatives of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia initialed a General Peace Agreement on Bosnia-Herzegovina on November 21, 1995.

33 Croats and Bosniacs signed the Agreement on the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Special Relations with the Republic of Croatia in Washington on March 18, 1994; in 1995 in Dayton all three peoples signed the agreement on Bosnia-Herzegovina, comprised of the BH Federation and the Republika Srpska.

34 President Clinton's directive: Executive order 13107, "Implementation of Human Rights Treaties," December 10, 1998

35 Sapere aude is the motto of the HIS, and is written into the agency's emblem. The sense of this Latin saying is 'dare to be wise' (Horatius), 'have strength to use your own reason' (Kant); its literal meaning is 'acquire wisdom through listening', and its essential meaning is 'be smart'.

36 In October 1999 in Mostar (BH) SFOR conducted operation WESTAR. They penetrated into the National Security Service headquarters, aiming to prove HIS's illegal operations in the Federation. The HIS immediately issued a release requesting an apology and a statement from the US Administration. I received letters from directors of the CIA and the NSA, supporting and confirming our statements. US Ambassador in Zagreb William Montgomery on several occasions stated for the media that Croatia had contributed significantly to the security of international troops. SFOR never submitted any evidence of illegal actions of the HIS in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but the US government and the State Department failed to employ fair treatment of SFOR and the Croatian government thereby preventing unnecessary media manipulations.

37 Today HIS cooperates with twice as many foreign agencies than former Yugoslavia did until 1990.

38 This is one of the few speeches that I wrote beforehand and therefore it is presented here in its original form, and not from memory.

 

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