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Ministry of Defense / Ministerio de Defensa

Ministry of Defense / Ministerio de DefensaThe constitution of 1979 gave the FF.AA. responsibility for protecting the country and providing for its defense. The president was commander in chief, and the heads of the EP, navy, and FAP were next in the chain of command. On April 1, 1987, President Garca signed legislation that streamlined this chain of command by combining the ministries of war (army), navy, and air force into a single Ministry of Defense. Under the ministry's purview were each of the services and the Joint Command of the Armed Forces (Comando Conjunto de la Fuerza Armada--CCFA). The CCFA, dating from 1957, brought together the chiefs of staff of each service with a small group of assistants (colonels or navy captains) to advise the president on military matters. It had a planning rather than an operational function, reviewed national intelligence reports, and oversaw the CAEM. The CCFA head rotated each year among senior officers of the three services.

The National Defense System (Sistema de Defensa Nacional-- SDN) of 1980 created a National Defense Council (Consejo de Defensa Nacional--CDN) of eight voting members--four civilian, including the president, and four military, including the armed forces commanders, to respond to specific issues related to national defense. The CDN was also the body charged with responsibility for reviewing the plans to deal with the insurgency that would be implemented by the Political-Military Commands in provinces or departments declared to be in states of emergency. The National Defense Secretariat (Secretara de Defensa Nacional) served as the Ministry of Defense's planning, advisory, and doctrinal unit. Headed by a general or admiral in active or retired status, the secretariat relied on the CAEM for training and doctrinal support.

In July 1992, the Fujimori government approved the restructuring of the National Intelligence Service (Servicio de Inteligencia Nacional--SIN) with a view to strengthening national security. Under the decree-law, one of the main tasks entrusted to SIN is to establish intelligence and counterintelligence objectives, strategies, and plans, as well as to manage and monitor their implementation. The decree-law expanded the scope of intelligence services to encompass politics, the armed forces, the economy, and "psychosociology." It also established the ministerial-level SIN as part of the SDN. Decree 746, issued on November 12, 1991, but repealed by Congress, would have SIN answerable to the president and given it supremacy over the police and armed forces, as well as overall responsibility for counterinsurgency. Those powers apparently were enacted with the June 1992 restructuring.



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