Faculty of Security Studies – University of Belgrade
NATURAL GAS AS A SUBJECT OF GEOPOLITICAL INTERESTS OF STATES
In the last decade, the subject of sale, purchase or transit of natural gas between the countries in Europe has gained, in addition to the economic dimension, a much broader, and for some countries even more significant, geopolitical dimension. This is most evident based on the attitude of the United States and some European countries towards the projects for the construction of the Nord Stream 2, Turkish Stream and South Stream gas pipelines. By displaying a negative attitude towards these gas pipelines, the United States (with the support of some European countries) has formally emerged as a "protector of the energy interests of European countries" from Russian influence, i.e. Russian gas. Essentially, the United States is trying to slow down, reduce and suspend gas supplies from the Russian Federation (RF) to European countries, especially the most powerful ones (Germany, for example), and disguised by the need to "diversify gas supplies to European countries", thus reduce Russia's presence in Europe and quality of interstate relations. At the same time, the United States is trying to offer and sell its liquefied natural gas to European countries as an alternative to Russian gas, and to "fill in" the empty geopolitical space. The Russian Federation, on its behalf, instructed by the experiences from several "gas crises" with Ukraine, but also in accordance with its geopolitical interests, seeks (and has almost succeeded in doing so) to ensure the transport and sale of its gas by building new gas pipelines to Europe and improve relations with European countries. Other European countries, which need Russian gas, are trying to ensure energy security by participating in the construction of the gas pipeline, or by supporting the realization of that project. The fate of the gas pipeline and thus the possibility of gas distribution to individual states becomes a subject of interest (and conflict) of the great powers and their geopolitical interests.
ORGANIZACIONE PROMENE MINISTARTSTVA ODBRANE U XXI VEKU
Odbrambena organizacija svake savremene države treba da bude izbalansirana civilno-vojna institucija sa jasno zakonski definisanom civilnom supremacijom. Ona mora biti sposobna da u okviru raspoloživih javnih resursa, obezbedi najoptimalniji ambijent za razvoj sistema odbrane a pre svega, pripremu i efikasnu i efektivnu upotrebu vojske u ostvarivanju dodeljenih joj misija. Obzirom da je projektovano stanje odbrambene organizacije u neprestanom razvoju i promenama, iskazanu kroz potrebu da se upodobi stvarni rizicima i raspoloživim resursima sistem odbrane mora biti u reformi koja ima trajni karakter. Shodno navedenom, Republika Srbija je u poslednjih dvadeset godina u nekoliko navrata usklađivala organizacionu strukturu Ministarstva odbrane, održavajući i stanje aktuelnog političkog trenutka u zemlji. Osnovno polazište u izgradnji optimalne organizacije Ministarstva odbrane u Republici Srbiji bila je želja da se obezbedi dominantna pozicija ministra odbrane u okviru rada nadležne institucije. To je ujedno predstavljalo osnovu za razvoj uspešnog menadžmenta i potrebnih resursa za civilnu administraciju, kako bi se pre svega ostvario potreban organizacioni model koji bi omogućio demokratski nadzor nad vojskom, ali istovremeno ispoštovao i vojnu ekspertizu u svim oblastima za koje je to neophodno. Ujedno usvajanjem novih strategijskih dokumenata i uvođenjem u promet koncepta totalne odbrane, traži se usklađivanje organizacije šeme Ministarstva odbrane sa aktuelnim viđenjem politike bezbednosti u zaštiti nacionalnih interesa Republike Srbije. U radu će biti prikazane promenu u organizacionoj strukturi Ministarstva odbrane Republike Srbije od 2000 godine do danas.
The Serbian Armed Forces as the Postmodern Military
One of views in contemporary research of civil–military relations is the postmodern view of the role of the military in the post–Cold War period. Charles H. Moskos et al suggest a typology that is suitable for cross-national research of civil-military relations. These typological trends, used as variables for assessment along the lines of the modern, late modern, and postmodern paradigm, are: perceived threat; force structure; major mission definitions; media relations, homosexuals in military; dominant military professionalism; public attitude toward the military; civilian employees; women’s role; spouse and military; conscientious objection. The subject of the Moskos study were developed Western countries considered to be “advanced democracies”. We address the question of whether the typology developed by Moskos can be applied to countries in the process of transition such as the Republic of Serbia and whether the Serbian Armed Forces belong to the group of postmodern armed forces. With regard to research in the field of civil- military relations in Serbia and available data in this paper we analyzed some of the variables, such as: perceived threat; force structure; major mission definitions; dominant military professionalism; public attitude toward the military; women’s role and conscientious objection. For the purposes of this study, we analyzed the literature on civil-military relations, legal documents, reports, survey data, the data provided to us by the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Serbia, as well as the research and publications examining modern and late modern armed forces for the purposes of this study. The analysis of the mentioned documents and literature led us to conclude that the Serbian Armed Forces can be classified as postmodern armed forces based on a large number of indicators.
Media and Democratic Control Over the Armed Forces In the Republic Of Serbia
State institutions (all three branches of government) have an important role in democratic control of the armed forces, together with civil society institutions among which the media, referred to as “the fourth branch of government” or “the watchdogs of democracy”, play the most important role. The armed forces need the media in order for them to inform the public about their role in society, educate the public on the issues of defense and security, as well as enable easier access to current events. For the majority of people in Serbia the media are the main source of information about what happens in society, and they influence public opinion to a great extent. However, previous research of the relations between the media and the armed forces in Serbia referred exclusively to the analysis of media content, while the media’s attitudes and knowledge of democratic control were not included. In this paper, based on the results of a pilot project carried out in 2013, we will present the extent of knowledge Serbian media have about democratic control of the armed forces, how the media evaluate their relations with the Ministry of Defense, and the basic obstacles the media encounter while exercising democratic control in practice.