Politic Military Advisory
To understand defence reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) it is important to know that BiH defence reform is not like defence reform elsewhere within the Euro-Atlantic security sphere. Whereas NATO partners or aspirant nations must transform their armed forces so that they are relevant to the current security environment and capable of contributing to the operational capabilities of the Alliance, BiH must also build a single military force out of two distinct armies who have pursued different paths under the control of the two entities that make up the country. This must be accomplished in an environment characterised by a relatively weak central government, an immature state-level financial framework, a political dynamic that still rewards ethnically-based factionalism over more broadly-based political, economic or social programmes, and a multiplicity of international actors. As such, NATO models applied in other theatres cannot be uniformly applied in BiH. Defence reform in BiH is intensely political and wholly different.
In order for the NHQSa to execute its leading role in defence reform a range of civilian staff expertise was required within the core headquarters structure. This core element is a civilian branch, identified as the Politico-Military Advisory Section (PMAS). The PMAS has comprehensively supported defence reform with the provision of politico-military, legal, financial, and economic advice. The PMAS has developed the strategic defence reform project plans, which have been implemented by the NHQSa to date.
The PMAS branch directly supports the SMR and NATO POLAD/Director DSSR with continued planning of the NHQSa primary mission, defence reform and with related policy development. Members of the PMAS have been associated directly with the defence reform process since the beginning of the Defence Reform Commission in 2003. PMAS staff also wrote the historic 2003 Defence Reform Commission report, " The Path to Partnership for Peace” and were subsequently heavily engaged in the adoption of its proposed constitutional and legislative reforms to the BiH defence architecture. These were watershed events ushering the greatest changes to the military landscape in BiH since the Dayton Accords. The NATO's PMAS staff also wrote the 2005 DRC report, " A Single Military Force for the 21 st Century”, the blueprint for completely merging the Armed Forces of BiH into a NATO-compatible single military force.
The role of the PMAS is to provide analytical and technical civilian advice, staff capabilities, and expertise based on overall NATO standards and practice. This role is enhanced by its knowledge and experience of the BiH environment – the international members of the PMAS collectively possess over 25 years of security sector reform experience in BiH, and over 50 years of military experience.