Total National Defense in Yugoslavia.

by A. Ross Johnson


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The "Freedom-71" maneuvers conducted in Yugoslavia in October 1971 simulated a thrust from the northeast by a powerful, highly mobile enemy into the hilly region southwest of Zagreb. The attack was resisted by both regular and irregular forces. These maneuvers demonstrated Yugoslavia's progress since 1968 in organizing for total national defense based on territorial armies of citizen-soldiers established by republican political authorities. The 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact prompted the Yugoslavs to begin a military buildup. However, current economic difficulties, the unavailability and political undesirability of outside assistance, and the decentralized Yugoslav political system all precluded a large conventional army. The territorial defense force and the Yugoslav People's Army are separate but equal, even during war; local TDF units fall under YPA command only when engaged in joint operations. The TDF force now numbers about one million, with a goal of three million--15 percent of the population. 13 pp. Ref.

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