1 Monday, 24 July 2000
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, ladies and
6 gentlemen; good morning to the technical booth, the interpreters; good
7 morning to the legal assistants and the court reporters, the registrar,
8 the Prosecution; good morning, Mr. Harmon, Mr. Cayley, Mr. McCloskey; good
9 morning to the Defence counsel: Mr. Visnjic, Mr. Petrusic; good morning,
10 General Krstic.
11 We are here today to resume our case, and I believe there was a
12 question related to the tendering of documents. So I turn to
13 Mr. McCloskey. Do we have some exhibits to deal with relating to
14 Mr. Richard Butler's testimony?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good morning, Mr. President, counsel. Yes, we
17 Prior to getting into that, could we go into private session
18 briefly so I can explain just a situation that occurred at the last day of
19 Mr. Butler's testimony that we had some concern about?
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, let us go into private
21 session for a few minutes.
22 [Private session]
13 page 5539 redacted – private session
13 page 5540 redacted – private session
13 page 5541 redacted – private session
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are in public session, so we
2 can continue with our proceedings.
3 Mr. McCloskey?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I have an exhibit, one more
5 exhibit, 394, which is a list of all the exhibits that Mr. Butler referred
6 to, and I would just provide it as sort of a last exhibit to the Court so
7 we don't have to go and list every exhibit, and in combination with it is
8 a two-page -- or excuse me, a three-page document which lists all the
9 exhibits that should be under seal. And both the Exhibit 394 and the
10 under seal list has been provided to the registry, and it is all those
11 exhibits that we wish to tender into evidence. The Defence has been
12 provided with that list, and we've had a chance to speak with them
13 briefly. And could this Exhibit 394 be under seal as well since it has
14 some sensitive information on it?
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, do you have any
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in view of the fact
18 that Exhibit 394 is a list of exhibits tendered by -- produced by
19 Mr. Butler, it is rather long, so the Defence will not go into each
20 individual exhibit on that list, but it will analyse them by accepting
21 some exhibits without any objection and making objections regarding
22 another set of exhibits, so that according to a methodology that we would
23 like to propose, it would be more appropriate to refer first to the
24 exhibits to which the Defence objects.
25 Therefore, if this exhibit is marked as 394 by the registrar, and
1 I see that it is, then allow me to say which are the exhibits that the
2 Defence objects to. They are numbers 438 through to 452; then from 470 to
3 480; also from numbers 500 through to 531; from number 551 through to 565;
4 also from number 598 to 608; from Exhibit 620 to 625, as well as numbers
5 630 to 638. We also object to Exhibits 650 through to 674, as well as
6 exhibits from 677 through to 692 -- no, sorry, I beg your pardon. I'm so
7 sorry, from 677 to 692, and from number 695 to 701.
8 Our objections to these exhibits are based on the same arguments
9 as our objection regarding the transcript of the 27th of June during the
10 proceedings. If the Chamber so desires, our objection was based on the
11 method in which the conversations were intercepted. If necessary, the
12 Defence can elaborate on that objection which would basically be the same
13 objection as has been recorded in the transcript on the 27th of June.
14 Regarding the other exhibits included in this list 394, the
15 Defence has no objection.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. McCloskey?
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. These intercepts were listed
18 on this list merely so as a record of which intercepts Mr. Butler
19 particularly referred to. It is my understanding that the Court has
20 already ruled on all these intercepts and that they've already been
21 admitted into evidence. I think counsel has implied that in his question,
23 We're not aware of any new intercepts. As far as we know, we have
24 not offered any new intercepts, and I can be firm on that.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, we have a question
2 for you. In relation to the previous decision, do you have any elements
3 of a different nature or anything else to say, or is your objection the
4 same objection that you made to this Chamber previously, prior to our
5 previous decision?
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in view of the fact
7 that these are the same kinds of documents or, rather, the same exhibits
8 on which the Chamber has ruled, the Defence has nothing else to point out
9 except for the reasons already given.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We would like to review all
11 those documents again, but if there is nothing new, then we will repeat
12 the decision. However, we would like to reserve a little bit of time,
13 perhaps until the end of this morning, to review the documents and to see
14 if there is any difference or not. So we'll reserve our decision until
15 the end of the morning. Maybe it's not necessary now to separate the
16 documents to which an objection has been made and those in regard to which
17 there are no objections. So we will reserve our decision until the end of
18 the morning regarding the whole list of documents.
19 However, in the meantime we can now proceed with the testimony
20 planned for today.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. One last issue
22 Ms. Keith reminds me of. I referred to an exhibit as 638/1A, and as
23 counsel pointed out to us last week, that should be 638/A. With that, I
24 will give the floor to Mr. Cayley.
25 MR. CAYLEY: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours,
1 Mr. Petrusic, Mr. Visnjic.
2 If I could just be given a moment, Your Honour, to arrange my
3 papers and then we can proceed.
4 Yes. Thank you, Mr. President. If it pleases the Court, with
5 your permission, if we could call the next witness, Major General Richard
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, General Dannatt.
9 Can you hear me?
10 THE WITNESS: Yes, I can. Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Will you please read the solemn
12 declaration that the usher will give you.
13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
14 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 WITNESS: FRANCIS RICHARD DANNATT
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may be seated now.
17 [The witness sits down]
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: First of all, let me thank you for having come
19 here to testify before the International Criminal Tribunal. You will
20 first be answering questions that Mr. Cayley is going to put to you.
21 Mr. Cayley is on your right-hand side.
22 Mr. Cayley, you have the floor.
23 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Examined by Mr. Cayley:
25 Q. Witness, your name is Francis Richard Dannatt; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
2 Q. Your last name is spelled D-a-n-n-a-t-t.
3 A. That's correct.
4 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. Usher, could you move the ELMO, because at the
5 moment the witness and I are looking through a solid objective at each
6 other. Thank you. That's perfect. Thank you very much.
7 Q. You are British.
8 A. I am British.
9 Q. You were born in 1950.
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. You are presently a Major General in the British Army, commanding
12 the 3rd United Kingdom Division based in Bulford in the United Kingdom.
13 A. That's correct. The headquarters of the division is based in
15 Q. Just to remind you, General, as we spoke previously, you and I
16 speak the same language and between us there are interpreters. I will try
17 to speak as slowly as I can, also to keep a reasonable pace. If you could
18 pause between my question and your answer, and I will do the same for you,
19 that will facilitate the work of the interpreters.
20 A. That's understood.
21 Q. General, you were consulted by the Office of the Prosecutor as an
22 expert in this case and we asked you about three specific areas on which
23 you produced a written report, which has been given to the Defence and,
24 indeed, to the Judges. Could you summarise for the Judges essentially the
25 three principal areas that we asked you to give your opinion upon?
1 A. Yes, sir, I can.
2 I was first asked to speak about military doctrine; the doctrines
3 and methods of military command and control generally, and with specific
4 reference to the army of Republika Srpska, the VRS, and even more
5 specifically with reference to the Drina Corps.
6 I was also asked to comment on command and control
7 responsibilities; the roles and responsibilities of a Corps Commander and
8 the Corps Chief of Staff generally, and again with specific reference to
9 the VRS and the Drina Corps.
10 Also, thirdly, command and control as far as operations are
11 concerned; issues relating to operational and logistic planning, tactical
12 tempo, and the headquarters' command and control procedures relevant to
13 this case.
14 Q. In a sense, you are giving a strategic or bird's-eye view of
15 matters relevant to this case; would that be correct?
16 A. It's my endeavour to do that, yes.
17 Q. General, what qualifies you to give these opinions to this Court?
18 A. First, I have 31 years' experience in the British Army. I have
19 served on operations in every rank from 2nd Lieutenant to Major General,
20 and I shall perhaps return to that later, what those different
21 responsibilities have been.
22 I've also spent time as a student at the British Army Staff
23 College and also on the staff of the British Army Staff College where I
24 ran the Higher Command and Staff course which is particularly responsible
25 for teaching the operational level of war, that is, the campaign level of
1 war. Also, while I was fulfilling that appointment, I was required to
2 produce a new War Fighting Doctrine for the British Army in the immediate
3 years following the end of the Cold War, which required me to do
4 considerable research into military command and control before writing
5 that War Fighting Doctrine.
6 In the end, two documents were produced: a War Fighting Doctrine
7 as Volume I, which I was the lead author for, and then secondly, another
8 document which specialised in command and control and I was on the
9 consultative panel to assist the specific author of that document.
10 Q. General, in assisting in this volume concerning command and
11 control, did you study command and control doctrines of armies around the
13 A. Yes, I did. As part of the studies of the Higher Command and
14 Staff course initially, which I attended that course as a student before I
15 became the director of it, part and parcel of the syllabus is the study of
16 other armies' command and control procedures. This, for me, was a very
17 useful background before I began writing the War Fighting Doctrine to
18 which I've just referred.
19 Q. General, let's speak a little about your career in some detail to
20 confirm what you've already said about commanding at all levels in the
21 British Army.
22 MR. CAYLEY: If Prosecutor's Exhibit 395 could be placed on the
23 ELMO next to General Dannatt, that will assist him in this part of his
25 Q. Now, General, while that's being placed on the ELMO, I think
1 traditionally, as with all British officers, you attended the Royal
2 Military Academy Sandhurst from 1969 to 1971 as a young cadet officer; is
3 that correct?
4 A. That's correct. I joined the army straight from school in 1969
5 and spent two years at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to equal
6 myself to become a regular officer and commissioned into my regiment in
7 July 1971.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry to interrupt you, but
9 I think that the ELMO and other equipment seems not to enjoy weekends. Is
10 it possible to do something to improve the quality of the image?
11 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, as much as I realise this is not --
12 does not facilitate the public gallery in viewing it, might I suggest that
13 if we place copies in front of Your Honours and proceed -- Defence counsel
14 also have copies -- rather than taking a break so we can move ahead with
15 General Dannatt's testimony.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Cayley. We agree
17 with you.
18 MR. CAYLEY:
19 Q. General, Prosecutor's Exhibit 395 has been placed on the ELMO.
20 Unfortunately, the image is not very satisfactory that's coming up on the
21 television screens, but if you can give a brief synopsis using this
22 exhibit of your career from 1971 to date, please.
23 A. Yes, I'm very happy to do that. As I mentioned just now, I
24 commissioned in 1971 and joined my regiment, an infantry regiment known as
25 the Green Howards, and assumed command of a platoon. There are three
1 platoons in a company, and I commanded one of those platoons. I joined my
2 regiment at the start of an operational tour in Northern Ireland in August
3 1971. I remained in command of that platoon for some two years doing two
4 tours of operational duty in Belfast, Northern Ireland, as well as
5 exercises in our main NATO role in Germany, including a large exercise in
7 In 1973, I then went to university and spent three years at the
8 University of Durham where I read a degree in economic history. On return
9 from university, I went back to my battalion as the adjutant, which is the
10 principle Staff Officer to the Commanding Officer, if you like, the kind
11 of Chief of Staff to the Commanding Officer within a regiment of the
12 British Army.
13 Having fulfilled that post, from 1976 to 1979 I returned to the
14 Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as an instructor and spent two years
15 instructing officer cadets in general military tactics and what they
16 needed to know to be professional army officers.
17 Briefly in 1981, I returned to my regiment and assumed command of
18 a company. There are three rifle companies in an infantry regiment, and I
19 assumed command of one of those companies, and during that time, as well
20 as normal training, carried out an operational tour with the United
21 Nations in Cyprus. At the end of 1981 I returned to the Staff College
22 where I was a student at the British Army Staff College through 1982.
23 On leaving the Staff College in 1982, I became the Chief of Staff
24 of one of the British armoured brigades based in Germany. And a brigade
25 shown on the diagram here, is a grouping of three or four combat units of
1 battalion size such as I had served in before, and also a grouping that
2 includes artillery, engineers, signals, logistics, a grouping of 4.000 to
3 5.000 troops. And as a Major of, I was the Chief of Staff from 1983 to
5 In 1985 I returned back to my battalion and once again commanded a
6 company of The Green Howards, my own regiment. At the end of 1986 I was
7 posted to the Ministry of Defence in London where I was the military
8 assistant to one of our Defence ministers, the Minister of State for the
9 Armed Forces in London for three years, from 1986 to 1989. After that, I
10 was appointed to command my own regiment, therefore became Battalion
11 Commander in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1989, an appointment I held
12 through to the end of 1991. That included another operational tour in
13 Northern Ireland.
14 At the beginning of 1992, I returned to the Staff College as a
15 student on the Higher Commander Staff course which was the course that I
16 mentioned earlier, and at the end of that four-month course I then became
17 the director of that course and stayed for another two years running the
18 two successive courses that then followed, and it was during that period
19 that I wrote the War Fighting Doctrine, again, that I referred to earlier.
20 At the beginning of 1984, I was then posted back to Germany and
21 assumed command of the 4th Armoured Brigade, one of the three British
22 armoured brigades in Germany.
23 Q. General, can I interrupt you? You said, you said at the beginning
24 of 1984, and I think you meant at the beginning of 1994.
25 A. You're quite correct, yes. 1994 I assumed command of 4th Armoured
1 Brigade and retained command of that brigade through until early 1996.
2 And during that period, I took the brigade to the former Republic of
3 Yugoslavia where I was the United Nations Sector Commander in sector
4 southwest with my headquarters in Gornji Vakuf from October 1995 until the
5 implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement in December of that year, at
6 which point I resumed my NATO, my British appointment, of Commander 4th
7 Armoured Brigade and began the process of implementing the terms of the
8 Dayton Peace Agreement on the ground in southwest Bosnia, and continued
9 doing that until the end of April 1996.
10 In the middle of 1996, I handed over command of 4th Armoured
11 Brigade and returned to the Ministry of Defence where I filled the
12 appointment of defence -- of director of the Defence Programme staff,
13 which meant that I had some responsibility with my civil service
14 colleagues for allocating the funds between the army, navy, and the air
16 I remained in that post until the beginning of last year, January
17 of 1999, when I assumed command of the 3rd United Kingdom Division, the
18 post that I currently hold. And the 3rd United Kingdom Division is a
19 division based with its headquarters in Bulford in the United Kingdom.
20 There are four constituent brigades in that division, all based in the
21 United Kingdom, three mechanised brigades and one reconnaissance brigade,
22 with a total strength of around 20.000 peacetime establishment which would
23 expand to some 30.000 on mobilisation for war. And that is the present --
24 the appointment that I currently hold.
25 Q. General, just to give an idea of numbers to the Judges, when you
1 commanded a platoon, how many men were under your command?
2 A. A platoon is approximately 35 men; and a company, I judge to be
3 your next question, sir, is about 100 to 120 men; and a battalion is
4 between 600 and 800 men, depending on the role that a battalion is
5 fulfilling at the time; and a brigade is between 4.000 and 5.000 men, and
6 I've just mentioned that my current division is about 20.000 men.
7 Q. Now, next year I believe you have been selected and, indeed,
8 appointed to the position of the Assistant Chief of the General Staff of
9 the British Army; is that correct?
10 A. That's correct. I shall move to that position sometime yet to be
11 specified in the middle of next year.
12 Q. Now, finally, on your biographical details, I see that you're
13 wearing the military cross. You were decorated for gallantry on
14 operations in Northern Ireland in 1973; is that correct?
15 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
16 Q. And I think you were made a Commander of the Order of the British
17 Empire in 1996 for your services in the former Yugoslavia; is that
19 A. That's also correct.
20 Q. And I think that you have also received the Queen's commendation
21 for valuable service in Kosovo; is that correct?
22 A. That's correct. When I was going through my former service, I
23 didn't mention that last year I was Commander British forces in Kosovo in
24 the central section of the initial operations there.
25 Q. And in fact, on that point, in June and July of last year, you
1 deployed your divisional headquarters to Kosovo and, in fact, were
2 Commander British forces NATO KFOR last year; is that correct?
3 A. I was Commander British forces, and my task was to maximise the
4 British support to NATO's KFOR, yes, that's correct.
5 Q. Now, General, really finally in terms of biographical details, you
6 are a British Army officer. General Krstic is a JNA and VRS officer.
7 There are many similarities between your careers. You're both
8 professional officers, but you grew up in very different systems.
9 If Prosecutor's Exhibit 396 could be placed upon the ELMO, and
10 I'll give you the question while the exhibit is coming. On the basis of
11 what I've just said, General, what gives you the right to comment on those
12 matters that you've already stated to the Judges that the Prosecutor asked
13 you to address?
14 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, do you have this in front of you
15 because it's actually quite an important document? Thank you.
16 A. I think first within all professional and well-trained armies
17 there are a number of general principles of command and control that apply
18 that from my studies of a number of armies, I recognise both within my own
19 army and also within the army of the former Yugoslavia. But probably
20 rather more specifically, and having looked at General Krstic's former
21 career up to this stage, I notice a number of similarities between himself
22 and myself which I've shown on this exhibit.
23 We're roughly the same age; General Krstic is two years older than
24 myself. He has been a Battalion Commander. He has been a Brigade Chief
25 of Staff, both posts that I have held. He has been a Brigade Commander.
1 He was promoted to Major General some three or four years ahead of myself
2 being promoted Major General. And I now command a division, and he
3 commanded a corps, and my understanding of the Drina Corps was that in
4 manpower terms, it broadly equated to the size of command that I currently
5 hold as a Divisional Commander.
6 I'm also aware that there's a slight difference in rank and the
7 naming of ranks between the VRS and the British army, and that I am a
8 Major General, which we would call a two-star general. A Lieutenant
9 General in the British Army is a three star. I believe in the VRS the
10 equivalent ranks are effectively one star lower.
11 So I believe that there are a number of broad comparisons, both in
12 terms of appointments that I have held and General Krstic has held that
13 qualify me to offer some opinions that would be of some use to the Court.
14 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be given Exhibit 397 which
15 actually helps to explain this slight difference in the ranking structure
16 so that the Judges can understand perfectly what you're speaking about in
17 these terms.
18 Again, unfortunately the ELMO is not working, but nevertheless,
19 General, if you could briefly explain Exhibit 397.
20 A. Within the British Army, a battalion is commanded by a Lieutenant
21 Colonel, and my understanding in the VRS is that usually a battalion was
22 commanded by a Major.
23 Again, in the British Army a brigade is commanded by a Brigadier
24 or, as somebody would call it, a one-star General, but in the VRS,
25 brigades are invariably commanded by a Colonel.
1 In the British Army, a two-star General, who is a Major General,
2 commands a division; the equivalent formation within the VRS is a corps
3 commanded by a Major General. This would seem to equate to a one-star
4 General, the equivalent in rank in British terms of a Brigadier.
5 In the British Army, above division is a corps commanded by a
6 Lieutenant General, a three-star General. There is no direct equivalent,
7 as far as I can discover, in the VRS.
8 At the highest level, there is an army, or an army group in the
9 British Army, which is a number of corps commanded by a full General, a
10 four-star General, and that equivalent grouping in the VRS army is
11 commanded by a Colonel General.
12 Interestingly, the French army, for example, very aptly describe
13 by function General du Brigade, General du Division; but rather the same
14 as the VRS, officers were one rank above that which they equate to in
15 NATO. A number of armies have a slightly different equivalence.
16 Q. Now, General, you said that there was no equivalent to a
17 Lieutenant General although, in fact, in the VRS, I think you may mention
18 it in your report, there is a Lieutenant Colonel-General which is a
19 two-star rank, essentially; is that correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 MR. CAYLEY: Your Honours, if during General Dannatt's testimony
22 you wish to ask any questions for clarification, please go ahead.
23 JUDGE WALD: Can I just ask whether or not in the VRS, the top
24 rank, army, Colonel General, is that what Mladic was?
25 A. My understanding is that that is correct, yes, a senior
2 JUDGE WALD: Okay.
3 MR. CAYLEY:
4 Q. General, what materials have been supplied to you by the Office of
5 the Prosecutor in order for you to come to your conclusions and, indeed,
6 prepare your report and your testimony?
7 A. A number of documents have been made available to me. I have seen
8 the two reports by Richard Butler; one entitled "The VRS Corps Command
9 Responsibility Study" and the second, "The Srebrenica Military Narrative
10 Krivaca 95." I've seen and asked to see and been shown much of the
11 documentary evidence in support of those reports. I'm aware that those
12 reports are derivative pieces of work and I've asked to see selected
13 documents which underpin both those reports.
14 I've also seen a number of maps and other documents and video
15 footage pertaining to these issues generally.
16 I also asked, as my previous service in Bosnia had not taken me to
17 the area of Srebrenica, to go and visit the various locations and places
18 germane to the matters before the Court. In April this year, I visited
19 those principal locations with senior investigator, Mr. Jean-Rene Ruez,
20 and also with Mr. Cayley from the Office of the Prosecutor.
21 Q. I think as well, General, you've viewed certain maps in the
22 possession of the Prosecutor, some video footage, and indeed, as you
23 rightly said, documents that you've requested to see from us; is that
25 A. That's absolutely correct.
1 MR. CAYLEY: These are all items, Your Honours, that indeed the
2 Defence have had sight of or have seen.
3 Q. General, if we can turn to the first substantive part of your
4 report which deals with fundamental principles of command and control, and
5 you'll find that on page 4 of your report.
6 Could you explain to the Judges the basic principle of command and
7 control that, from your understanding, is of universal application to all
8 armies of the world?
9 A. Yes, sir, I will. I think first, the first overall principle, and
10 it's an obvious one, is that Superior Commanders give orders to their
11 subordinate Commanders who carry out those orders and implement them.
12 Now, of course, the manner of implementation may allow a greater or a
13 lesser degree of interpretation or useful initiative according to the
14 command doctrine, the method of command used by a particular army. In the
15 case of the VRS, the superior-subordinate relationship is laid down quite
16 clearly in a number of documents, and that particular principle is
18 The second basic principle is that subordinates must report
19 upwards the results of their actions to inform their superiors of progress
20 or otherwise in order for the higher command to know what's going on, to
21 be informed, and for itself to take subsequent decisions to order
22 subsequent activities. In some armies, reporting is by exception. In
23 other words, if things are going well, you don't need to keep an endless
24 pattern of reports going. But it's a basic duty of all subordinates to
25 keep the passage of information moving upwards so that decision-making can
1 be facilitated by the higher headquarters.
2 I think those are the two underlying principles that govern all
3 military operations.
4 Q. Now, General, in your written report, you identify two principal
5 command doctrines which are practiced in armies of the world, and the
6 first one that you give a brief synopsis upon, and forgive me for
7 murdering the German, is the military doctrine of Auftragstaktik. Can you
8 explain to the Judges the meaning of this and give an example of an army
9 which adopts this command doctrine?
10 A. Yes, I can. We use two terms to describe the two principal
11 schools of command philosophy. One of those terms is the one you just
12 used, Auftragstaktik, I'll explain that, and the other term is another
13 German word called Befehlstaktik, and I'll explain that.
14 Under the doctrine --
15 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. Could you repeat this, please.
16 A. The two words are -- they're both German words, Auftragstaktik,
17 and the other word is Befehlstaktik.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
19 A. The Germans are always very precise in their definition of these
20 things, and that is why we tend to use those two words in the sort of
21 parlance of military command and control to describe those two schools of
23 Under the doctrine known as Auftragstaktik, this is a doctrine
24 whereby a Superior Commander decides what his mission is and sets out his
25 broad intent to his subordinates and then gives them considerable latitude
1 in the way in which they carry out that mission. Obviously, the Superior
2 Commander provides certain resources, what he believes are adequate
3 resources, to the subordinate - manpower, equipment, logistic support, and
4 so forth - but gives him considerable freedom to use his initiative to
5 carry out his task.
6 For example, in very general terms, the mission might be, couched
7 in generic terms such as, "Capture hill A in order to cross river B."
8 Now, what that says to the subordinate Commander is that, yes, he's got to
9 capture hill A but then the purpose beyond that is so that the army can
10 then advance across the river. So it may be that when he looks at the
11 situation, hill A perhaps is no longer very relevant. What matters most
12 is actually getting across the river. So he'll use his initiative to find
13 a better way to actually carry out that mission.
14 In the British Army, this is the doctrine that we espouse; a
15 number of NATO armies espouse that doctrine. In English words, it's a
16 doctrine called Mission Command but it's derived from this term,
18 By contrast, the other doctrine under the German label -- the
19 German word, Befehlstaktik, is a much more specific system of command and
20 control whereby orders are given by the Superior Commander to the
21 subordinate. They are detailed and subordinates are expected to fulfil
22 them as specified. So the order to capture hill A would be carried out,
23 and then a subsequent order would be expected to be given, "Advance
24 towards river B and cross at bridge C," and that would be specifically
1 Armies which adopt one or other method of command and control tend
2 to be characterised as to whether they are professional armies or whether
3 they are conscripted armies. A conscripted army, which only has soldiers
4 for a short period of time and can only develop their training to a
5 limited extent, tend to follow this more restrictive form of command known
6 as Befehlstaktik.
7 For example, in the British Army, in the early part of the Second
8 World War when the British Army had to very rapidly expand from being the
9 small standing army that it was in the '30s to a large army through a mass
10 process of conscription, it was an army that was characterised by
11 Befehlstaktik-type of command and control.
12 General Montgomery, for example, when he conducted the attack at
13 El Alamein in 1942 laid down very specifically what the corps and the
14 divisions were actually to do and when they were to do it in order to
15 achieve the objectives. He did not leave very much to chance or to
16 initiative lower down. He liked, what he called, "a tidy battlefield."
17 Interestingly and by contrast, the German Army, although it had
18 had to expand also rapidly in the '30s, followed the Auftragstaktik method
19 of command. Particularly in the western dessert in 1942 and 1943,
20 subordinate Commanders used their initiative in very imaginative ways and
21 often outmaneuvered the rather more static and procedural British forces.
22 I think those that have studied military history at all will know
23 that the classic example of this Auftragstaktik, outmaneuvering tactic,
24 was used to great effect by the Germans in 1940 in the so-called
25 Blitzkrieg campaign, when German armoured forces crossed the Meuse, broke
1 through the British and French lines, got deep into their rear areas and
2 achieved a stunning success well disproportionate to their actual
3 strength. The secret of success there is that subordinates are allowed to
4 use their initiative and not be over-controlled.
5 Perhaps the issue and the application here, I think, is that the
6 Befehlstaktik central control method is one that has been traditionally
7 favoured by centralist states; was one favoured by the Warsaw Pact
8 nations; was the one favoured by the army of the former Soviet Union and
9 taught at its Staff Colleges and Staff Schools; large armies, conscripted
10 armies. One sees the genesis of the command and control procedures
11 followed by the old JNA, the old Yugoslav National Army, and the army of
12 Republika Srpska in that basic tenet of centralised control of
14 I make that distinction that it's that centralist type of command
15 and control that I see evidence of in the VRS with its antecedents, very
16 strongly in the JNA, the former JNA.
17 MR. CAYLEY:
18 Q. Now, General, in your report at page 6, you say that as part of
19 this doctrine of Befehlstaktik, that authority is not delegated;
20 limitations are invariably imposed; the culture is one of seeking
21 authority rather than taking decisions based on one's own authority.
22 Does that mean in simple terms, General, that nothing really
23 happens without orders coming from above in an army based on this kind of
25 A. In general terms, that is correct. When you've got a centralised
1 system, then almost by definition the man at the top or the men higher up
2 are going to be the principle decision-makers and decision-takers and
3 orders will be passed down.
4 Of course, it goes back to something I was saying before, that
5 that sort of system can only be properly implemented and made effective if
6 there is an adequate flow of information coming up from the lower levels
7 so that the higher level principal decision-takers know what is going on
8 and can take those decisions.
9 Of course, it would be wrong to suggest that no initiative can be
10 used. We're not talking about an army of pure autonomy here. Initiative
11 could be used in minor matters. But generally the system I'm referring to
12 is characterised by significant decisions, the majority of decisions being
13 taken at the higher level and those decisions then being passed down for
14 implementation rather than for interpretation.
15 JUDGE WALD: Could I ask one question along those lines, General
17 Would it also be a characteristic of this kind of command and
18 control, Befehlstaktik, for those orders from above to be usually
19 written? I mean, is there any tradition or expected practice
20 differentiating between written and oral orders depending upon the command
21 and control or the flexibility of the subordinates?
22 A. An order is an order, whether it's written or spoken. Armies tend
23 to be a little bureaucratic, so a lot does get written down. There's a
24 bit of a feeling sometimes that if it's not written down, it's not really
25 true or doesn't really have to happen, so often difficult orders are
1 written down so that their understanding is clear and that the intent is
2 properly communicated.
3 But of course, without dwelling on this too long, under the
4 Befehlstaktik-type of arrangement, you're going to find an operation order
5 going into considerable detail about who should do what, who should go
6 where; whereas under the maneuverist Auftragstaktik process, you can often
7 launch quite a complicated or quite a large-scale operation perhaps with
8 just a map and a number of lines on a map and a few notes down the side,
9 because you're relying on the professional expertise of subordinates to
10 understand the Higher Commander's intent, to interpret what he wants them
11 to do, and get on with it. It doesn't need to be written down to quite
12 the same extent. So the Befehlstaktik, central control, tends to show
13 more actually written down.
14 MR. CAYLEY:
15 Q. Following on from Judge Wald's question, General, within the
16 Befehlstaktik doctrine, there would be, and I ask this as a question, oral
17 orders, presumably following on from a main operations order from a
18 Commander, oral orders could be given to subordinates?
19 A. Yes. A normal process of the deliberate planning phase at the
20 start of a major operation is for a Superior Commander to call together
21 his principal subordinates and to go through an oral, spoken process of
22 giving orders invariably following a set procedure and sequence of
23 subjects. And that is then followed up by the issue of the written
24 operation order which underpins and underlines everything that was said in
25 the oral orders which -- the oral orders process is terribly important in
1 order for a Superior Commander to communicate directly on a personal basis
2 to his subordinates and to put some of his own character, some of his own
3 determination and drive over during that process so they understand quite
4 clearly what it is that he wants them to do. And also it's quite normal,
5 as you would expect, at the end of an oral orders session for the Superior
6 Commander to invite his subordinates to ask questions to clarify any
7 points of detail that they might not have understood.
8 And again, and I don't want to belabour this too much, the
9 difference between the two systems would be that on the Befehlstaktik,
10 the central command process, the subordinates would simply be seeking
11 clarification that they've got it absolutely clear in their mind what
12 tasks they've got to carry out. Under the Auftragstaktik, such as my army
13 follows, what you're more likely to get at that stage of the oral orders
14 are the subordinate Commanders telling the Superior Commander how they're
15 going to carry out their mission, what it is that they're going to do. So
16 they're telling him how they're going to do it as opposed to them -- the
17 Higher Commander telling them what is to be done.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, just one question.
19 General, to have one system or another, to choose between the two,
20 does that have anything to do with the level of training of officers? In
21 other words, if I have very well-trained officers, I can choose between
22 one of the two systems; if I have officers or soldiers who are not very
23 well trained, would it be preferable for me to choose another one?
24 A. I think there are two parts to an answer that I could give to
25 that, sir. First of all, an army is an institution, and it will have
1 decided institutionally which of those two doctrines it is going to
2 espouse at any one time, and that doctrine will be taught at the officer
3 training schools, it will be taught at the Staff College, and that
4 doctrine will persuade the army throughout, and that will be its chosen
5 method of command and control.
6 My second answer is that formal training in an understanding of
7 doctrinal issues such as I am describing is predominately the business of
8 Staff Colleges and going to affect more senior officers so that they have
9 a clear understanding of the doctrinal route. A 2nd Lieutenant who is
10 commanding a platoon gets on with his job in the general way that an
11 army -- his army does its business. He won't necessarily understand that
12 he is following a particular doctrine of one type or another, but that is
13 the whole attitude of his army, and his training will have been governed
14 by that attitude, although it will be taught formally higher up.
15 And I think also related to that is something that I referred to
16 earlier on, that when an army is a conscripted army and the soldiers are
17 only there for a short period of time it is more naturally going to choose
18 that much more directed and centralised method as opposed to an
19 professional army. And if I was to, and I won't, go through the history
20 of the British army, it has changed from time to time between one method
21 and another, and we have followed the centralised during the periods of
22 the First and Second World War when it was a conscripted army, but
23 otherwise generally have followed the other doctrine when it's a small
24 professional army where people knew each other and were well trained.
25 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. Just to be able to follow you up very
1 closely, concerning the oral orders in the Befehlstaktik, you mentioned
2 the Befehlstaktik gives the subordinates minute details, you mentioned
3 even a map, but you said the oral orders -- you mentioned the oral orders
4 process is terribly important.
5 How can oral orders specify minute details if they have to follow
6 it? As you mentioned, about General Montgomery's desert operation, can
7 oral orders suffice then?
8 A. Oral orders could suffice, but those oral orders would probably be
9 very lengthy and go on for really some time and would run the risk of
10 error creeping in. So the complete solution to the planning process would
11 be the production and issuing of a detailed written operation order which
12 would specify all the subordinates their various tasks and their timings,
13 and the coordination of one brigade with another and the artillery and the
14 air force support and so on.
15 But it's still important that there is a spoken, an oral order
16 session, particularly so that the Commander himself can get over some of
17 his character, can put over to his subordinates sort of the way that he
18 wants to do it. The military business is a human business, and humans
19 need to interact so that a subordinate understands the strength of intent
20 of his subordinate and understands something of his character. So it's a
21 two-way process.
22 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much, General.
23 MR. CAYLEY:
24 Q. General, you just stated at the end of your answer to Judge Riad
25 that a subordinate needs to understand the strength of his intent of his
1 subordinate, and I think you meant superior, did you not?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. Sorry, just to correct your --
4 A. A junior officer has to understand what his senior wants, and do
6 Q. General, you stated earlier that the Bosnian Serb army was based
7 on the doctrine of the JNA Befehlstaktik. Why do you say this?
8 A. I said it for two reasons, really. One is having studied in a
9 theoretical sense the origins of the army Republika Srpska, one can see
10 its origins in a general and, in many ways, pretty specific sense in the
11 army of the former Yugoslavia, the JNA. And although the former
12 Yugoslavia was not a Warsaw Pact country, it was very much influenced by
13 Eastern Block thinking, and one sees a lot of exchange of officers between
14 the former Yugoslavia and the former Soviet Union, and the thinking of the
15 former Soviet Union, the Befehlstaktik, the centralist thinking, in
16 viewing itself in the army of the former JNA and in the army of Republika
17 Srpska. So in a theoretical sense, I'm convinced that in general terms
18 that that's where the VRS has its origins.
19 In all practical sense, operating myself in Bosnia -- and of
20 course I should also say that a number of former JNA officers didn't just
21 form the framework of the VRS. To a certain extent and a lesser extent
22 they formed the framework of the HVO, the Bosnian Croat army, and also the
23 army of the Muslim government. Therefore, that's all centralist control
24 one saw in all three of those armies.
25 And operating on the ground, one saw several examples of the
1 typical inflexibility that you get at low level when there is a centralist
2 control in place, and that people at lower level are not prepared to use
3 their initiative and will not let you do something that on the face of it
4 would seem pretty sensible; but they are very much aware that they cannot
5 give authority to do something without referring upwards to seek a higher
6 authority, and it can be as small a thing as whether a particular vehicle
7 can pass through a checkpoint because that soldier, that non-commissioned
8 officer, has been told that no one is to pass through. There may be a
9 very good reason why he perhaps should be allowed to pass through just a
10 few hundred yards for some reason or other, but will not do so without
11 referring up for a higher authority.
12 And perhaps a more specific example I might give, if it's of
13 interest to the Court, just before we began to implement the Dayton Peace
14 agreement, and I've already mentioned I was already in Bosnia at that
15 time, I knew that forces under my command, British forces, were going to
16 be operating in Republika Srpska in the area controlled by the Serbs for
17 the first time. And knowing that the Serbs had been defending in Western
18 Bosnia for the previous few months very vigorously against the advance of
19 Muslim and Croat forces, there was every likelihood, I felt, that when
20 NATO force, British forces, my forces, started to move into Republika
21 Srpska, this would not only be resented but could well be opposed by Serb
22 soldiers; and therefore, I felt it was important to make sure that General
23 Talic, who was the Commander of the 1st Krajina Corps, commanding in that
24 area knew exactly what my plan was so that he could pass down his chain of
25 command information about my plan and brief right down to the soldiers on
1 the ground exactly at what time and in what place the NATO troops would be
3 Now, I had to go to Banja Luka to try and find General Talic to
4 brief him about this, which was not actually that easy to do. General
5 Talic knew I was coming, but he wouldn't actually see me in person because
6 he hadn't got authority from General Mladic to talk to this NATO officer.
7 So I had to give my message through a colonel-level liaison officer. So
8 although it was the sensible and logical thing to do for General Talic to
9 see me, he wasn't prepared to see me because General Mladic hadn't given
10 him authority to do so.
11 However, my message I know was conveyed to General Talic because
12 at the start of operations on the 21st of December when my troops crossed
13 over the confrontation line into Republika Srpska, the soldiers on the
14 ground knew we were coming. Information had been passed down their chain
15 of command. They put their cleaner uniforms on. A tank that had been
16 blocking the route that I wanted to advance on had been moved, as I'd
17 asked it to be moved, so I knew that the command and control system was
18 working and that they had effectively passed down from the General at the
19 top right to the soldier on the ground the message that I wanted to pass.
20 So that centralist system was very much alive and well at that stage.
21 MR. CAYLEY: I'm sorry, Your Honour, we've got used to sort of
22 signalling each other about breaks. I thought you were signalling to me
23 that now would be an appropriate time to have a break.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Cayley, I think it is
25 the appropriate time before you go into your next question, so we'll have
1 a half-hour break. Thank you very much for drawing my attention to the
3 --- Recess taken at 10.59 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.41 a.m.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Cayley, I think that
6 the ELMO is here again.
7 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, Mr. President. At the break I think the old one
8 was declared dead so they've brought in a Barns Wallace creation which
9 does work. But it would facilitate the public essentially seeing
10 documents which I know is very important.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very good. There will be a
12 death certificate issued for the ELMO, I suppose.
13 I think that we can now proceed. Mr. Cayley, please continue.
14 MR. CAYLEY:
15 Q. General, as you will see next to you, there is a video camera.
16 The ELMO machine is not functioning. In order to facilitate the public
17 seeing documents that we're going to use in your examination-in-chief,
18 they will be put on the table. We may have to manoeuvre the table around,
19 but it will at least enable public transmission of documents that you're
20 going to refer to.
21 Before we move on to the next area of your testimony, I want to
22 come back briefly to a particular topic that you addressed in response to
23 a question, I think, from Judge Wald. It was concerning the JNA, the
24 constitution of the JNA, and you said that the JNA was a conscript army.
25 The equivalent of commissioned officers, those of the rank from 2nd
1 Lieutenant and above, were they conscripted or were they professionally
2 trained officers?
3 A. I think what we saw and see is a corps of professional officers, a
4 number of whom were mostly professional officers, were former JNA
5 officers. The more senior ones had been through a formal staff process.
6 And to that, obviously were added a number of officers and soldiers who,
7 through the expediency of the situation and the fact they found themselves
8 in a war situation, found themselves in the army.
9 So on the one hand, you had a corps of professionally trained
10 officers, but the majority of the army were locally recruited, effectively
11 conscripted individuals.
12 Q. When you say "a corps of professional officers, a number of whom
13 were former JNA officers," here you're referring to those officers who
14 subsequently went into the Bosnian Serb army; is that correct?
15 A. That's correct. As I mentioned also earlier, one found in the
16 army of the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Muslims a number of former JNA
17 officers who, by inclination, had chosen to serve with those armies rather
18 than another.
19 Q. Now, I'm right in saying that you have been spending time serving
20 with the British Army, with UN and NATO forces, in the former Yugoslavia
21 from 1994 to date except for the year 1998; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, I've served at some stage or other in Bosnia-Herzegovina
23 every year except 1998, since 1994. I first went to Sarajevo in February
24 1994 whether General Rose was the UN Commander there.
25 Q. I think all in all you've spent just under a year in the former
1 Yugoslavia during the last six years.
2 A. The time aggregates to about that. The majority of it was in 1995
3 and 1996, and then a period of time last year; that aggregates to about a
5 JUDGE RIAD: Can I just ask a specification. When you said, "the
6 majority of the army were effectively conscripted individuals," what is
7 the meaning of "effectively conscripted individuals"?
8 A. By which I meant that the VRS was, in the main, a conscripted
9 army; that people were called up from civilian life to become soldiers for
10 the duration of the emergency. That was where the majority of their
11 people came from, and that was based around a corps of professional
12 officers --
13 JUDGE RIAD: No previous training?
14 A. Well --
15 JUDGE RIAD: No military education?
16 A. Well, obviously everybody is first and foremost a civilian and has
17 to go through some process of training before they become a soldier. I
18 think most of the people that were involved as soldiers in the VRS were
19 civilians before the war, the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, began
20 and had some training, probably rather less training than they would have
21 liked to have necessarily and became soldiers, and therefore had all the
22 characteristics of being a conscripted army.
23 JUDGE RIAD: They were disciplined.
24 A. Oh, yes, yes.
25 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
1 MR. CAYLEY:
2 Q. General, just to clarify the point that His Honour Judge Riad has
3 raised, are you aware that up until the breakup of the former Yugoslavia,
4 there was a requirement for males to perform compulsory military service
5 in the JNA?
6 A. Very much so, and that underpinned the whole defensive philosophy
7 of the former Yugoslavia as a national policy to maintain its own
8 independence. Widespread conscription for military service was common to
9 make sure that All Peoples' Defence, which was their defensive doctrine,
10 could be facilitated by widespread military training. Therefore, a return
11 into the army of the VRS would have, perhaps, not been as much of a
12 surprise for individuals living in that part of the world than it would
13 be, let's say, in Great Britain.
14 Q. So indeed in 1991, most males over the age of 18 who served in the
15 VRS would have completed some form of military service in the JNA?
16 A. A high proportion would have done, assuming they were fit and
17 weren't in a small number of occupations that excluded them from military
19 Q. Now, General, just briefly going back to your time in the former
20 Yugoslavia, can you give to the Judges very briefly your opinion regarding
21 the Bosnian Serb army, what you saw when you arrived in country in 1994,
23 A. My direct exposure to the Bosnian Serb army, the VRS, really did
24 not start until we began to implement the Dayton Peace Agreement in
25 December 1995. As the majority of UN soldiers were located and based
1 within the area controlled by the Muslims and the Croats, and indeed in my
2 own case that is exactly where I was, my contact with the VRS only began
3 rather as I described a little earlier in my dealings, my attempt to deal
4 with General Talic and explain my plan. Thereafter, I had regular
5 dealings with the VRS as we worked with them and the other two armies to
6 implement the terms of the peace agreement.
7 The impression I gained in December 1995 was of an army which had
8 a coherent structure. It was an army that had been fighting hard for a
9 number of years, and certainly in Western Bosnia, which was where my
10 experience directly was, it was a very tired army that in many ways, I
11 wouldn't say it was a defeated army, but it had taken a number of hard
12 knocks during the course of autumn 1995 in the face of a sustained attack
13 by Croat and Muslim forces in an operation known as Operation Storm. And
14 therefore the forces around Banja Luka were certainly tired, and while
15 coherent and had a command structure that was in place, definitely in need
16 of a rest.
17 One of the problems that the Bosnia Serb army had throughout the
18 war, because it had retained most of the former JNA's equipment, tanks and
19 artillery and heavy equipment, they were quite strong, but they were
20 always short of manpower. And I think this was one of the major
21 constraining factors. By contrast, the Muslim army had little equipment
22 certainly early on but quite a lot of manpower, but the VRS always seemed
23 to be short of manpower, and this was quite a constraint upon them.
24 I'm going on too far. To my mind, the operations in mid-summer
25 1995 were to reduce the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa, and it might have
1 been Gorazde as well, were probably in part conducted with the intention
2 of having to remove the necessity to guard those two enclaves and free
3 more soldiers to take part in operations elsewhere. It goes back to the
4 point about shortage of manpower because I think at that stage the High
5 Command of the VRS knew that the large Muslim-Croat offensive was coming
6 in the west, and therefore to reduce their responsibilities and
7 liabilities in the east of the country would have allowed more manpower to
8 be redeployed around to the west, and indeed in autumn 1995, one saw that
9 operation come in, in very strong terms.
10 Q. General, let's move swiftly on to the next part of your report
11 which addresses the command and control. You've titled it
12 "Responsibilities, The Roles and Responsibilities of a Corps Commander
13 and Chief of Staff Generally," and then with specific reference to the
14 Drina Corps.
15 Now, you yourself had been a Chief of Staff in a British Army
16 brigade; you currently have a Chief of Staff who is a full colonel in your
17 division. Can you explain to the Judges on universal principles the role
18 of a Chief of Staff within -- at your level within a division, based on
19 your experience within a brigade?
20 A. The overall division of responsibilities between a Commander and
21 his Chief of Staff are that the Commander exercises personal overall
22 authority and takes personal responsibility for all those under his
23 command. He commands in the fullest sense of that word "command." The
24 Chief of Staff assists the Commander to exercise his command by
25 controlling the activities of the command, of the corps, of the division,
1 of the brigade, and coordinating all the activities of the subordinates.
2 When one talks about a command and control process, the Commander is
3 actually carrying out the command function; the Chief of Staff is
4 essentially carrying out the control and coordination function. That is
5 certainly how I operated as a brigade Chief of Staff in the mid-1980's and
6 how I expected my Chief of Staff when I was a Brigade Commander to act in
7 my support, and how I expect my current Chief of Staff to act in support
8 of my current functions.
9 Indeed, today, for example, I am here; my Chief of Staff is at my
10 headquarters. If an issue arose and an urgent decision was needed I would
11 have perfect confidence in him to make that decision because he knows me
12 well enough to know how I would react in the circumstances. If, however,
13 it was very, very important, I expect him to get on the phone to me here.
14 Q. On page 13 of your report, you state that even though others may
15 be of similar rank to him, to the Commander, he is primus inter pares,
16 effectively, the most senior. Can you explain what you mean by that?
17 A. Yes, I can. And I'm talking obviously about the command and
18 control system that I am most familiar with which is my own British
19 command and control system, and that is that within the headquarters, my
20 current headquarters, my Chief of Staff is a full colonel. There are five
21 other full colonels in that headquarters. They are of equal rank, but
22 because he holds the appointment of Chief of Staff, they know he is the
23 senior amongst those, although they are all of the same rank. Because
24 he's the Chief of Staff, he holds the senior appointment; hence, he's the
25 first amongst equals. And that system works both at the brigade level,
1 divisional level, and at the corps level.
2 Q. Now, General, you have looked at various documents that we've
3 provided to you in respect of the general regulations of the JNA. Indeed,
4 we provided to you the JNA 4th Corps Regulations and the JNA Regulations
5 of the Land Army Corps Peacetime.
6 MR. CAYLEY: Those, Your Honours, are Prosecutor's Exhibit 402,
7 tab 3/7 and Prosecutor's Exhibit 410.
8 Q. I won't place them in front of you, but from your study of those
9 particular documents, how do you find the role of a Chief of Staff in a
10 corps in the VRS?
11 A. The role of a Chief of Staff within the VRS in many ways is
12 similar to the role of a Chief of Staff that I'm familiar with and in
13 which capacity I have acted, with one principal exception, and perhaps I
14 should deal with that exception straight away. From my study of the
15 JNA/VRS regulations, the Chief of Staff also holds the appointment, the
16 dual appointment of Deputy Commander; and therefore, in the absence of the
17 Commander, either on duty on or leave, or whether it be as a result of
18 being a casualty, the Chief of Staff by regulation becomes the Commander.
19 This is not the case in the system that the British Army follows
20 in that another officer is appointed as the Deputy Commander and the
21 person who would take over command if the Commander became a casualty.
22 However, the Chief of Staff still in those circumstances where the
23 Commander has become a casualty, the Chief of Staff still exercises
24 command for a short period of time until a new Commander is appointed.
25 So that is the one difference that by regulation in the JNA/VRS,
1 the Chief of Staff is also the Deputy Commander, certainly at corps
2 level. Otherwise, I see very many similarities in the way that I have
3 operated as a Chief of Staff and in the way the JNA/VRS regulations
4 require one of their Chiefs of Staff to operate.
5 And the success of a Chief of Staff is in many ways measured by
6 the quality of his relationship with his Commander. If he understands his
7 Commander well and they get on well together and understand and work well
8 as a team, then the Chief of Staff is likely to be a pretty effective
9 Chief of Staff. Where there is a bad relationship, it's not very
10 successful, and indeed, it's probably better for all parties if the
11 Commander finds a new Chief of Staff fairly rapidly rather than have
12 somebody he can't get on with.
13 Q. Now, you state in paragraph 38 of your report that the role of the
14 Chief of Staff within the VRS is a privileged and onerous position that
15 puts the Chief of Staff far closer in relationship and responsibility to
16 the Commander than any other staff officer or subordinate Commander. Can
17 you expand on that statement at all?
18 A. Yes. I think for both the two reasons that I've already given,
19 first, the Chief of Staff is a first amongst equals; and second, because
20 he has to exercise command in the Commander's absence, then he has to know
21 as much of what is going on as the Commander does. He has to orchestrate
22 on behalf of the Commander the workings of all the staff in the
23 headquarters, and he is very much the focal point of making everything
24 happen. And it therefore takes a very special and qualified and
25 well-trained person to do that and to do it effectively because he is the
1 principal mechanism by which the Commander can get his intentions, his
2 actions carried out throughout his command, and therefore it's a very
3 responsible and onerous position.
4 There must be this level of trust between the Commander and his
5 Chief of Staff so that what the Commander wants actually is delivered
6 through the actions of the Chief of Staff coordinating and controlling the
7 activities of all the headquarters and coordinating the work of the
8 superior subordinate Commanders and their commands.
9 Q. General, let us move on to Corps or Divisional Commander. You are
10 a Major General. You command a division of the British Army; you've
11 already described to the Judges the military unit that you command.
12 Now, in your report, you state, and I'll read it word for word:
13 "Command is a personal matter in the sense that the Commander takes
14 personal responsibility for all that goes on and is done by all those
15 under his command."
16 Now, that statement does speak for it itself, but could you
17 explain exactly what you mean by that?
18 A. Command is a personal thing in that every Commander is given
19 orders himself from above and he is responsible for carrying out those
20 orders and achieving the mission, achieving the intent of his superior;
21 therefore, in that sense he is personally liable for the success or
22 failure of the actions of all those under his command.
23 That, then, flows down in that he must ensure that all those under
24 his command are doing what he wants done in the way that he wants done in
25 the manner that he has laid down and to the timings to create the effect
1 that he wants to do. If something goes wrong, then he has to take
2 responsibility in a personal way for it.
3 Throughout military history, one has seen senior commanders
4 removed from their posts after a reverse, and this is usually as a result
5 of mistakes made or some bad decision made and someone has to take
6 personal responsibility and personal liability for it. A senior commander
7 may be removed from post and someone else put in place. That is when the
8 personal accountability and the personal nature of command really is at
9 its sharpest and has seen greatest effect.
10 Q. Is that principle unique to the British Army?
11 A. No, it's not. One's seen that throughout many armies in the
12 world: that when an operation or campaign is successful, the successful
13 General will be given various medals or awards or whatever, but when there
14 is failure, at least personal failure, then he's removed. One can see
15 that probably through, I hesitate to say, every army, but the majority of
16 armies throughout military history. Where it's gone well, the General has
17 been congratulated; where it's gone badly, he's often been removed. It's
18 a personal thing.
19 Q. Now, I can't put my finger on it in the report, but you do discuss
20 the amount of time that various -- these different sides of military units
21 take to plan operations. To give the gist of what you say: The higher
22 level of command, the larger the formation, the longer the planning
23 period; the smaller the formation, the less the planning period. Can you
24 explain that to the Judges?
25 A. Yes. I've already explained that a division in my army, for
1 example, is made up of a number of brigades and a corps in my army is made
2 up of a number of divisions. These aren't just sort of a hierarchial
3 amalgam of smaller formations but an indication that at each level there's
4 a different function to be carried out.
5 Essentially, battalions and brigades at the lower level are
6 fighting current battles at the tactical level, whereas above them a
7 divisional headquarters will be planning a subsequent operation, probably
8 48 to 72 hours, two to three days, ahead. They will also at the same time
9 be monitoring what is also going on in their area, the brigades and
10 battalions fighting the current battle, but at the same time they are
11 planning the future operation, as I say, 48 to 72 hours out.
12 The same thing is happening at the level above them. At the corps
13 headquarters level, again they are monitoring the divisions and brigades
14 fighting the current battle but they're also planning even further out,
15 probably 96, four days; shaping the battle's future intentions.
16 After all, we're talking about large bodies of people, large
17 amounts of movement to be ordered, and therefore people have got to have a
18 sufficiently long lead time to make sure that everything is organised. So
19 the higher the level, the further out the planning is. Typically, four
20 days at corps level; two to three days at divisional level; and at brigade
21 level, it's all within a 24-hour time frame, a one-day time frame.
22 Q. Now, here, General, you're talking about the British Army/NATO
23 structures. But does this principle apply again universally, the
24 principle of longer periods of planning for larger formations. The time
25 periods may be different, of course.
1 A. It does apply universally. It has to apply universally, just
2 because the logical thinking through of the process, you can't get a force
3 of 15.000 to 20.000 men to do something just at the flick of a switch; it
4 takes a period of time to plan it. People have to have responsibility to
5 think ahead, to plan ahead, and therefore by logical definition or logical
6 deduction, a higher headquarters has to be thinking further ahead. That
7 is a universal principle for all armies. They could not operate if that
8 was not the case.
9 The only time -- the only time -- that an army or the higher
10 headquarters are not planning ahead, frankly, is when they're on the back
11 foot, when they're under pressure, and they're probably losing in a
12 particular operation. When you're planning in a hurry, you're probably
13 not planning very well and you're probably not far off being defeated.
14 Q. Let's move on to the manner in which you, as a divisional
15 commander, make decisions. On what do you base decisions that you make in
16 your division?
17 A. I base the decisions that I make on a number of things.
18 First of all, I will base it on advice that I'm given by my staff,
19 and by "my staff," I'm referring to a whole variety of functions within
20 the staff: the intelligence staff, the operations staff, logistics staff,
21 personnel staff. There are a whole range of staff functions all of whom
22 will provide me advice; principally provide me advice on the intelligence
23 and operations side through the Chief of Staff and on the personnel and
24 logistics side through the Deputy Chief of Staff. So the staff is one
25 major input.
1 Secondly, the reports and opinions and assessments of my
2 subordinate commanders, how they read the situation, how they read the
3 battle. I'm very interested to hear their views.
4 And then thirdly, I overlay my own military education, my own
5 experience, and my own judgement on that and I will then make my
7 Q. On operations, are you briefed regularly by your staff?
8 A. Yes, I am. When I'm in my main headquarters, which is not the
9 whole time, I'm briefed twice a day formally. Our sequence of events is
10 to do this at 8.00 in the morning and 8.00 at night, when all the
11 principal staff officers gather around the operations table and, to a set
12 sequence, they update me on what is going on in their areas of
13 responsibility by staff function, and also across the geographical area
14 that I might be responsible for at that particular time. That is a
15 comprehensive and a formal briefing which we do, as I say, twice a day, at
16 8.00 in the morning and at 8.00 in the evening.
17 Now, at other times, I can ask for additional reports, or, indeed,
18 if a subordinate commander has got something important that he wants to
19 tell me, he will get in touch at any time or, indeed, if there's a
20 particular question that I want to ask him, at any time I could ask him.
21 So there is a formal regular process which is supplemented by
22 other dialogue as necessary.
23 Q. Now, you state in your report that you regard it as a major part
24 of your responsibility to be out and about talking to commanders and
25 soldiers within your division; is that correct?
1 A. It is. One of the major tricks in being a successful commander is
2 to know where to be at the right moment.
3 Probably in the planning stage of an operation, the commander
4 should be in his main headquarters where most of the staff are because
5 that is where most of the information is. The information can be
6 assessed, converted into a plan, and that is, therefore, by definition,
7 the correct place for him to be.
8 But when an operation is ongoing, when one's involved in a battle,
9 then quite probably the best place for the commander to be is away from
10 his headquarters, possibly in the area where most activity is going on.
11 He might wish to go to the busiest area to speak with the subordinate
12 commander in that area, to get his assessment, to get a feel for what is
13 going on on the ground, so that he can overlay on his knowledge of the
14 overall situation and his knowledge of the plan, and here I'm referring to
15 the Commander, the assessment of the subordinate commander in that area.
16 Again, the Germans once again have a very good term for this, they
17 call it fingerspitzengefuhl, fingertip control; the commander having a
18 good feel for what is going on, such as the sensitivity at the end of the
19 fingers, so that he can make the right decision based on the right
20 information at the time.
21 So the commander has to decide where he should be at any one time,
22 whether it's in the main headquarters, whether it's in his forward
23 tactical headquarters, or whether it's visiting one of his units either to
24 give them encouragement or to find out for himself what action is going
1 Q. Now, General, although the specifics may differ from army to army,
2 again what you've just said, is this a universal principle of command
3 throughout the world?
4 A. Yes, it is. I can't really countenance a well-trained,
5 well-structured army whereby a Commander could really operate in a
6 different way. In a sense, technology these days is driving Commanders to
7 spend more time in their main headquarters because technology can make the
8 information so good. But I would suggest that a Commander, even because
9 the information was so good he stayed in his main headquarters the whole
10 time, is going to become a less effective Commander pretty quickly. He
11 must get out and about and get a feel for what is going on.
12 Q. Now, moving on to the Bosnian Serb army -- again, you viewed the
13 regulations which I won't show you -- based on your review of these
14 documents, can you explain to the Judges how you see the role of General
15 Krstic as the Commander of the Drina Corps?
16 A. I would see him operating in pretty much the way that I've just
17 been describing. My understanding of the way that the Drina Corps was
18 constructed, it's similar to my division in that there is a main
19 headquarters where for most of the time I would expect to see most of the
20 staff. There is also a forward headquarters, a tactical headquarters, to
21 which, as a Commander, either I or General Krstic would deploy to for a
22 particular period to oversee a given operation.
23 Again, it comes back to what I was just saying. Part of the art
24 of command, and we teach at the Staff College that it is an art rather
25 than a science, is to know where to be when; when to be in the forward
1 headquarters, the tactical headquarters, and when to be back in the main
2 headquarters or when to be elsewhere.
3 My understanding of the sequence of events and the history in the
4 period that we're talking about is that General Krstic at some time was in
5 his main headquarters and at some times was in a forward headquarters, and
6 that's what I would expect during a period such as this.
7 Q. Now, in paragraph 31 of your report, at page 11, and I'll read
8 from the end of the first line onwards: "... the Corps Commander is
9 fully, and personally, accountable for the conduct of all military
10 operations in the Corps zone of responsibility. Furthermore he is
11 specifically charged to ensure that there is an uninterrupted flow of
12 information and situation reports into and out of his Headquarters. In
13 short, he is required to stay in touch with his superiors and all his
14 subordinates, at all times."
15 On what do you base these two statements?
16 A. I base that statement having looked through a number of the
17 regulations pertaining to the former JNA 4th Corps, which, to my
18 understanding, became the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps in the VRS and as such
19 is most probably typical of the way that all the corps of the VRS
20 operated. I've not seen the regulations for the Drina Corps; I don't
21 believe they are in the possession of yourselves, or certainly I haven't
22 seen them. But I have no reason to believe that what I've seen in the
23 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps would be any different from the way the Drina
24 Corps operated.
25 Under the regulations that I have looked at, the basic duties of
1 the Commander are laid down. They're quite specific. When you aggregate
2 those specific responsibilities together, I can make the statement that
3 you have just quoted.
4 I don't know whether you want me to go through, for the
5 information of the Court, what those basic duties are, but I do have them
6 listed in front of me if that would be of assistance.
7 Q. I think they're clearly contained, actually, on page 10 and 11 of
8 your report so I don't think there's a necessity to go through each and
9 every one, although, indeed, the Defence may have some questions for you
10 about this.
11 We'll just come back to this in more detail later in your
12 testimony, but you have certainly reviewed reports available to the
13 Prosecutor which are going into the Drina Corps from subordinate brigades,
14 and in reviewing those documents, what is your opinion on the reporting
15 procedure within the Drina Corps, at least as far as the brigades were
17 A. I've seen a number of documents originating from several of the
18 subordinate brigades which are daily combat reports, reporting activity
19 going on in their brigade areas to the corps level of command. Those
20 daily combat reports follow a set pattern, a set format, and they are
21 broadly common to all those brigades. So what that says to me is that
22 there were orders and regulations laid down within the corps which told
23 the subordinate formations, the brigades, when they had to report, and
24 what they had to report, and the manner in which they had to report.
25 These appeared to be coming through on a daily basis. Indeed, they are
1 called "daily combat reports"; therefore, by definition they appear to be
2 every 24 hours. And indeed, in the operation order that I've seen for the
3 operation for the attack on Zepa, it is laid down that all the brigades
4 will report their situation at 1700 hours each day, and that report to be
5 at the corps level of command by 1800 hours that day.
6 And what that says to me, we've got a well organised and efficient
7 military formation here, which is what I would expect to see, given that
8 one of the basic duties of the Corps Commander and the regulations I was
9 just referring to, I'm now quoting, "Is to make sure there is
10 uninterrupted contact with the Superior Command as well as with the
11 subordinate and attached commands and units." It was laid down that this
12 regular flow of information would happen. Indeed, the reports I've seen
13 indicate that it did happen and was happening at the time in question.
14 Q. To move to a specific area of command before we move on to the
15 third and final part of your report, are you aware who the Assistant
16 Commander for security was within the Drina Corps?
17 A. Yes. We're talking about Colonel Popovic?
18 Q. That's correct, General. Now, do you have a similarly appointed
19 officer on your staff who is responsible for security matters within your
21 A. Within my division, the intelligence and security function is
22 delivered by a Major who is answerable to my Chief of Staff upwards within
23 the staff hierarchy and downwards. This Major has two Captains who work
24 for him, one of whom is specifically responsible for security and with a
25 small staff to help him, and another who is responsible for intelligence
1 and, again, with a small staff to support him.
2 MR. CAYLEY: If, Mr. Usher, you could give to the witness
3 Prosecutor's Exhibit 418.
4 Q. Now, General, if you could look particularly at paragraph 16 and
5 18, you've looked at all of this document, and the simple question for you
6 is this: Within whose chain of command did Colonel Popovic fall within
7 the VRS? Under whose command did he fall?
8 A. Colonel Popovic as a member of the staff of the Drina Corps was
9 under the command of the Commander of the Drina Corps. There is no doubt
10 about that.
11 Q. What relationship did Colonel Popovic have with the Main Staff
12 security officer?
13 A. Ah, well, that's a different issue, and I recognise the same kind
14 of system within my own army, that at the level above whatever level one
15 is at, there are going to be people in the higher headquarters who also
16 are carrying out the similar functional responsibilities.
17 Q. General, could I interrupt you? Because I'll give you
18 Prosecutor's Exhibit 398. You've actually come on to the point.
19 MR. CAYLEY: So if the witness could be given 398, which is, I'll
20 say this for the benefit of Their Honours, is a diagram in fact indicating
21 the structure.
22 I have it here, Mr. Usher. I have a copy if you don't have it
23 available, and if it could be placed under the camera. If the technical
24 booth could focus down.
25 Q. I'm sorry, General, you'll have to read this, it's going to be
1 upside down for you, but --
2 A. That's all right.
3 Q. Now, this is specifically your organisation. Whereabouts is your
4 command, if you could point to it on the exhibit?
5 A. Currently, that's my position there as Divisional Commander.
6 Q. And above you in --
7 A. In a full NATO deployment sense, that would be a corps, a Corps
8 Commander at the Corps Command level.
9 Q. And he would be a Lieutenant General?
10 A. He would indeed, yeah.
11 Q. Now, under your division you've put "Chief of Staff" and "G2."
12 A. Yes, if I could just explain this. It's really what I was saying
13 a moment or two ago. Under the Chief of Staff there are a number of staff
14 branches. G2, it's the NATO nomenclature for the intelligence and
15 security staff, and in my headquarters, that post is filled by a Major,
16 and beneath him he has a Captain responsible for security, and he has
17 another Captain responsible for intelligence. Up here I could be showing
18 a whole series of other boxes of G1 to G9 as it happens, but I think we're
19 just talking about intelligence and security now.
20 But the security Captain is answerable to the Major, who is
21 answerable to the Chief of Staff above him, who is answerable to me. But
22 I think the question you were asking me before is, what is the
23 relationship between the Divisional Command and the Corps Command as far
24 as the security function is concerned.
25 Q. If I could just ask you one question to make things absolutely
1 clear. The Corps Command within the NATO structure, the Corps Commander
2 also has a Chief of Staff and also has a G2 branch and also has a security
4 A. Indeed, the functions are mirrored at the levels above.
5 Now, the way that it operates is that the security staff, and it
6 could be the personnel staff, the operations staff, any of the other
7 staffs, obviously need to do business on a day-to-day basis with the
8 equivalent staff at the level above. After all, information is always
9 going to be more comprehensive, probably better, at the higher level. So
10 if the man on my staff responsible for, we'll say, security wants to ask
11 security questions that he does not have the answers to, the logical and
12 first place that he would go to would be to go to the security staff at
13 the level above him.
14 I'm at division level. He would therefore go to the corps level,
15 and the security staff there would be perfectly in order for there to be a
16 dialogue between the security staff at my headquarters and the security
17 staff at the higher headquarters. And that's why on this diagram, I don't
18 know whether you can see it, I've shown a dotted line there, this sort of
19 line of liaison and dialogue. But that's very different from the solid
20 line which actually is the command line. The security staff are linked to
21 me by the solid line. I am linked to the Corps Commander by a solid line,
22 but down here it's a dotted line indicating liaison, dialogue, discussion,
23 but it's not a command line.
24 And, well, in my organisation I would get extremely shirty if I
25 found that someone on my staff was taking orders from someone on the staff
1 elsewhere. We don't operate like that. Sorry, shirty is -- I'll get
3 Q. Now, you've read the VRS regulations on the security organ.
4 You've reviewed a large number of documents and, indeed, some intercepts.
5 What was the relationship between Lieutenant Colonel Popovic and General
6 Krstic when General Krstic was the Commander of the Drina Corps?
7 A. From some of the material that I've seen, it's -- I describe it as
8 a normal relationship. Colonel Popovic commands or heads one of the staff
9 functions within the Drina Corps headquarters and staff, and I see a
10 certain amount of dialogue, questions being asked, both upwards and
11 downwards. Between General Krstic and Colonel Popovic, in the same way
12 that I might quiz any of the heads of branch of my own staff seeking
13 clarification on certain issues or giving direction on certain issues.
14 Q. What would have been Lieutenant Colonel Popovic's relationship
15 with the security organ on the Main Staff of the VRS? I don't want you to
16 repeat everything you've said, but ...
17 A. It would have been a relationship seeking advice, seeking the
18 answers to questions, probably ensuring that what was going on within the
19 Drina Corps area of responsibility in sort of security functional terms
20 was consistent with what was going on at the higher level, making sure
21 that there was property integration and harmony with the functionings at
22 the higher level and the functions at the lower level. That is the nature
23 and the purpose of the kind of dialogue that one would expect to see going
24 on, and it's perfectly normal to go on.
25 Q. Was Colonel Beara Lieutenant Colonel Popovic's Commander?
1 A. No. My understanding of Colonel Beara is that he has a security
2 function and role on the Main Staff, and therefore in the way that I've
3 been describing, would naturally have a dialogue because of a common
4 function that they both deliver, mainly security, with Colonel Popovic.
5 But in terms of giving orders to, I don't recognise that at all.
6 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be given Exhibit 622 and 661.
7 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Cayley, your question was, was Colonel Beara --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE RIAD: You said, "Was Colonel Beara Lieutenant Popovic's
10 Commander?" Popovic was a Lieutenant or Lieutenant Colonel?
11 MR. CAYLEY: Lieutenant Colonel, Judge Riad. I'm sorry if I
13 JUDGE RIAD: So a Lieutenant Colonel. Were they the same grade?
14 That's the point.
15 MR. CAYLEY: Perhaps I should let the witness answer the
17 A. Popovic was a Lieutenant Colonel, and I'm trying very hard to
18 remember whether Beara was Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel. The point
19 that I was making, though, was that I don't recognise Popovic of whatever
20 rank as being the subordinate of Beara of whatever rank.
21 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
22 MR. CAYLEY:
23 Q. General, these are two intercepts. There are others.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Cayley. Microphone.
25 MR. CAYLEY:
1 Q. General, these are two intercepts. There are others that you've
2 reviewed, but could you just briefly explain to the Judges what these
3 represent to you, these two particular exhibits?
4 A. The first one, the larger one I'm looking at --
5 Q. Which is 622 for the purposes of the record.
6 A. -- is Colonel Popovic asking to be connected with General Krstic
7 at Zlatar, and Zlatar I understand as being the code name for the Drina
8 Corps headquarters.
9 He was told that General Krstic wasn't there, so he asked to be
10 connected with someone else. And I see in the transcript of this
11 conversation reference to the fact of reports, being an interim report,
12 and really it's Colonel Popovic trying to pass a report to his Commander,
13 to General Krstic, that particular actions that were ongoing at the time
14 had been finished. In fact, he says, "I'll come there tomorrow, so tell
15 the General I've finished the job." So there was obviously something that
16 Colonel Popovic had been tasked to do, and he felt a responsibility to
17 tell General Krstic that whatever it was had been done. And that's
18 normal, and I would expect a subordinate member of staff to want to inform
19 his General that this indeed was the case.
20 And the other one is similar. We have a conversation here, and I
21 see, for example, that it says find this Popovic chap and have him report
22 to the forward command post. So Colonel Popovic had gone missing for a
23 bit but was uncontactable, and it was deemed important for him to get in
24 touch with the command post where, I would presume, General Krstic was so
25 that he could either deliver or clarify his report or, indeed, receive
1 further instructions.
2 So I see evidence here of a very normal superior/subordinate
3 relationship going on, which is what I would expect.
4 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. Usher. If I could have that exhibit back because
5 that's the Prosecutor's copy. Thank you.
6 Mr. President, I don't know whether the Judges wish to ask any
7 questions on this area at this time, or if you wish me to move to the
8 final part of General Dannatt's report.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, I think it would be
11 convenient to have a break because General Krstic needs to move because of
12 his leg, so perhaps we can have a 15-minute break now.
13 --- Recess taken at 12:37 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, let us continue,
16 bearing in mind that around a quarter to two we will have another break.
17 MR. CAYLEY: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. General, if we could move on to the final and fullest part of your
19 evidence which is command and control operations: the operational and
20 logistic planning, tactical tempo, headquarters command and control
21 procedures relevant to this case, and that begins on page 13 of your
23 Now, you should have Prosecutor's Exhibit 425 in front of you and
24 this is a document that you've seen. This is a document from the Supreme
25 Command of the armed forces of Republika Srpska. It's from the ...
1 General, you've looked at this document. Specifically, I'd like
2 you to go to page 10 which is the direction to the Drina Corps in respect
3 of what was to happen to the enclaves in Srebrenica and Zepa.
4 Now, looking at that entire section, and particularly drawing your
5 attention to the following words: "By planned and well-thought-out combat
6 operations create an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope
7 of further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa,"
8 what kind of direction is this, General?
9 A. It's a slightly puzzling directive, or part of the directive in
10 that it's not, to me as a military person, entirely clear what it is that
11 the political authorities actually want.
12 My first inclination, I have to say, would probably be to go back
13 and try and seek a dialogue with the originator of this to try and get
14 more specific about what it is that they wanted me to do. When I read the
15 words "By planned and well-thought-out combat operations to create an
16 unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival
17 or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa," it's pretty broad and
18 it's pretty ambiguous, and as a military person, I wouldn't be very
19 comfortable with that.
20 Q. Now, bearing in mind that you've said it's broad, that you would
21 go back for clarification, what kind of operation is envisaged by this
22 particular plan?
23 A. Well, I think what is intended here is that Srebrenica and Zepa
24 should be captured. I would assume that the reference to "no hope of
25 further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa" meant
1 that not only were those towns to be captured but that the existing
2 population should be removed from those places.
3 Given, I think, my earlier comment that manpower was at a premium,
4 manpower was in short supply as far as the Bosnian Serb army is concerned,
5 if there wasn't a Muslim enclave in Srebrenica or wasn't a Muslim enclave
6 in Zepa and therefore there were no Muslim military elements there, then
7 there would be no requirement to have manned confrontation lines around
8 those two enclaves, and therefore it would be a considerable saving of
9 manpower and resources for the Bosnian Serb army.
10 So from my point of view, I would therefore understand it as being
11 a sensible military operation to take place, what I would call an
12 economy-of-effort operation, so that manpower could be diverted away from
13 this area and put to where, perhaps, it was going to be more needed.
14 As I've already suggested, there was strong indications and strong
15 intelligence that there was going to be a sizable attack mounted in the
16 west of Bosnia, and therefore the more deployable reserve elements could
17 be taken away from the eastern area and sent round to the Banja Luka,
18 Mrkonjic Grad, Prijedor, Sanski Most sort of areas in the west.
19 A complete reduction of Srebrenica and Zepa, I think, is what is
20 required here.
21 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown Prosecutor's Exhibit
22 427 and 428.
23 Q. Now, General, this is the preparatory order and the combat order
24 for Krivaja 95, the taking of the Srebrenica enclave. From a pure
25 military format point of view, is this what you would expect to see, a
1 preparatory order and a combat order? If so, can you explain the
2 difference between these two orders?
3 A. Yes, the normal convention in planning a military operation is to
4 issue initially a warning order to give advance notification to those
5 units that might be required to take part in an operation, to give them an
6 outline of what they're likely to have to do and when so that battle
7 procedure, as it's termed in the military, getting things going, can
9 And then the main document is what I would recognise as being an
10 operation order issued by the Drina Corps for a significant operation, and
11 it gives, as I would expect, missions to subordinate commands and
12 coordinates the other activity necessary to ensure successful delivery of
13 an operation.
14 MR. CAYLEY: For the purposes of the record, 427 is the warning or
15 preparatory order; 428 is the main combat order.
16 Q. Now, I don't want to go through the whole of this combat order,
17 but if you could go to page 3, General, and place that on the ELMO next to
19 First of all, paragraph 2 states: "The Command of the Drina
20 Corps, pursuant to Operations Directive no. 7 and 7/1 of the [GS]
21 VRS /Main Staff ..." et cetera. Now, you would agree with me that this
22 paragraph is referring back to the document that we've just referred to,
23 the document signed by President Karadzic, Prosecutor's Exhibit 425; would
24 you agree with that?
25 A. Yes, that is the document referred to.
1 Q. So, in essence, the military operation envisaged and, indeed,
2 incorporated the planning and the political direction contained in Exhibit
3 425 for the elimination of the enclave and for the removal of the civilian
4 population; would you agree with that?
5 A. Yes, I would. It is perfectly normal at the start of an operation
6 order to review the situation, but also to review the higher orders that
7 have been issued that authorise, if you like, the operation that is about
8 to be described in the main body of the operation order. It provides the
9 context, and as far as subordinate Commanders are concerned, shows them
10 the authority under which the operation is being planned.
11 Q. And would the document signed by President Karadzic have been
12 referred to by senior officers in deciding what was the ultimate aim of
13 this operation, Krivaja-95?
14 A. I can see no reason why it shouldn't be. It's perfectly
15 reasonable to be done so.
16 Q. If you could now go to page 5 of that document, and I want you to
17 specifically address the paragraph which is -- you can see it's in the
18 middle of the screen, "Reserve Forces." What can you say about that
19 particular paragraph, General?
20 A. I think I've got two comments, really. One is in the sequence
21 which has been followed through in this order and the sequence up to this
22 point here, has shown particular tasks and missions being assigned to a
23 number of the subordinate brigades. That's already gone before. Then we
24 get to this piece here which talks about reserves, and in general military
25 convention, the subordinate commands that are part of a higher command
1 have their missions shown first and in order. In this case it's the
2 brigades, and after the brigades have been given their tasks, we then get
3 quite naturally to the task of the reserve forces.
4 So I'm reading a mission about reserve forces at the correct place
5 in the sequence where by normal military convention, I would expect to
6 find it. And interestingly enough, after it -- or interesting to me,
7 anyway, I believe that I see orders being given to the artillery, and that
8 is what I would expect in the normal convention logically to come after
9 the reserve.
10 So my first comment is that this instruction for reserve forces
11 comes in the correct place in a good operation order.
12 My second comment is looking at that reserve force, it's a small
13 reserve force, two or three companies of Ministry of Interior Police
14 troops and one company of the Vlasenica Light Infantry Brigade, so we've
15 got three or four companies. I don't know how many men that would
16 necessarily have been at that time, but we're talking between 100 and
17 200. It might have been a bit more. That sort of size force. Quite a
18 handy force for a Superior Commander to have kept as a genuine reserve to
19 deal with unexpected situations. And in military planning, a reserve
20 force is exactly that. It's a force kept as a genuine hedge against the
21 unexpected to deal with the unexpected situation. Not one that's assigned
22 a task at this stage, it can react to whatever needs to be done.
23 And it's interesting here that Drina Corps is giving orders to a
24 company of one of its own brigades, the Vlasenica Brigade, but also giving
25 orders to two or three companies of Ministry of Interior Police which by
1 the regulations for combat operations, those Ministry of Interior police
2 companies would come under command of the army and of the Drina Corps in
3 these situations.
4 Q. If I could just show you, General, two intercepts which you've
5 looked at, Prosecutor's Exhibit 504 and Prosecutor's Exhibit 529, and I
6 don't think you have those. The usher is just about to give them to you.
7 And if you could in the context of speaking of the military
8 police -- of the, I'm sorry, of the MUP, of the Ministry of Interior
9 Police, what these particular documents show. And if you could place them
10 on the ELMO, that would be helpful.
11 This is Prosecutor's Exhibit 504. What can you say about this
12 particular document, General?
13 A. What that says to me is rather consistent with what I was just
14 saying about the operation order, that we have a military police unit
15 within the Drina Corps task organisation and force structure for this
16 operation that is clearly part of the command and control structure and
17 quite happy to accept and receive orders from the Drina Corps command. As
18 it says here, so that he can give orders to them through the Commander of
19 the Engineering Battalion. This is a means of command and control that's
20 been establish to pass messages to that police organisation through the
21 engineering battalion.
22 MR. CAYLEY: And this date of this intercept, Your Honours, is in
23 fact the 12th of July.
24 If we could move to the next intercept, General, and this is
25 between the accused, General Krstic, and, as you know already, Borovcanin
1 who was the Deputy Commander for the MUP Brigade. What does this
2 conversation demonstrate to you?
3 A. It demonstrates really the same thing, that there is an
4 established command relationship between General Krstic and this police
5 Commander, and they're discussing the operation. And there are aspects of
6 the operation being talked about in exactly the same way that I would
7 expect within a superior/subordinate command relationship, asking for
8 information and giving it.
9 Q. Now, General, you mentioned earlier that you'd actually reviewed
10 the regulations which is Prosecutor's Exhibit 420 -- I won't show them to
11 you now; the Defence may well wish to show them to you -- but do you see
12 anything within that particular document that would be inconsistent with
13 your conclusion that these MUP units were under the Corps Command at the
14 relevant time?
15 You have it in front of you now. It's Article 14.
16 A. There is one aspect to it, and that's in the third paragraph of
17 Article 14: "Police units resubordinated to the army of Republika Srpska
18 in a certain zone shall be used only for combat operations established in
19 advance by the Commander-in-Chief or the Minister of the Interior." And
20 that would indicate to me that it's only legitimate for the Drina Corps in
21 this set of circumstances to have used those MUP companies while there was
22 combat ongoing.
23 That said, what we in fact saw happening on the ground in that
24 period in July indicated that combat operations were ongoing for really
25 quite some time, and particularly the combat operations against the Muslim
1 column particularly made up of 28th Division breaking out of Srebrenica.
2 That posed a major threat to the security of the Drina Corps, and I would
3 have thought that operations against that column was undoubtedly combat
4 operations and were the sort of operations that would be particularly well
5 suited to those MUP companies' characteristics and capabilities being
6 involved, and there were certainly combat operations.
7 Therefore, whereas perhaps one might have thought that they
8 stopped being available to the Drina Corps after the attack on Srebrenica
9 was concluded, it would seem to me that combat continued for quite some
10 time against that column, and therefore I presume that those Ministry of
11 Interior Police remained under the command of the Drina Corps until that
12 column had been dealt with, which I understand from reading other things
13 took really quite some time, well into July, latter part of July.
14 Q. If we could briefly return to Prosecutor's Exhibit 428, and I
15 wanted to review one more section within this -- actually, two more
16 sections. On page 7 of the English translation, there is a direction, "In
17 dealing with prisoners of war and the civilian population, behave in every
18 way in accordance with the Geneva Conventions."
19 General, is that the kind of direction that you would give in one
20 of your orders to your brigades, and what would you mean by that if you
21 said that?
22 A. It's the kind of statement that actually I wouldn't think it was
23 necessary to place in an OP order. I would like it to be thought to be
24 implicit in anything that I in my division would order, that my soldiers
25 would act in accordance with the Geneva Convention anyway. There are some
1 things, as we say, are SOP, they are "standard operating procedures," and
2 it's certainly standard to operate in accordance with the Geneva
4 However, it is mentioned specifically here, so I would judge that
5 for whatever reason, the originator of this order felt it was necessary to
6 remind his people that there was an obligation to operate within the
7 normal -- the accepted norms, within the accepted norms and standards laid
8 down by the Geneva Convention.
9 Q. If you could go to the final page, page 9, and if you could place
10 that on the ELMO. Yes, that's perfect.
11 First of all, in paragraph 11 it refers to the IKM-1 of the Drina
12 Corps, the IKM being the forward command post that you've referred to
13 earlier. Is this where the battle would have been fought, in essence, in
14 Srebrenica, where the battle would have been conducted from?
15 A. Yes. I mean, as I was saying before, an operation like this would
16 have been planned in all probability at the main headquarters, and then
17 the executive function, the implementation of the battle, carried out at
18 the forward headquarters which is what is referred to here, the forward
19 command post. And that's where I would expect the Commander to be for the
20 majority of his time, other than when he wanted to go even further forward
21 to visit the headquarters of one of his subordinate formations or need to
22 go on the ground and see what was going on. That's where tactical command
23 and control of the operation would have been mounted from.
24 Q. You've also spoken about the need for a Commander to keep in
25 contact, keep in communication, with his subordinate units, and indeed
1 there is this final paragraph of this reporting requirement. Does this
2 reflect and reinforce what you stated earlier about the reporting
3 procedure within the corps?
4 A. Yes. It's, again, what I would expect: submit daily reports every
5 day until 1800 hours -- the word "until" I don't quite understand, I'm
6 assuming there's a translation aspect to that -- with a situation report
7 at 1700 hours. But what I understand from that, those couple of lines, is
8 that each brigade every day should send a situation report at 1700 hours,
9 and that those daily reports should be at the command post by 1800 hours,
10 and interim reports as necessary should be sent in addition. And although
11 I've referred earlier that some things are standard procedure, in an order
12 like this, this is the sort of thing that could be repeated just so that
13 everyone was quite clear when the daily report had to come. It was as at
14 what time, and had to be at headquarters at what time. That's something I
15 would expect to see in a decent OP order.
16 Q. General, this order is signed by the Commander, General Zivanovic.
17 Who would have been responsible for drafting this combat order?
18 A. A large combat order like this would have been worked on for a
19 period of time beforehand, a day or two or maybe longer beforehand, by
20 various members of the staff, coordinated by the Chief of Staff, and he
21 would have overseen the overall drafting of it; and then when he was
22 content that the order was complete, properly described what the Commander
23 wanted, he would then have shown it to the Commander and invited him to
24 sign it. And I understand that General Zivanovic did indeed sign this
1 That said, it's not unusual, certainly in my army, for the Chief
2 of Staff to sign such an order on behalf of the Commander, and it comes
3 back to this point that there is this special relationship between the
4 Chief of Staff and the Commander, and indeed, the Chief of Staff in many
5 ways carries the authority that the Commander does. But here, General
6 Zivanovic himself has signed it as the Commander. He wouldn't have
7 written it; the staff would have written it under the direction of the
8 Chief of Staff.
9 Q. Thank you, General. We'll move on now.
10 I have shown to you a video of events in and around Bravo Company
11 in Srebrenica on the 9th, 10th of July, 1995. That is an exhibit; it's in
12 evidence. The Defence have a copy of it. And I've also shown to you some
13 of the testimony of professional officers from the Dutch Battalion who
14 were present there at the time, in and around Bravo Company or at the
15 operations centre in Potocari, receiving reports about what was happening
16 in Srebrenica. There's a large amount of testimony about this. I'm only
17 going to select three, and I'll read some very brief extracts. I've
18 already shown you this.
19 This first extract is from the Deputy Commander of the Dutch
20 Battalion, Major Robert Franken, and this is what he said about what was
21 happening in Srebrenica. He was at the operations centre. He was
22 receiving reports from his company, from the battalion's company in
23 Srebrenica. He said to my question:
24 "Q. From your recollection, thinking back now to July of 1995, do
25 you have any recollection of the number of shells that fell on
1 the city that day?
2 A. Yes, I remember that I ordered Bravo Company to start
3 reporting every single explosion, and it was -- when we
4 reached the figure of about 200.
5 Q. Now, you stated in an earlier response that there was no
6 military objective by this stage that would require this level
7 of firing, and I'll ask you the question again: In your
8 opinion, what was the reason for this very heavy shelling?
9 A. There could have been two reasons, but was the same effect:
10 killing people or trying to raise a panic by killing people.
11 And I mean by 'people,' I mean civilians, women and
13 MR. CAYLEY: And that can be found, for the purposes of the
14 Defence and the Court, at page 2019 of the transcript, lines 3 to 17.
15 Q. (redacted)
18 "A. (redacted)
21 Q. (redacted)
22 A. (redacted)
23 Q. (redacted)
1 A. (redacted)
3 This is the last section. This is an individual called Captain
4 Egbers. He was a Captain when he testified here. He was a Platoon
5 Commander in Srebrenica. A young officer present at a blocking position.
6 "Q. Now, you said also that you could see some tanks coming and
8 A. I could, sir.
9 Q. Do you know the direction of their fire?
10 A. Yes, sir, I could. They fired into the town of Srebrenica.
11 Q. Were there any military targets, as far as you're aware, in
12 the town of Srebrenica?
13 A. No, sir. Just refugees and a UN base.
14 Q. Did you have an opinion then as to the purpose of the firing
15 of the tank rounds into the town of Srebrenica?
16 A. I think they wanted to scare the refugees who were in the city
17 of Srebrenica so they would go north to Potocari and they
18 could enter the town. They were scaring them, and of course
19 they were wounding them, killing them."
20 General, I don't want you to comment on the reliability of that
21 evidence, but based on the observations of three officers present in the
22 region at the time, what conclusions would you draw about the artillery
23 that was firing into Srebrenica on that day?
24 A. It would seem to me that the artillery that was being fired was
25 not predominantly at military targets. My understanding by that stage is
1 that the Muslim 28th Division had, in the main, withdrawn from
2 Srebrenica. So there were probably not many military targets against
3 which artillery could have usefully been aimed or objectives that could
4 have been targeted. And therefore it would seem, and it perhaps goes
5 right back to that earlier paragraph in the political direction that you
6 showed me some 30, 40 minutes ago, that the use of this artillery was
7 designed to be fairly random, was designed to create fear and probably to
8 create the effect on the civilian population to leave the town and, in
9 this case, head towards the other UN base around Potocari. And if the
10 intention was not only to capture, in a military sense, Srebrenica but
11 also to ensure that it was empty of people, then I would have thought that
12 the indiscriminate use of -- relative indiscriminate use of artillery was
13 a good tactic to do that.
14 And of course you don't have to kill large numbers of people to
15 achieve that aim. One or two shells to go off close to people to cause
16 some injuries, I suggest, would be sufficient. Most sensible people,
17 particularly when they're already frightened and fearful, when one or two
18 shells land near you or close to you, will soon get the message that to go
19 to a place of safety, in this case, in the direction of Potocari, was the
20 sensible response to take.
21 So it would seem to me that the use of that artillery was
22 consistent with the original political direction that was given. It
23 appeared to be random but, in fact, was actually -- the purpose of it was
24 to get the civilian population to leave.
25 Q. General, you're a professional army officer. In your view, was
1 that a legitimate way of doing things, the way the VRS did this?
2 Specifically, this artillery bombardment on Srebrenica.
3 A. Well, again, it comes back to the issue, what was the objective?
4 If the objective was to defeat the Muslim army in Srebrenica so that
5 Srebrenica as a military objective could be taken, then the use of
6 artillery against military objectives in concert with infantry and
7 armoured attacks is a perfectly legitimate and reasonable way to conduct
8 an operation. But if, however, the use of artillery was designed more to
9 put fear amongst the people and get the people to leave, then I would
10 regard that as an illegitimate use of artillery. Indeed, it is contrary
11 to the Geneva Conventions which specifically addresses the responsibility
12 of military Commanders to not inflict unnecessary suffering on civilians
13 and non-combatants, and it would seem that in the circumstances that was
14 exactly what was being done. And on that basis, to me that's
15 unacceptable. Although, as it turned out, it was actually effective.
16 Q. General, let's look briefly at two exhibits, 445 and 614. Exhibit
17 445 is an intercept; it's identified as a conversation between General
18 Mladic and an unidentified male person. And the statement that I'm
19 particularly interested in is the second sentence in the middle of that
20 document. If you could place it on the ELMO.
21 Mladic speaking: "They've all capitulated and surrendered, and
22 we'll evacuate them all. Those who want to and those who don't want to."
23 Now, this is a conversation, an intercept, and this is the Chief
24 of the Main Staff, General Mladic, speaking. What does this indicate to
25 you about the intent of the operation to capture Srebrenica?
1 A. Well, this would seem to further corroborate what we've been
2 talking about for the last few minutes, that there was a stated intention
3 right at the beginning and at the planning stage of this operation. Not
4 only was it the intention to capture Srebrenica as a military objection,
5 but it was also the intention to remove the people, and indeed they've all
6 capitulated and surrendered, so they have given up, and we'll evacuate
7 them all, those who want to and those who don't want to. That last phrase
8 implies that there is a potential to use a degree of coercion that even
9 those who wanted to stay would not be given the option to stay, that they
10 were going to go. The intention is quite clear right from the start that
11 Srebrenica would no longer have a Muslim population.
12 Q. General, finally on this point, Exhibit 614, the second page of
13 that document, this is an interim combat report from the 16th of July, the
14 previous exhibit, the intercept, was the 12th of July. If you could place
15 that on the ELMO so that paragraph 6 is visible. This is a document
16 signed by Vinko Pandurevic, Lieutenant Colonel, Commander of the Zvornik
17 Brigade. "I consider that the Krivaja 95 operation is not complete as
18 long as a single enemy soldier or civilian remains behind the front
20 What does that indicate to you about the understanding that
21 Colonel Pandurevic had about Krivaja 95, the operation to take Srebrenica?
22 A. Well, the order which had been produced and signed by General
23 Zivanovic, which we looked at earlier, was a comprehensive order. It was
24 a clear order. It had been clearly understood by subordinate Commanders,
25 such as the Brigade Commander here, Pandurevic, and that he did not regard
1 the mission as being accomplished, and the operation complete, as he says
2 here, "... as long as a single enemy soldier or civilian remains behind
3 the front line." So this was to be a thorough and complete carrying out
4 of the operation order as produced early. He was in no doubt about that.
5 Q. Now, General, we've had General Mladic stating in a radio
6 conversation that everybody had to go; we have a Brigade Commander from
7 the Drina Corps stating that the operation was not complete until
8 everybody had gone. Does that indicate to you some understanding of this
9 plan within the chain of command?
10 A. It indicates to me quite clearly that the plan, as I've already
11 just said, was clearly written, clearly communicated, understood by
12 subordinate Commanders who needed to know it, and was complied with
13 thoroughly. Whatever the rights and wrongs and whatever of this might be,
14 it was a successful military operation in terms of being a military
15 operation. The intent was clearly communicated and the operation was
16 thoroughly carried out.
17 Q. Overall, and finally on the order, what is your view, your global
18 view of Krivaja 95? What kind of situation were the VRS trying to create
19 by this operation, by this order?
20 A. I think I'd just refer you back, if I may, to my earlier comment
21 that there were obvious operational-level benefits, campaign-level
22 benefits, for the overall VRS command and control, Higher Command level,
23 to remove Srebrenica and Zepa as Muslim enclaves within Serb territory so
24 that they could redeploy forces elsewhere. That was an obvious and
25 greatly advantageous objective.
1 Secondly, by so comprehensively and thoroughly not only defeating
2 the Muslim army in and around the Srebrenica enclave but by ensuring the
3 removal of the civilian population there, it would then make it a town
4 that was then available to Serb people to live in and make the Serb part
5 of Bosnia more comprehensive and less complicated by having Muslim pockets
6 within their own territory. It has a double and very clear logic which,
7 from the Serb point of view, was very advantageous.
8 JUDGE WALD: Can I ask one question?
9 MR. CAYLEY: Please go ahead.
10 JUDGE WALD: General Dannatt, would that benefit to the VRS be
11 accomplished or would it be materially diminished if everybody in
12 Srebrenica was evacuated, both the civilians and the elements, the
13 remaining elements of the 28th which were in the column along with the
14 civilians? In other words, if everybody had just been pushed on or
15 allowed to get over the border, would that have made a material difference
16 in these objectives which you're talking about?
17 A. I think the key thing was that there would be no longer a Muslim
18 population in Srebrenica, because if there was a Muslim population there,
19 there was the potential for there to be fighters hidden amongst the people
20 which could, albeit in small groups, have sallied forth, broken out as,
21 indeed, had happened earlier in the war and made attacks on Serb villages,
22 and therefore there would still have been a need to have kept a garrison
23 force around the outside of the enclave, and therefore it would have
24 denied them the advantage they were seeking to gain of not having to have
25 soldiers doing that.
1 I just come back to the point that I made before: that manpower
2 was at a premium for the Serb army and for it not to have to surround
3 these enclaves was very much in their interest.
4 JUDGE WALD: But then why this additional overlay which appeared,
5 where they felt they had to separate the men and, even according to their
6 own rationalisation, find out which ones were part of the military and not
7 let them go through?
8 A. I think there are two aspects to that, ma'am, if I can just draw
9 on them. I think, one, it is not an unrealistic or not an unreasonable
10 thing to have wanted to do, to separate the men from the women initially,
11 and if they wanted to make a serious attempt to screen the men, to
12 establish their identities, to see who might have been, in their eyes,
13 guilty of war crimes in the past or activities in the past. After all, it
14 is a known fact that from the Srebrenica enclave, particularly earlier in
15 the war, Naser Oric and others attacked Serb villages, and they may well
16 have felt that some of those attacks were outside the norms of war and,
17 therefore -- and they may also have known who some of these people were
18 and therefore they might have wanted to try and identify them, believing
19 that they had a legitimate legal case against them. So that is not
20 entirely surprising. The fact they didn't actually really do that, I
21 think, is surprising but perhaps it's a side issue.
22 Secondly, to separate the men from the children doesn't altogether
23 surprise me in that we have much evidence throughout this civil war of
24 exchanging large numbers of prisoners, one side with another. Therefore,
25 if, for example, General Krstic or General Mladic had had in their
1 possession, 5.000, 6.000, 8.000, 10.000 men of military age, they might
2 well have been able to swap them for Serb prisoners being held by the
3 other side.
4 So on the face of it, to separate the men from the women might
5 have served two purposes which, in the rather unusual logic prevailing at
6 the time, might have been justifiable.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, I think this is a good time
8 to have another break, another 15-minute break, that is, until three
9 minutes past two. [In English] Three minutes past two.
10 --- Recess taken at 1.48 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 2.03 p.m.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley, you may continue.
13 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President. Until 2.30, would that be
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes.
16 MR. CAYLEY:
17 Q. General, finally on this area, if -- the usher has disappeared. I
18 need you to be shown an exhibit, Prosecutor's Exhibit 404/1, tab 20. I'll
19 find the page so that we can deal with this quickly.
20 General, this is a debriefing report produced by the Dutch
21 government after Srebrenica. You've seen it before. If you could quickly
22 read paragraphs 5.14 and 5.15, and then after you've read it place it on
23 the ELMO and then make any comments about those two particular sections.
24 A. This is a rather unfortunate paragraph, really. What it indicates
25 to me is that Mr. Akashi, the special representative of the
1 Secretary-General has accepted that the situation in Srebrenica has
2 changed, that whereas it had seemed sensible for the UN in New York to
3 have declared a safe area around Srebrenica while it was a Muslim enclave,
4 that now the situation on the ground had changed; that the BSA, as it's
5 described here, the VRS, had successfully mounted a military operation to
6 capture Srebrenica as a military objective and that therefore it was no
7 longer in Muslim military hands; that it was quite clear that the intent
8 of the Serbs was for the civilian people to be expelled, if you like, from
9 Srebrenica and they were to depart for Tuzla, as it says there in about
10 line 6 or 7.
11 Then the intention of the UN was recognising that what had
12 happened on the ground was a changed situation, that their efforts were
13 now geared towards protecting the people in the best way that they could
14 to enable them to get to the area of Tuzla in a safe way, and then
15 subsequently to evacuate the Dutch Battalion. And as I say, it's a rather
16 sad paragraph because it indicates that the international resolve which
17 had set up the UN safe haven was no longer going to be successful, and the
18 situation on the ground had changed and that, therefore, the UN's
19 objectives were much more limited just to try and safely protect the
20 people as they were removed to Tuzla.
21 Q. I'll just read paragraph 5.15 which is the next paragraph: "The
22 Battalion was," and it's referring to the Dutch Battalion, "however
23 surprised by the speed with which the Bosnian Serb army commenced the
24 evacuation of the refugees from Potocari to Kladanj. Unexpectedly, it
25 turned out the Bosnian Serb army already had large numbers of buses and
2 General, what does that indicate to you?
3 A. Well, what we now know, of course, means that this should not have
4 been a matter of surprise. We know, we were discussing it a little
5 earlier this morning, that part of the intention of the operation was to
6 remove the civilian population from Srebrenica, and in order to do that, a
7 large number of buses and trucks had been gathered together in order to
8 quickly facilitate the removal of the people. The fact that it surprised
9 the Dutch Battalion in itself is not surprising because they did not know
10 what the plan was. We now know that the plan was to rapidly remove the
11 people to behind other Muslim lines, and the fact that they were able to
12 do it quickly was because it was planned and because large numbers of
13 buses and trucks were gathered together, made available, and as I would
14 expect with a military formation such as the Drina Corps, it was done
15 efficiently, done properly, and it was done quickly. Therefore, it's no
16 surprise that actually it happened quite quickly.
17 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could now be shown Prosecutor's
18 Exhibit 404/2, tab 73, which is a report from the President of the Bosniak
19 Presidency in Srebrenica, Osman Suljic. This is a report from a session
20 of the Municipality Presidency held on the 9th of July.
21 Q. Now, in reading this document, General, which is addressed to
22 Mr. Izetbegovic in Sarajevo and to the Commander of the Bosnian army,
23 Rasim Delic, what do you interpret this particular dispatch to represent?
24 A. This, if you like, is the other side of the same issue. The
25 President of Srebrenica municipality was getting in touch with his own
1 national President in Sarajevo to tell him that military command had
2 dissolved, the 28th Division was no longer able to do anything to prevent
3 Serb forces, aggressive forces from entering the town. There was chaos
4 and panic. He was seeking an answer as quickly as possible for a corridor
5 to be opened for the civilian population to move as quickly as possible to
6 a place of safety behind the main Muslim lines. So the President had
7 already recognised what had happened on the ground and was informing his
8 own government in Sarajevo that this was the case, and as we see it in
9 bold at the bottom: "We need an urgent reply at the latest by 2400
10 hours," by midnight that day.
11 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown Prosecutor's Exhibit
12 432 and 433, we can look at these two together.
13 Q. Now, General, there is evidence, which you've addressed this in
14 your report, that indicates that at the time of the operation on
15 Srebrenica, on the 9th and 10th of July, there were a number of senior
16 officers present from the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb army.
17 Prosecutor's Exhibit 432 indicates that General Gvero of the Main
18 Staff may have been present. We have no sightings of him but this
19 document indicates that he may have been there.
20 Prosecutor's Exhibit 433 indicates that General Mladic, Major
21 General Zivanovic, and Major General Krstic were in the Bratunac Brigade
22 area of responsibility. So General Mladic was present on the ground in
23 Srebrenica at the time. There's also evidence that we've provided to you
24 that indicates that Colonel Jankovic, also of the Main Staff, was present
25 in and around Srebrenica at the time of these events.
1 Do you find it odd that officers of the Main Staff were present in
2 and around Srebrenica whilst this operation was going on?
3 A. No, I don't find it odd in the slightest. What was going on
4 around Srebrenica at that time was the most significant military activity
5 going on in the whole of Republika Srpska at that moment, and therefore
6 it's entirely not surprising that General Mladic, for example, the Chief
7 of Staff of the Main Staff should have been there to see what was going on
8 and, indeed, to influence what was going on.
9 If I could widen it out to a more general military point. The
10 military often describes the most significant set of activities going on,
11 the focus of what is going on, as the main effort, and consistent with
12 what I was saying earlier, that a higher Commander will try and put
13 himself at the right place at the right time in order to influence the way
14 that an operation -- the way that a battle is going. Here around
15 Srebrenica, as I said, the most significant activity within Republika
16 Srpska was going on and therefore it's entirely consistent that General
17 Mladic, the overall Commander, the Chief of the Main Staff, should come
18 there to see what was going on and, indeed, to influence it. He was
19 supporting the main effort.
20 The fact that General Krstic was also there, General Zivanovic was
21 there, that's what I would expect. They, depending on the date here in
22 Exhibit 433 -- I suppose I should put that there -- that's the 10th of the
23 July, what I see is General Zivanovic as the Corps Commander, General
24 Krstic as the Corps Chief of Staff, and General Mladic all being there;
25 the responsible Commanders in that area. It's a Drina Corps operation.
1 It's within the Drina Corps's zone of responsibility. But it's entirely
2 consistent that the main boss, if you like, General Mladic, should turn up
3 because this was the main effort, to influence -- to find out what was
4 going on and to influence events on the ground. That's exactly the sort
5 of thing I would expect, and indeed in other operations I have done the
6 same sort of thing myself.
7 If you'd like me to give an example. In January/February 1996,
8 over on the western side of Bosnia that I was responsible for, we had a
9 situation whereby a particular village of Croat people which had been
10 within a Serb area throughout history and throughout the war had, in fact,
11 been liberated, the advance of the Croat army had put that Croat village
12 into a Croat-controlled part of Bosnia. People, obviously, were delighted
13 about that because they were back amongst their own people. When the
14 Dayton Peace Plan and the map was unveiled, that particular village was
15 going to be put back under Serb control. Naturally, the Croat people in
16 that village were very depressed and very disappointed about it, and their
17 first inclination was to leave the village and to go away. But given that
18 they had been there throughout the war and for about 300 years, as far as
19 one could see, we were very keen that they should say.
20 That village was in the area delegated to one of my battalions.
21 But I, as the Brigade Commander, felt that it was such an important place
22 and important for the peace process that we keep those 300 villagers there
23 and in their village, that I personally went to the village on many
24 occasions, personally led the negotiations with the people to try and
25 persuade them to stay. So I engaged myself in that area because it was so
1 important that we got that right, so far as I was concerned.
2 Now, in doing that, I hadn't assumed command from the Battalion
3 Commander in that area, but I was supporting him and putting myself into
4 it to try and lend greater authority, try to persuade the people to stay.
5 If you like, at that moment in my area, that village of Majdan was the
6 main effort, and, therefore, I as the higher Commander was there, in the
7 same way that it does not surprise me that General Mladic turned up in the
8 area of Srebrenica.
9 Q. General, let's move on to the next section of your evidence which
10 concerns the movement of the population from Potocari to the
11 Bosniak-controlled area in Kladanj and Tuzla.
12 Now, from general principles, if you, as a military Commander,
13 enter an area with a military force and a large group of civilians gather
14 in a small location as a result of the entrance of that military force,
15 what is your obligation to those civilians as a military Commander, as far
16 as you understand?
17 A. Well, under the Geneva Convention, the military are obliged to
18 assume certain responsibilities for civilians when those civilians can no
19 longer look after themselves. When their own civilian municipal or local
20 government structure can no longer look after them, then it falls to the
21 military to carry out that function. The minimum requirements of that
22 function would be to provide food, water, shelter, and medical support.
23 Q. Now, you state in your report that you, as a military Commander,
24 would actually have a duty of care to those people. Is that an obligation
25 that you see as applying in this situation in Potocari?
1 A. Very much so. The status of those civilians under the Geneva
2 Convention becomes one of protected persons by definition that they can no
3 longer protect themselves, they can no longer look after themselves, and
4 therefore from a military point of view, like it or not, then you have
5 this duty of care which, by the Geneva Convention, is vested upon you and
6 you must do the things that I have just described: food, shelter, water,
7 medical care, and freedom from harassment; the basic provision of human
9 MR. CAYLEY: Now, Mr. Usher, if you could place this exhibit, this
10 large VRS Drina Corps structure.
11 Q. General, what I'd like you to do now is to explain to Their
12 Honours, from your own understanding as a military Commander, what is
13 required to move 25.000 to 30.000 people a distance of about 50 miles?
14 What kind of resources, what kind of planning?
15 In your report, I know you've used NATO references for the Staff
16 Branches involved but what I would like you to do is to address this VRS
17 Drina Corps structure. Explain to the Judges the planning involved, the
18 resources involved, and the Staff Branches which, in your opinion, would
19 have been engaged in planning and executing this kind of operation.
20 MR. CAYLEY: So, Mr. Usher, if you could give the General the
22 THE USHER: Of course.
23 MR. CAYLEY:
24 Q. There's a pointer, I think, there, General, you can use.
25 A. Thank you very much.
1 Your Honour, I think to move 25.000 to 30.000 people, it must be
2 realised, is a significant military -- undertaking by anybody, and if
3 being conducted by the military, it requires quite a lot of planning.
4 We've already, I think, said in the course of the examination so far that
5 this was done relatively quickly, and therefore the more quickly a thing
6 is done, the greater degree of planning that has to be involved.
7 From this outline diagram of the Drina Corps structure, I would
8 see quite a number of Staff Branches inevitably being involved. Because
9 we're moving large numbers, 25.000 to 30.000, through a war zone, the
10 Operations Staff would inevitably have to be involved to make sure that
11 the routes that were going to be selected and the locations that were
12 going to be used were free from where active combat was going on. So the
13 Operations Staff would be very closely involved.
14 The Intelligence Staff, naturally, would play a part with the
15 Operations Staff to make sure that the picture was an accurate picture and
16 that the people were not going to be placed in any greater degree of
17 threat than they already were.
18 On this side, the Department for Rear Services, a large number of
19 the Staff Branches would be involved. The Quartermaster Service here
20 should provide water and food for the people. The Transportation Service
21 would undoubtedly be the one that would coordinate buses and trucks to
22 move the people. We've got the Medical Service here that, for a proper
23 operation, should be required to provide first-aid points as a minimum to
24 provide care for people while they are in transit.
25 Of course, already having drawn attention to three or four of the
1 branches on this side and a couple of branches on this side, they all feed
2 up in the hierarchy to the Chief of Staff of a formation like that who
3 would have to oversee the operational aspects, and also in conjunction
4 with the heads, in this case the Department for Rear Services, to ensure
5 that there was integration on this side with the activities on this side
6 and that the whole thing was a comprehensive and properly conducted
7 military operation.
8 I can't countenance how you could move 25.000 to 30.000 people
9 other than it being properly planned, and particularly done so in a short
10 period of time.
11 Q. Please, General, if you would like to take your seat. Thank you.
12 General, this is a question that you've essentially already
13 answered but I'm going to ask you again: Is it possible that this
14 operation could have taken place without the involvement or the knowledge
15 of the Corps staff, the Chief of Staff, and the Commander? Is that
17 A. No. I couldn't countenance it, of that magnitude, taking place.
18 I mean, the way I rather envisage the situation of the Drina Corps area
19 over these few days is it was a very busy place. One had an attack that
20 had just been mounted on Srebrenica; we know of another attack being
21 planned on Zepa; we have the 28th Muslim Division having broken out,
22 heading off towards his own line, a large column, which is a major issue
23 in its own right; then we have another bunch of 25.000 to 30.000 people
24 who are going to be moved to behind their own lines to a place of safety.
25 There were a tremendous amount of moving parts in the Drina Corps
1 at that stage, and unless that had been coordinated -- obviously it had
2 been coordinated and coordinated properly -- I think it would have been
3 chaos fairly quickly. The only way that it could have been coordinated
4 was as a result of the Corps staff and the Corps headquarters having
5 visibility of everything that was going on and making sure that there was
6 all deconfliction [sic] and that all the missions were accomplished
8 It's a long answer to your short question. But, no, I can't
9 envisage that number of people being moved without knowledge and
10 visibility and, indeed, sort of proactive intervention by the Corps
12 MR. CAYLEY: In fact, if the witness could be shown Prosecutor's
13 Exhibit 435, which I think is just a small demonstration of one of the
14 elements that you've just addressed.
15 Q. This is an intercepted conversation between General Krstic and
16 Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic who was in, I think, the Department for Rear
17 Services of the Drina Corps staff. What does this conversation represent
18 to you?
19 A. Well, it's a detailed and very clear confirmation of the general
20 point I've been trying to make. What we have here, and it happens to be
21 General Krstic speaking in this paragraph here, giving quite clear orders
22 that 50 buses in total from those various towns that are shown in the
23 first two lines are to be at the stadium in Bratunac by 1700. They were
24 needed there because a large number of people had to be moved.
25 Whatever position General Krstic was in at the time, at that time,
1 at that date, quite clearly he was involved in the process, as one would
2 expect, because it needed Corps-level coordination to get the right number
3 of vehicles, the right transport available, to achieve this large
4 transportation problem.
5 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown Prosecutor's Exhibit
6 459, which essentially ends the movement of the civilian population.
7 Q. This is a report to the Command of the Drina Corps from Colonel
8 Jankovic, a Main Staff officer who we mentioned earlier. What does this
9 particular document say to you, General?
10 A. It's essentially a report to the Drina Corps Command reporting
11 that this deportation operation had effectively been completed. In fact,
12 the first line says: "The evacuation of the entire Muslim population from
13 the former enclave of Srebrenica was completed." So it was a subordinate
14 officer who had some responsibilities for part of this operation,
15 informing his higher headquarters that the operation that had been ordered
16 was now successfully completed. It, rather, bears out what I was saying:
17 that it was a major operation that needed Corps-level control, and it had
18 had it and now it was being reported back upwards.
19 Q. General, one last point that we asked you to address in your
20 report was the matter of interrogation of men who were separated at
21 Potocari. What evidence have you seen from the documents that you've
22 looked at, from Mr. Butler's report, what evidence have you seen of
23 organised interrogation? How do you understand, as a military Commander,
24 how that kind of activity takes place?
25 A. Frankly, I haven't seen much evidence. Rather, as I was
1 suggesting earlier in answer to one of Your Honour's questions, that it
2 may well have been a reasonable thing, following your own logic, to
3 separate the men from, obviously, the non-combatants and to interrogate
4 them to try and identify those who might have been guilty, in someone's
5 judgement, of previous misdemeanors. But if you're going to do that, then
6 a full degree of organisation is required to be put in place. I would
7 have thought that at least to establish the identity of an individual,
8 it's going to take a number of minutes, and if it's going to be done over
9 a relatively short period of time, you've got to have quite a large number
10 of interrogation or questioning teams. A lot of organisation has got to
11 go into that process.
12 From material that's been made available to me and the video film
13 that I've seen, there doesn't appear to have been a comprehensive attempt
14 made to carry out a proper interrogation, which can be the only real
15 legitimate process for separating the men from the women. Indeed, I have
16 seen evidence to suggest that far from trying to establish the identity of
17 individuals, identity papers were being taken off people. That seems to
18 be rather counterintuitive to the notion of trying to see who was who and
19 who might have been involved previously in misdemeanors earlier in the
21 So I don't see evidence of a systematic process of interrogation.
22 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I don't know whether you feel this is
23 an appropriate time to finish for today, since we're now moving into
24 another area.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Cayley, I think this
1 would be an appropriate time for a break.
2 I think that the Chamber is ready to make a ruling, but we will do
3 it tomorrow so that we do not prolong today's work. So we will make our
4 ruling at the beginning of our session tomorrow morning.
5 Tomorrow morning at 9.30. The hearing stands adjourned.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.31 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 25th day of July,
8 2000, at 9.30 a.m.