Title: Argentina. National Defense Act
ARGENTINA. NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT.
ARTICLE 1.- This act sets forth the main legal, organizational and functional bases for the preparation, development and control of national defense.
ARTICLE 2.- National defense is the integration and coordinated action of all national forces for the settlement of conflicts requiring the use of the Armed Forces in a deterrent or effective way in order to face external aggressions.
Its object is to permanently guarantee the sovereignty and independence of the Argentine Nation as well as its territorial integrity, self-determination and to protect the life and freedom of its people.
ARTICLE 3.- National defense embodies a set of plans and actions intended to prevent or overcome conflicts arising from said aggressions either in times of peace or war. It shall also govern different aspects of the nation's life during an armed conflict and consolidate peace once the dispute is over.
ARTICLE 4.- The essential differences between national defense and internal security must be considered to explain the matters involved in national defense. Internal security shall be governed by a specific piece of legislation.
ARTICLE 5.- National defense covers continental areas, the Malvinas Islands, Georgias and Sandwich del Sur islands and other insular, maritime or air spaces of the Argentine Republic as well as the Argentine Antarctic area, within the scope established by international standards and treaties signed -or to be signed- by the Nation, notwithstanding the President's authority to determine theaters of operation in case of war or armed conflict as set forth in Article 28 of this act. National Defense also comprises national citizens and property in third countries, international waters and international air space.
ARTICLE 6.- National defense is a right and a responsibility of the Argentine people in accordance with the terms set forth by law.
ARTICLE 7.- The ordered operation of the national defense system shall be aimed at determining the national defense policy that best meets the needs of the nation and its permanent improvement.
ARTICLE 8.- The national defense system shall:
a. Determine conflict scenarios and those that shall be considered as war scenarios.
b. Set up conflict scenarios, establishing the means to be used for each case.
c. Set up plans to properly prepare the whole Nation for a potential armed conflict.
d. Elaborate plans for the conduct of the different levels of national defense, namely military strategy and operational strategy.
e. Conduct war in all aspects starting with the national strategy level.
f. Lead the Armed Forces and conduct all efforts of the sectors affected by the conflict, in the military and operational strategic levels.
g. Prepare and enforce national mobilization actions.
h. Secure the execution of joint military operations by the Armed Forces as well as combined operations that may eventually be carried out.
i. Establish partnership assumptions that may allow to prepare the necessary alliances to conveniently settle possible conflict scenarios.
j. Control post-war actions.
Defense System Structure
ARTICLE 9.- The national defense system shall comprise:
a. The President of the Nation
b. The National Defense Council
c. The National Congress, with the powers granted to it by the National Constitution to deal with defense matters and, on a permanent basis, through both Houses' Defense Committees
d. The Ministry of Defense
e. The Joint Staff
f. The Army, Navy and Air Force of the Argentine Republic
g. The National Border Patrol and the Argentine Coast Guard according to this act;
h. The people of the Nation through their active involvement in essential defense matters, both in times of peace and war, as per laws governing mobilization, military service, civil service and civil defense.
ARTICLE 10.- The President of the Nation, as Head of State and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, shall be responsible to lead national defense and the Armed Forces, in accordance with the National Constitution.
Advised by the National Defense Council, he shall determine the contents and guidelines for the development of national defense planning, monitoring its preparation and implementation.
The President shall be in charge of:
a. The complete conduct of war, with the advise and support of the National Defense Council.
b. The military conduct of war with the advise and support of the Minister of Defense, the Chief of the Joint Staff and the Service Chiefs of Staff who make up the crisis committee.
ARTICLE 11.- Without prejudice to the powers granted to him by the Ministries Act, the Minister of Defense shall lead, organize and coordinate National Defense activities not reserved to or performed by the President of the Nation nor hereby granted to any other officer, body or agency.
ARTICLE 12.- The National Defense Council shall assist and advise the President of the Nation on the determination of conflicts, disputes and scenarios, on the adoption of strategies, and determination of partnership scenarios, as well as in the preparation of plans and the coordination of the necessary actions to settle such conflicts.
ARTICLE 13.- In order to discharge its responsibility as advisor to the President, the National Defense Council will consider a program of alert mechanisms which may encompass foreseeable conflict scenarios and the adequate answers to each case, as shown in the explanatory chart annex attached hereto which is hereby made part of this act.
For planning purposes at all levels and in order to assign missions and roles to agencies and organizations in the defense area, including the Armed Forces, such situations of disaster relief provided for in the attached annex shall be considered exclusively in strict compliance with civil defense laws and regulations.
ARTICLE 14.- The National Defense Council shall be chaired by the President of the Nation, who shall be entitled to adopt all decisions, and shall be comprised of the Vice-President of the Nation, the National Ministers, and the highest Intelligence authority. The Defense Minister may be accompanied by the Chief of the Joint Staff and the Service Chiefs whenever he deems it convenient. The Chairmen of the Committees, one by the majority party and another by the largest minority, are entitled to integrate the National Defense Council.
The President of the Nation is empowered to decide on the participation of other authorities and to invite members of other branches of government or individuals whose knowledge and skills are considered useful for the specific matters to be dealt with.
ARTICLE 15.- The highest Intelligence agency shall provide the required information and intelligence at the national defense strategy level.
Intelligence at the military strategic level shall be under the responsibility of the intelligence agency which shall interact with the Armed Forces intelligence organizations under the direct and immediate control of the Defense Ministry.
Domestic policy matters shall under no circumstances be assumed as a scope of work for military intelligence agencies.
ARTICLE 16.- The Armed Forces Joint Staff shall be under the control of the Ministry of Defense, and shall be formed by personnel from the three Armed Forces, its Chief being appointed by the National Executive Branch among senior military officers.
ARTICLE 17.- The Armed Forces Joint Staff shall assist and advise the Minister of Defense on military strategy issues.
a. The creation of the joint military doctrine;
b. The preparation of the joint military planning;
c. The management of the joint military training;
d. The control of the operational strategic planning as well as the effectiveness of military jointness.
The President of the Nation himself or through the Defense Minister, shall determine the guidelines under which the Joint Staff shall perform the functions hereby entrusted thereto, and shall control their compliance.
ARTICLE 18.- The Joint Staff shall carry out the military strategic planning based on the President's guidelines, through the Minister of Defense.
Such strategic military planning may foresee the establishment of joint, service-specific or combined operational strategic commands and territorial commands whose commanders shall be appointed by the President and shall report to the Defense Minister through the Chief of the Joint Staff.
ARTICLE 19.- The Joint Staff of the Armed Forces shall be part of the Crisis Committee.
Armed Forces Organization
ARTICLE 20.- The Armed Forces are the national defense's military instrument, involving human and material components with an organization that allows them to work in a deterrent and effective manner.
Their members shall be under a command chain responsible for its subordinates' conduct.
The Armed Forces shall adhere to a system of internal discipline, and shall act in accordance with national and international laws applicable to events of armed conflict.
ARTICLE 21.- The Armed Forces are comprised of the Argentine Army, Navy and Air Force. Their composition, size and geographical deployment shall derive from the joint military planning. The joint military planning shall determine their composition, scope and deployment. Their organization and operation shall be based on joint efficiency and organization criteria, thus consolidating functions, activities and services whose nature does not specifically belong to one service only.
ARTICLE 22.- The components of the Argentine Army, Navy and Air Force shall continue to be part of their respective administrative corps but shall report to the joint groups: Chiefs of Staff. According to the joint military planning, such components or part of them shall be under the control of joint, specific or combined operational strategic commands or territorial commands.
ARTICLE 23.- The Service Chiefs of Staff shall report to the Minister of Defense, by delegation of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and shall have a functional relationship with the Joint Staff for military jointness purposes.
The Service Chiefs of Staff shall be appointed by the President of the Nation among Army Generals, Navy Admirals and Air Force Generals from the command corps in active duty.
ARTICLE 24.- The Service Chiefs of Staff shall rule and manage their respective services.
They shall lead the preparation for war of the respective forces' operational components and their logistics support. They shall also advise the Joint Staff, in order for the latter to elaborate the joint military planning regarding the composition, scope and deployment of each service and all aspects related to the above mentioned planning.
National Defense Service
ARTICLE 25.- All physical and/or legal persons subject to Argentine laws can be required to comply with national defense duties. Such duties shall be considered as a national defense service and shall include, among others, the military service and the defense civil service.
ARTICLE 26.- The military service is that discharged by Argentine individuals inserted in the Armed Forces by means of the draft system or the reserve, as convened by the Executive Branch according to Section 21 of the National Constitution, and those individuals voluntarily entering the service --according to the pertinent rules and regulations at present in effect or to be enacted-- for greater continuity and professionalism of this service.
ARTICLE 27.- The defense civil service is the obligation to provide non-military services, to be discharged by the citizens of a country in order to meet preparedness needs of the country for a possible war or in order to sustain the warfighting efforts during a conflict already started.
Territorial Organization and Mobilization
ARTICLE 28.- In the case of an international war or armed conflict, the President of the Nation shall establish theaters of operation, stating the boundaries of the pertinent geographic areas.
The President of the Nation shall appoint a senior officer as commander for each theater of operation. Such commanders shall report directly to the President.
ARTICLE 29.- For those cases stated in the Article above, constitutional authorities shall maintain their powers in full force and effect, except as set forth in Section 6 of the National Constitution whenever so required by the circumstances. If such action is taken, the Judiciary shall maintain its full powers.
ARTICLE 30.- Upon prior approval by the National Congress, the Executive Branch shall declare as a military zone such areas that must be submitted to military custody and protection, for national defense purposes.
In case of any international war or armed conflict or when considered imminent, such declaration of war shall be subject to subsequent ratification by the Congress.
ARTICLE 31.- As part of the national defense system, the Argentine Coast Guard and the National Border Patrol shall develop their respective organization structures, human and material elements necessary for the proper and permanent control and surveillance of the national borders, waters and the custody of strategic targets as well as for compliance of any obligation arising from this act and other applicable legal provisions.
The National Border Patrol and the Argentine Coast Guard shall report to the Defense Ministry from the organizational and functional viewpoint. Notwithstanding the above, in times of war, their human and material elements --or part of them-- shall be assigned to the respective operational strategic commands and territorial commands, in accordance with the appropriate planning.
ARTICLE 32.- The mobilization plan needed to adequate national resources to national defense requirements shall be carried out by the Ministry of Defense and approved by the President of the Nation.
ARTICLE 33.- The President of the Nation shall approve the plans and actions necessary for civil defense.
Civil defense consists of a group of non-aggressive actions and activities aimed at preventing, suppressing or reducing the effects caused by war, nature or any other disaster upon the population or its property, contributing to reconstruct the regular life of the areas involved, according to the pertinent legislation.
ARTICLE 34.- In case of a war outbreak or if considered imminent, the Executive Branch will be able to make service or property requisitions, deciding upon summons and exceptions thereto in order to meet the needs of national defense. This act sets forth the procedures and cautionary actions to be taken for such requisitions.
The people of the nation and any legal persons settled in the country are compelled to provide information, facilitate assets and render services --according to national defense needs-- when so requested by the pertinent authorities. The information obtained shall be confidential and have no use or destination other than national defense purposes.
ARTICLE 35.- The obligation specified in the above paragraph is a mandatory public obligation. Should such contribution imply any expenses or service provision, the appropriate compensation shall be determined, without any regard to income loss for business downtime. If no agreement is reached, the amount shall be determined by a court, upon request of the party involved.
ARTICLE 36.- Any person refusing, withholding, altering or delaying the provision of such information as required by the pertinent authority, or anyone impinging upon, denying or avoiding such request shall be punished with two-month to two-year imprisonment, unless such act constitutes a more serious crime.
Legal persons incurring in such crime, hindering or impinging upon the procedure of pertinent authorities may have an overseer appointed by the National Executive or be temporarily deprived of their legal capacity.
ARTICLE 37.- Any person not summoned but hindering the smooth development of the procedure or action of the authorities in charge, shall be punished with one-month to one-year imprisonment unless such act constitutes a more serious crime.
ARTICLE 38.- Acts 16 970, 17 649, 19 276, 20 194, and decree 1975/86 including any other provisions contrary to this act are hereby repealed.
ARTICLE 39.- Articles 2, 3, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34 and 35 of Act 20 318 are hereby repealed.
ARTICLE 40.- Art. 16 of Act 20 318 shall be amended to read as follows:
"Article 16.- The President of the Nation shall appoint a military senior officer as the summoning authority. Such officer shall report to the Defense Ministry."
ARTICLE 41.- In Arts. 49, subsection. 2), 63 and 85, subsection 5) of Act 19 101, the expression "Commander in Chief" shall be replaced by "Chief of the Joint Staff".
ARTICLE 42.-Art. 4 of decree-law 15 385/44 shall be replaced by:
"Article 4.- It is of national convenience that properties inside the security area be owned by citizens born in the Argentine territory. The National Security Areas Committee shall be in charge of conveyance of lands, rentals or leases or any other form of personal or real property rights under which the definite or temporary possession of real property is granted and the corresponding authorizations are granted or denied."
ARTICLE 43. - The wording of subsection d) of art. 7 of decree-law 15 385/44 shall be replaced as follows:
"d) To act as a coordinating agency, advising and guiding the actions of the various national, provincial and municipal authorities which --for jurisdiction reasons-- are performing their activities within the security areas in order to achieve harmony and efficiency in the organization and enforcement of provisions directly or indirectly connected to national defense."
ARTICLE 44.- Art. 9 of decree-law 15 385/44 shall be amended to read as follows:
"Article 9.-The Security Areas National Commission shall consider and resolve --within its jurisdiction-- the requests for the granting of concessions and/or permits that national, provincial and municipal authorities should make in order to authorize the operation of public services, communication and the guidance of public opinion, transport, maritime and river fishing activities as well as any power source or industry associated with national defense. Such Commission shall advise these authorities and independent agencies in their capacity as legal persons."
ARTICLE 45.- Without prejudice to the above powers, the National Defense Council shall prepare legislative preliminary drafts to be subsequently submitted for consideration to the national Executive Branch. This will be a temporary task to be performed during a period not exceeding 365 days.
ARTICLE 46.- The above preliminary bills shall include --at least-- the following:
a. The Armed Forces organizational bills encompassing the provisions of this act in relation to planning, logistics, military education and jointness of the forces, the reorganization and upgrading thereof.
b. A bill regulating production for defense.
c. Defense territorial organization and mobilization bill including military and civil service provisions.
d. National Border Patrol and Argentine Coast Guard organizational bill.
e. Bill on national intelligence and information system, contemplating congressional control
f. State Secret Bill.
ARTICLE 47.- Until the intelligence agency bill is approved and enacted, the National Executive Branch shall establish the existing intelligence agencies' mission, staffing and functions.
ARTICLE 48.- The provisions of Arts. 32 through 37 shall prevail until the definite act is enacted according to Art. 46 hereof.
ARTICLE 49.- Be it informed, etc.-
Passed on April 13, 1988.
Enacted on April 26, 1988.