Friday, February 17, 2006

The NAK

Yesterday February 16 Vladimir Putin created by decree a new National Counterterrorism Committee (NAK), which will coordinate all federal-level antiterrorism policies and operations. RFE/RL notes that "the committee will be headed by Federal Security Service Director Nikolai Patrushev (FSB) and includes members such as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Lebedev, the director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR)."
Until now, the Federal Antiterrorism Commission -- created in 2002 and led by Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov -- was the top federal organ responsible for the coordination of counterterrorism activity. The new decree not only replaces this commission with the NAK, but also creates a new "antiterrorism vertical" that will act in parallel with existing federal and regional executive powers.

Indeed, the proposed new network -- regional counterterrorism commissions led by regional administration chiefs, territorial operative staffs led by territorial FSB heads -- bears considerable resemblance to the Soviet system, which had power in any given province concentrated in the hands of the local Communist Party secretary and the head of the regional KGB.

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