04 October 2019

D.S.M. Conference | General (ret.) Stefan Danila: The fact that we do not have people in compulsory military service led to a rift in society

Nicolae Oprea

General Stefan Danila (ret.), former chief of the Romanian Army, pointed out, during the D.S.M. Conference, on Thursday, that Romania not having people in compulsory military service led to the creation of a rift between the Army and society, “which has other concerns”.

Image source: Mediafax

“Implementing a defence, air police capacity in one base took six years. Since 2013, when the contract for the 12 aircrafts was signed, we only started air policing with the F-16 this year, in Fetesti. So, the country’s defence capability takes quite a long time to achieve. We still do not know where we are or where we think we are,” said General Stefan Danila, former chief of the General Staff, during the “National security policy, from strategic thought to defence institutions” Conference hosted by the Defence & Security Monitor.

“We should be interested in defence. It should also interest those who are abled, not only us members of the military. It should interest them what is happening with the 2% (…) What we do further with the 2%, so that we do not spend money on something we will not be using in two or three years.

The fact that we are currently NATO and EU members does not mean that we gave up our sovereignty, we are part of the decision (…) We are at a place we have never been, but this does not mean that we have to leave our defence capabilities behind, that we have to neglect it,” he added.

General Stefan Danila raises the question of whether the Romanian society is prepared for a war.

“The fact that we do not have a military service, that we do not have people to carry out compulsory military service led to a rift in society, between the Army, an institution which is very well respected by the public opinion, but in which we are not interested any more, and society, which has other concerns, and then we ask ourselves if we are really prepared to defend the country? The individuals who are registered for mobilization in case of war, will they actually show up? Will they let the armies of Italy, Germany, fight with gun in hand, a gun we have not yet purchased, but we presume we will purchase?” Stefan Danila also explained.

The Defence & Security Monitor (D.S.M.) is hosting on Thursday, at the Marriott Hotel in Bucharest, the “National security policy, from strategic thought to defence institutions” Conference, a forum for debates with landmark guests from Romania and abroad. Among the subjects discussed at the event will be “the fundamental national interests and threats to national security”, “Romania’s capability to guarantee national security” and the concept of “Romanian national security” in international context.

Starting from the premise that “national security is the nation’s most valuable public asset”, conference guests, including Dr Thomas-Durrell Young, Israeli General Itai Brun, Polish General Jaroslaw Strozyk will analyse the significance of the concept of national security in the context of changes in the international system, especially in the Euro-Atlantic space.

The conference’s objectives range from the Romanian citizens understanding the importance of security and national defence by, to knowing the role of institutions, transparency in using public funds, the involvement of citizens in strategic decisions and identifying the main objectives and solutions of the future National Defence Strategy.

Translated by Ionut Preda