Reform of Civil-Military Relation in Hungary in context of joining NATO
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Defense reform in Hungary has followed a difficult path from the Soviet era to NATO accession. This paper suggests how Hungary first adopted the new Defense Law and Basic Security Principles in 1993, and defined the roles of the Armed Forces in the new post-Cold War era. Secondly, by the end of the NATO accession talks in 1998, Hungary transformed not only its own military to comply with NATO standards, but also the command structure and the leadership and management of the Armed Forces. As a consequence of the 1999 Kosovo War the Hungarian government initiated a new, three-phase defense reform concept. The new defense reform sets forth a smaller, better-equipped, sustainable army, capable of carrying out missions, originated in the 1998 Defense Law, the 1998 Basic Security Principles, and international obligations. Due to a broad parliamentary and public consensus and a ten-year process, from 1990 to 2000, Hungary has radically transformed its civil- military relation and established the basis of a Western democratic principle-based, civilian-controlled Armed Forces.
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