In this interview, Jozo Rados describes his role as Croatia’s minister of defense and the reforms he helped implement to expand transparency and the role of civilians in the Ministry of Defense. He notes that prior to 2000 the Croatian Parliament lacked significant oversight and control mechanisms over the country’s military. He describes his efforts to depoliticize the ministry by putting restrictions on the ability of military officers to serve in high-ranking political party positions. He explains the role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in helping the ministry overhaul its defense strategy. He addresses alterations to the military’s chain of command and talks about the role of opposition parties played in the reform process through round table discussions. He describes how he managed to downsize the military through a restructured retirement process and reduction in the ministry’s branches. Finally, he stresses the need to strive for a properly balanced ministerial staff and a standardized system of personnel promotion.
At the time of this interview, Jozo Rados was Croatia’s former minister of defense who served in this position from January 2000 to July 2002. In addition to his time at the Ministry of Defense he was a member of the Croatian Parliament, serving on the Committee for Internal Policy and National Security, the Committee of European Integration, and the Committee for Inter-parliamentary Cooperation. He also served as a member of the European Parliament. He graduated from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing at the University of Zagreb, and received his master’s degree in philosophy and history from the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.