Romania Table of Contents
The GNA has constitutional responsibility for national security and the authority to declare war or a national emergency, to order mobilization, to ratify an armistice or peace treaty, to appoint the supreme commander of the armed forces, and to award the ranks of marshal, general, and admiral. When the GNA is not in session, however, the Council of State assumes these powers and Ceausescu, as chairman of the latter, wielded these powers effectively. The small circle of Ceausescu, his family, and his closest political associates exercised real national security and defense policymaking authority, requesting and using expert advice as they deemed necessary.
Composed of party and state officials, the Defense Council examined and coordinated all problems related to national security, including both external defense and internal security. It provided strategic direction to the armed forces, supervised militaryrelated industries, and made national military and economic mobilization plans to be executed by the Council of State. In addition to Ceausescu, the Defense Council also included the prime minister, minister of national defense, chief of the Higher Political Council of the Army, chief of staff of the Patriotic Guards, minister of interior, minister of foreign affairs, and chairman of the State Planning Committee. The chief of the General Staff of the armed forces served as secretary to the Defense Council. Theoretically responsible to the GNA and the Council of State, the Defense Council directly advised Ceausescu on national security and defense issues.
The Defense Council structure also existed at lower administrative levels. Local party first secretaries chaired defense councils in the forty judete (counties) and some larger municipalities. Other members included the local people's council secretary, commander of the nearest military garrison, his political deputy, chief of staff of the Patriotic Guards for the area, head of the local Ministry of Interior office, Union of Communist Youth (Uniunea Tineretului Comunist--UTC) officials, and directors of major economic enterprises in the area. In peacetime local defense councils had responsibility for organizing all resources and productive capacity under their authority, for making local mobilization plans to fulfill national defense requirements, and for operating the military conscription system. In wartime they were charged with maintaining uninterrupted, or restoring disrupted, militarily essential production.
In contrast to the policy-making authority and strategic control exercised by the PCR hierarchy and the Defense Council, the Ministry of National Defense had day-to-day administrative authority over the armed forces in peacetime and was responsible for implementing PCR policies within them. In peacetime the general staff made provisional strategic and operational plans, based on general guidance from the Defense Council, coordinated the actions of the armed services, and exercised operational and tactical control of the armed forces as a whole.
The Ministry of National Defense comprised several directorates and other organizations (see fig. 6). The Directorate for Military Intelligence (Directia de Informatii a Armatei--DIA) provided the General Staff with assessments of the strategic intentions of the NATO and Warsaw Pact countries and monitored indications and warnings of imminent hostilities against Romania. The Directorate for Military Publishing operated the Military Publishing House and published the monthly armed forces journal Viata Militara (Military Life) and the daily military newspaper Apararea Patrei (Defense of the Homeland). Several directorates of the Ministry of National Defense had extensive interconnections with civilian ministries, especially ones that supplied the armed forces matériel, armaments, and logistical support. For example, in 1989 a Romanian admiral headed the Department of Naval Transportation within the civilian Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications. In wartime other important ministries like it would be subordinated to the Ministry of National Defense. The Higher Political Council of the Army enjoyed a unique, somewhat autonomous status within the Ministry of National Defense. It operated as part of the latter but was subordinate to the PCR Central Committee. The Center for Studies and Research in Military History and Theory examined Romania's military experience as an input to the formulation of strategic and operational plans by the general staff.
Data as of July 1989
Romania Table of Contents