The current crisis Serbia is facing due to the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that the authorities have declared the state of emergency only show how necessary it is to introduce some form of military training, i.e. civil defense exercises for the majority of population, experts told Demostat on March 23.
Military analyst Aleksandar Radic said that citizens are not prepared for crises in general, due to lack of organization, will and careful deliberation on emergency situations by the state.
“Civil defense, which existed before, when people were required to attend the drills, wonderfully fulfilled its purpose; 90 percent of people today don’t have the basic skills because they had nowhere to learn them,” Radic told Demostat. He added that these mass exercises had functioned well, but that the state then lost its status, and now the trust in such exercises has to be rebuilt.
Agreeing with him, Zoran Panovic, Demostat journalist and program director, also pointed out that the idea of civil defense has lost its reputation.
Atlantic Council of Serbia chairman Vladan Zivulovic said that the current situation is the result of military reforms by which the Serbian army introduced professional force and cancelled the regular military service.