Challenges of Contemporary Military Diplomacy

25. 10. 2019

On October 23, 2019, a tribune on contemporary military diplomacy was held at the stand of the Ministry of Defense and Serbian Armed Forces at the Belgrade International Book Fair wherein Colonel Aleksandar Milenkovic and Colonel Sasa Perovic, from the Military Intelligence Agency, and Major Milan Beronja from the Department of Cooperation with Foreign Military Representatives of the Ministry of Defence participated.

Colonel Milenkovic spoke about the role of a defense attaché and specific responsibilities, as well as about the selection procedure and training process for officers assigned to this responsible duty.

"The roots of military diplomacy go back to the distant past. Military envoys used to be messengers of rulers, or sovereigns, but today it is a complex series of jobs and tasks that require special knowledge and skills”, said Colonel Milenkovic.

He advised young officers who wish to become a defense attaché to pay attention to studying foreign languages, knowledge in military doctrine and strategy, and all other important aspects of the armed forces.

Major Milan Beronja spoke about foreign defense attachés accredited to our country and the activities of the Department for Cooperation with Foreign Military Representatives. He presented interesting data on the increase in the number of activities of international military cooperation, giving the example that 741 activities were completed in 2006, while in 2017 there were 1021 activities.

Colonel Sasa Perovic informed the guests at the tribune about the current network of defense attaché offices of the Republic of Serbia and the challenges which our attachés are facing.

"The key challenge is the speed of information flow in the world that has become a “global village”. Twenty years ago, when we were sending people to some countries, it seemed like they were going really far, but today everything seems close thanks to the fact that information about certain event from the most distant part of the world come to us almost instantly, "said Colonel Perovic and added that the increase in bilateral military activities implies considerably more work for military diplomacy.

At the end of his presentation, he said that he can confidently claim that we have better understanding in the countries where we have our defence attachés, which is the proof that through the selection and training processes of the candidates, which are conducted by the Agency, the best people are chosen- the ones who can face complex challenges of military diplomacy.

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