Study of the situation and activities of the military intelligence service, as well as all the other forms and stages of its transition during the National Liberation War and in the period between 1945 and 1985, was based on the fact that the aforesaid service represents integral part of the SFRY security system, whereas at the same time it represents an element of the command and staff system at all levels of command in Yugoslav People's Army, but with particular organization and methods of work, which determine its place and role within the Armed Forces.
Development and operation of the military intelligence service in the National Liberation War was studied through the process of its establishment within regional and pan-yugoslav framework. The analysis of the aforementioned process clearly shows the aforesaid process lagging behind the general course of events related to the uprising and development of the Armed Forces. Individual examples of the timely and meaningful organization of the intelligence service in certain provinces may relativize this assessment to a some extent, because the outlining of the pan-yugoslav synthesis took place in the second year of the uprising. The main reason of the non-timely decision making on organization and operation of the military intelligence service is based on the fact that the very General Staff of the National Liberation Army and Partisan Squads of Yugoslavia had no concise concept of organization, tasks and methods of work of the service. Such a treatment of the military intelligence service has narrowed the possibilities based on »Directives for organization of the intelligence service«, published on November 27, 1942, intended for the organization of the territorial and operational component of the service and it had incomprehensibly prolongued the establishment of the recce units for long time.
A delay in development of the military intelligence service, as well as the staff functions, resulted in incomplete insight and inadequate assessment of the certain situations, which made hard to make correct decisions and solutions, as well as increased military losses and unsuccessful actions.
In accordance with the aforementioned instruction of the Supreme HQ of the National Liberation Army and the Partisan Deatchment of Yugoslavia, the main HQs and commands of the corps managed to put the intelligence work into the "closed organizational framework", until the mid-1944 when it was done by the Supreme HQ. Stability and efficiency of the entire system in a province was enabled by the territorial component of the military intelligence service. That precious experience was almost entirely neglected until mid-70s. Neither the territorial component (sector) was not paid not a slightest attention. Regular and modern concept of the organization and development of the territorial sector of the military intelligence service, nor its official establishment through current legal regulatives had not managed, for many different reasons, to enable that sector to start to function to a certain extent. The unique basis was not created for organization and operation of the territorial intelligence service in entire territory of the SFRY.
The open counter revolution in Kosovo and increased role of the YNA in protection and defense of the constitutional order in the coutry brought into the focus the experiences related to the organization and work of the miitary intelligence service in Srem during the National Liberation War (1942-1944), when the tripartite division principle was applied. The intelligence service of the operative units had both components: operational - comprising the function of collection and estimate of the data about the enemy for the Headquarters, and planned guidance of the entire intelligence work, as well as the territorial - with its own cooperation connections and stationary recce and surveillance system in the territory, of interest to a military unit, courier and signal connections. In parallel with that concept of the intelligence service in operative units, there was also a logistic intelligence service - made up of the military territorial commands, with adequate structure of the organs and organizations necessary for protection and reporting.
Post-war development of the military intelligence service depended on military and political situation in the world and international position of Yugoslavia, development and needs of the armed forces and our materiel, technical and other capacities.
Military and political situation in the world and strategic position of Yugoslavia were complex and hard in entire post-war period, starting from 1945 to 1985. During the first three years of the post-war period, threat to integrity and sovereignity of Yugoslavia, demonstrated by threat of use of the military force, came only from the West. The objective analysis, however, indicate that the integrity and sovereignity of the country, in that time, were threatened also from the East - not by threat of use of the armed forces, but with other, political and military means. The surrounding sources of threat to integrity and sovereignity of the country, with different and frequently simultaneous pressures from both the West and the East - became some kind of a constant.
Due to the creation and development of the political alliances and military blocks the pressures and threats to integrity and sovereignty of Yugoslavia seemed as a constant, the slightest ignorance of which could have fatal effects. The territorial pretensions to towards our country as well as historically burdened relation to some of its neighboring countries made that ring of threats and pressures on our country even stronger.
Constant potential danger, coming from numerous directions, from great number of possible adversaries and through many forms of possible aggression, have all put before the intelligence service of the YNA General Staff difficult and responsible tasks. In order to carry them out in a successful manner, the service had to reorient and change its center of gravity, which coincided with previouslydetermined periods in its development. Given all of the abovementioned and other reasons, the service was often reorganized. Those reorganizations, in some cases, depended on changes of the scope and character of the tasks, whereas in other cases - they depended on Armed Forces reorganization and need to adjust to a new situation.
For the purpose of successful accomplishment of the task, the military intelligence service systematically monitored and studied general military and political situation, military and political strategy of the super powers and military blocks, as well as their relation with the SFRY. Thus, the Second Department of the General Staff of YNA was in charge of assessing the level of threat to Yugoslavia, as well as of the intentions and capacities of the potential aggressor. Those estimates represented the basis for definition and adoption of the war doctrine and elaboration of the military war plans. The abovementioned estimates also influenced the promulgation and adoption of the certain positins related to SFRY foreign policy. In most cases, those estimates were real and reflected the real level of threat to the security of the SFRY.
On the basis of the decision of the Defense Minister on organizational and mobilization changes, on September 14, 2004, the Intelligence department of the General Staff was disbanded, and its members were transferred to a newly formed :
а) Military Intelligence Agency (MIA) which was established as an independed organizational entity within the intelligence and security sector of the Ministry of Defense and was directly subordinated to the head of the Intelligence and security sector. The MIA asumed the greatest part of the tasks and competencies of the Intelligence department,
б) Department for intelligence, recce and electronic warfare of the General Staff, which represents the organizational entity of the General Staff and is in charge of recce units, recce aviation and electronic warfare units.
In the aftermath of the organizational and mobilization changes of March 23, 2006, the Intelligence and security sector of the Ministry of Defense was disbanded whereas the MIA became directly subordinated to the Minister od Defense as an independed organizational entity within the Ministry of Defense. That legal regulation is still into effect.
The organization of the Military Intelligence Service had some newly built elements, in accordance with current security environment,particularly challenges, risks and threats which were recognized as a threat to a global and regional security, with particular emphasis on monitoring of the bearers of the asymmetrical threats in a surrounding and broad region with an aim to act in an preventive manner.
The MIA changes resulted in its previously planned transformation into a modern intelligence service. While elaborating the organization and systematization of workplaces, foreign intelligence services' experiences were used, as well as determination of its own needs and possibilities.