04 October 2019

D.S.M. Conference | Adrian Sarbu: A “culture of national security” is necessary

Mihai Draghici

National interest is equal to national values, and the national security strategy must include defending those values, MEDIAFAX owner Adrian Sarbu stated during the conclusions of the D.S.M. Conference, highlighting the necessity of a “national security culture”.

Image source: Mediafax

“Summarizing, national interest is equal to national values and, as long as we believe that our national foundations are democracy and liberty, we obviously must accept that they need to be defended. Therefore, security is a national value and we must have a strategy to defend these national values. Of course, the main issue is that national security requires a political consensus on national interest and unity with regards to the country’s objectives, in the common background of all ideologies, in coherent behaviour, in the existence and coherent behaviour of leaders and the elites, especially in the political sense; obviously – a reasonable behaviour of a Parliament which expresses the will of the Romanian people in the legislative and political areas. It is just as obvious that the president must be a guarantor for ensuring national security, in accordance with the national interest. (…) He is the de facto commander of the armed forces and, constitutionally, is de facto responsible for drafting and communicating the national defence strategy, of which we have somewhat discussed about, if it represents defence or not,” said Adrian Sarbu.

“The national defence strategy is about the citizen and for the citizen,” the MEDIAFAX owner highlighted.

At the same time, General Stefan Danila, a former chief of the Army General Staff, stated the following: “National economy is the primordial vehicle of national security; much has been discussed on the subject and we all agree that the main engine of our well-being, but also in creating resources for our defence is the national economy. National economy ensures both material and motivational resources to defend the country, because the citizen’s well-being means that we will keep in the country all the citizens who are fit to defend it, and we will not be depending on them to come from Germany, Italy or France to defend us when the country would be in danger. We have talked about the national defence economy and we insisted on the fact that it should be efficient and competitive, but should also answer to the army’s needs, as it is the beneficiary of this industry. Sustainable national security can be accomplished also through an efficient management of the budget and defence budget.”

Adrian Sarbu continued: “Because our purpose was to explore Romania’s capacity to defend itself – that is what we discussed today, or tried to, if you did not know – and the conclusions concern this big question, we obviously acknowledge and we do not minimize relations with our strategic partners. Our main strategic partners are the United States and NATO member states, and we obviously cannot talk about a national strategy which does not consolidate relations with the United States, but it should not be based on the idea of “let the Americans defend us, help us, invest in Deveselu, Turda, Mihail Kogalniceanu” and so on and so forth. It is very important to harmonize interests with our neighbours if possible, if not, we should minimize the conflicts of national interests. We cannot say that we have a neighbour without national interests at least partially opposed to ours. Just as important is the cooperation with the great continental players, who for the EU are Germany and France, and with those in the region”.

General Stefan Danila explained that: “Several opinions resulted from today’s discussion, that we can presume that national security is equal to national defence, but several problems have come from making these concepts even. It resulted that, if we were to incorporate all the problems of national security within national defence, we would have problems including in our discussions colleagues in NATO. Because some talk about defence, others talks about security. (…)”

Adrian Sarbu concluded the following: “We must talk about a culture of national security which can only be achieved by consensus, a consensus in the actions of political leaders, defence, security, business institutions and citizens. As promised, we will continue this process (…) of drafting a national security strategy.”

Translated by Ionut Preda