INTELLIGENCE IN ROMANIA: “REFORM OF THE REFORM” OR PROFESSIONALIZATION ?


The current evolutions on the intelligence arena in Romania are crucial for the future of intelligence reforms, with respect to both democratization and efficiency/effectiveness. The new National Security Strategy as well as the package of laws on national security will probably determine the degree of success of the security sector reform, in general, and intelligence, in particular.
In line with the hypothesis of this thesis, intelligence reforms carried out thus far focused especially on the democratization of intelligence. The mandate was clearly defined in legal texts approved by Parliament, according to democratic principles and
values. In terms of structure, the intelligence community was fragmented in order to prevent the appearance of a monopoly and to allow better control. Control was tightened through the creation of a variety of mechanisms. Finally, more and more civilians have been given access to the intelligence community. All in all, the Romanian intelligence community is now closer than ever to Gill’s domestic intelligence bureau.
All these steps, however, have led to a slight decrease in efficiency and effectiveness. Presently, intelligence reforms in Romania are in the phase of the feedback loop, which would explain the current attempts to increase efficiency and
effectiveness: the redefinition of roles and responsibilities, centralization of intelligence, and review of control mechanisms.
Once again, equilibrium has to be taken into account for the future, as excessive emphasis on effectiveness and efficiency may lead to an undesirable drop in democratization levels. As for the short-term, the following changes may be considered critical.
1. Role
The new laws will probably reflect the threat environment assessed by the National Security Strategy. If the allegations regarding the prosecutorial attributes of the intelligence agencies are true, special attention has to be paid in defining the legal limits of this mandate.
2. Structure
The creation of the National Intelligence Community (CNI), if approved by Parliament, may finally lead to the creation of a true national intelligence community, with a central coordinator of intelligence analysis. The CNI may also facilitate a better communication between the consumers of intelligence and the collectors/analysts.
3. Control
The level of accountability seems adequate enough for the respect of democratic norms/values. Most of the abuses signaled by the media (this by itself is a proof of good oversight) seem to be a result of the lack of professionalization of isolated individuals,
and not of the intelligence system as a whole. The only remaining issue in this field would be the oversight and control of the CNI by other state powers (legislative and judicial) as well as by the civil society.
4. Professionalization
This seems to be a problematic issue for the intelligence reform process. Despite the recruitment of some civilians and the de-militarization of the main intelligence agencies, the intelligence community still seems to be relatively closed to outsiders. The
inclusion of political scientists and international relations specialists might provide the input that Romanian intelligence needs for a better self-definition as a profession, but this means the need for an effort to raise the interest of civilians to work for and with intelligence.
In the more distant future, Romanian decision-makers should allow sufficient time for the current reforms to settle and produce the desired results. An impulsive and sudden “reform of the reform” would only lead to the dangerous self-defeating repetitive pattern as described by Dombroski.

The Intelligence Phenomenon in a New Democratic Milieu. Romania – A Case Study by Valentin Fernand Filip, Naval Postgraduate School, March 2006

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Filed under antiterorism, aparare nationala, contraterorism, științe politice, geopolitica, geostrategie, intelligence, relatii internaționale, securitate nationala, servicii de informatii, servicii secrete, siguranta nationala, studii de securitate, studii strategice, terorism

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