Building and maintaining operational military capabilities in Albania in the face of current and expected security challenges

Author:Foto Duro

Supported by:Friedrich Ebert Foundation

Executive summary

Currently, all Albanian Armed Forces (AAF) activities are funded via seven major budgeting programs, made up of 237 subprograms. An in-depth analysis unveils some discrepancies within programs and budget categories, as well as expenditures, which should be handled by other ministries. Consequently, about 25% of the defense budget is not used to fund the building, maintaining and/or use of operational capabilities or other normal activities of the AAF. Furthermore, a number of specialties or supporting services and their respective units either have disappeared or have been reduced to minimal levels, clearly offering inadequate support to accomplishing the objectives of major units. The study suggests that this situation is related to the weakness of defense resource management system in Albania, especially “capability/scenario based planning”, as well as numerous burdens exerted in this process by “budgeting”. This paper ends with recommendations regarding normalization of the defense resource management system, giving special emphasis to planning, based on realistic and most likely scenarios threatening Albania’s security, as well as the need of building a proper managers’ corps at all levels of the AAF, who should be proficient in both operational and financial areas.