The role of armed forces in Central Europe

Csaba Hende: Twenty Years of Restructuring the Armed Forces in Hungary
During the last 20 years the Hungarian Defence Forces have gradually suffered losses of its capabilities, even though at a changing pace; therefore the military’s ability of fulfilling its most important constitutional duty, the armed defence of the country, has become limited. In 1999 the Government resolved to launch a development program till 2013 which, for the first time in 5 years envisaged the further transformation of the HDF’s structure and character in the framework of a deliberate process rather than merely the result of “ad-hoc” decisions. The Hungarian Defence Forces were in a professional and moral crisis in that point of time. It was just evident to me that a full redesign and the entire reconstruction of the armed force were necessary rather than a turnaround. The author analyse the professional crisis, the moral crisis, the activities in foreign missions, voluntary reserve system, the new HR Strategy, and the Cyber warfare in the Hungarian Army.

József Padányi: Changes in the Hungarian Defence Forces between 1990 and 2010
The Hungarian Defence Forces is a reflection of the changes over the past twenty years, which is characterized by society as a whole. In accordance with the earlier expectations of the Warsaw Pact, a large army was transformed into a small force. The requirements have changed such as dislocation, tools, tasks, and the military thinking did the same as well. Attention was given to the national interests and values. Emphases were given for such kind of challenges as participation in peacekeeping missions, the protection against disasters, and humanitarian military missions. As a NATO member state, we are engaged in operations far from the country’s borders, and we are active members of the UN-led missions as well. In each moment one thousand soldiers of us are serving beyond the borders. Of course, our basic task remains the national defence, and the guarantee the citizens’ security.

Máté Szabó: Comprehensive Survey of the Hungarian National Armed Forces
I felt it necessary to investigate – since 1997 when first time the new professional army was set up – whether the basic rights of the professional as well as contractual members of the Hungarian National Armed Forces, such as the right to life and human dignity, the freedom of opinion and religion, the right to culture were adequately asserted, whether the valid regulation and practice could be harmonised with the requirements of equal treatment and legal security. During investigations on the spot my associates studied the living and working conditions of the effectives during one year and they visited army premises at Tata, Szolnok, Szentendre, Győr and Székesfehérvár. Their experiences gained were collated with information received from the Ministry of Defence as well as with the valid legal norms. I have taken the initiative at the Government to investigate the possibility of evolving a new “strategy of military policy” for the longer run, based on professional consensus, or the possibility of the development of the current strategy.

Vladimir Rukavishnikov: The August 1991 Occurrences in Moscow – a Retro View at Events About Twenty Years After
The August 19, 1991 occurrences in Moscow are widely named in the world as an attempt of coup d’état; they are also known as a coup, putsch, i.e. the sudden, illegal deposition of a government.  That coup, organized by top Communists hard-liners, state officials –members of the so-called State Committee on Extraordinary Situation (SCES) which was titled as the highest ruling body of the USSR, had failed. The August 1991 putsch had resulted in a prohibition of the Communist party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in the Russian Federation right after its failure, and, finally, in the dissolution of the USSR in December 1991. Thus in the fall of 1991 the more than seventy years’ history of the communist ruling in Russia had ended. The paper discusses and compares the popular perceptions of the August 1991 coup after the failure of the coup d’état and in nowadays. The discussion of assessments and attitudes towards the State Committee on Extraordinary Situation and its opponents is based on data of opinion polls. The issue of perestroika as a prelude for the further events is also tackled.

Jody Jensen: Beyond Sovereignty – The Transformation of the Nation State
Under the impact of globalization, sovereignty has become “fuzzy”.  After decades of never-ending theoretical debates, we may conclude that nation states remain powerful, and political leaders can play decisive roles in the world, but the question is what to do with the crisis of democracy itself recognized at national, regional and global levels. Nations today face more risks and dangers than they do enemies. In the globalizing context the nation state is being reshaped. The adaptive states will be confronted with challenges in terms of 1) decreased autonomy because of increased dependence on other states, 2) the increasing requirements for legitimacy, and 3) the need to adapt to sudden dramatic climatic changes in the natural environment, human migration, and international criminal activities. These will increase the burden on state capacities. Successful states will be those that are able to “adapt internally and externally” to large scale challenges.

József N. Szabó: Hungary’s Accession into the European Union and Hungarian Culture
Hungary has to be aware that after the accession into the European Union the country will not only belong to an economic and political union, but also to a colourful, still united European culture. In fact Hungary has belonged to this common civilization for hundreds of years, enriching it over the centuries and continually adapting its values. The Hungarian population should be made aware of the challenges awaiting the country and its culture after the accession. When we join the European Union, we need to find the ways of preserving the values of our national culture and identity. Analyzing cultural connections between Europe and Hungary is not only important from a purely scientific or scholarly aspect, because knowledge and information become the most important resource in the 3rd millennium. As a result, culture shall acquire an entirely new function. It is also expected that new cultural-civilizational challenges shall appear in the globalizing world.

Csaba Kenessey: The Role and Influence of the Western Media in the Effort to Discredit Hungary
Many books were written about the 1956 Revolution and Freedom Fight of the Hungarians, even people, who professed to be leftist philosophers; it was fashionable to embrace leftist ideas and be a socialist, or communist at the time, were shaken in their beliefs and seeing the unmasked reality of Communism left the Party. It was impossible not to see the true nature of Communism any more. During the next four years until the elections of 2010, many books and articles were published in the West describing the Hungarians as being racists, having Nazi sympathies, etc., and the plight of the Gypsy population because of the atrocities committed against them. It didn’t seem to matter and bother these media ”experts” that the facts were different. In many places it was in fact the Gypsies who terrorized the Hungarians. The Hungarian Guard (Magyar Gárda) performed a useful service for them. They were depicted as a Nazi organisation who create ”fear” among the ordinary people. A lot of space was given to the Gypsy murder cases. In connection with this untrue and misleading statements and comments are continuously appearing in the Western Media.