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Romania Department of External Information
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    The Department of External Information (DIE) was Romania's primary foreign intelligence organization (see fig. 13). It worked closely with the Ministry of Interior, the Securitate, and the general staff's Directorate for Military Intelligence (Directia de Informatii a Armatei--DIA). The defection of the DIE deputy director, Lieutenant General Ion Pacepa, in 1978 revealed considerable information on its activities abroad for the first time, precipitated a major purge of personnel from the DIE, and contributed to the cooling of relations between Romania and the United States in the 1980s.

    The DIE was formed with Soviet assistance in the mid-1950s. Until the early 1960s, Romania sent its intelligence officers to attend a two-year KGB training course in espionage tradecraft near Moscow. In 1964 Romanian leader Gheorghiu-Dej curtailed DIE cooperation with the KGB and established a DIE training center in Brosteni, in Suceava judet.

    The Directorate for Operations conducted clandestine intelligence collection and other activities outside Romania. Its officers operated under cover throughout the world, collecting political, economic, and technical intelligence for analysis by the Directorate for Foreign Intelligence. Brigade SD had 300 intelligence officers who were assigned primarily to Western countries to conduct technological espionage. It focused on acquiring military-related technology for use in the domestic arms industry and armed forces. According to Pacepa, however, Romania also transferred illegally obtained Western industrial, electronics, nuclear energy, and data-processing technology to the Soviet Union, under a secret bilateral agreement, in exchange for hard currency.

    Within the Directorate for Operations, the Emigré Brigade had intelligence officers who contacted and worked among the 600,000 Romanian émigrés living in the United States, France, and West Germany. Playing on Romanian nationalism, they encouraged former Romanian citizens to cooperate with the DIE in obtaining Western high technology and engendering a favorable image of Romania abroad. The Emigré Brigade also monitored the activities of exiled dissidents who were vocal critics of the Ceausescu regime and attempted to assassinate selected émigrés in retaliation for their opposition to Ceausescu.

    In 1982 a Romanian agent who was dispatched to kill dissident writers Paul Goma and Virgil Tanase in Paris defected to French authorities before undertaking his mission. This episode severely strained previously close French-Romanian relations. The DIE's primary target abroad, however, was the Munich-based staff of Radio Free Europe's (RFE) Romanian service, many of whom were Romanian émigrés. For many years, RFE's Romanian service had monitored internal developments in Romania and exposed the repressive nature of the Ceausescu regime. The beating and stabbing of several RFE staff members by unidentified assailants, several death threats, and the deaths from cancer of three successive directors of the Romanian service were attributed by some observers to DIE operations.

    Also within the Directorate for Operations, Service D conducted covert operations, including the dissemination of forgeries and disinformation, to promote Romanian national interests and foreign policies. According to Pacepa, Service D's forgeries and disinformation were designed to influence Western countries to reward Romania for its independence of the Soviet Union with economic assistance and trading privileges and to generate political support among Third World countries. Service Z of the Directorate for Operations reportedly maintained ties to non-state entities including guerrilla movements, terrorist groups, and international organized crime.

    The Directorate for Technical Equipment was responsible for designing or obtaining specialized espionage equipment required by the DIE. It was reportedly involved in equipping some Romanian trucks to conduct espionage operations in Western Europe. The DIE's National Center for Enciphered Communications had the mission of protecting Romanian government and party communications from Western and Soviet electronic monitoring. In 1989 the ministries of national defense, interior, foreign affairs, and foreign trade relied on the center's encryption systems in their daily operations at home and abroad.

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    The best sources of information on Romanian military history, doctrine, and strategy are Ilie Ceausescu's Romanian Military Doctrine and Ion Coman's The Romanian National Defense Concept. They cover the development of the Romanian military establishment from the earliest times until World War II. Romanian writers, however, ignore Soviet-Romanian fighting between 1941 and 1944, as well as Soviet domination of Romania until the late 1950s. John Erickson's two-volume set, Stalin's War with Germany, fills this gap. Alex Alexiev's Romania and the Warsaw Pact and Aurel Braun's Romanian Foreign Policy since 1965 provide the best descriptions and analyses of postwar developments in Romania's defense policy and armed forces.

    Information on more current developments in the Romanian military establishment can be found in several sources. Radio Free Europe analysts have written extensively on Romanian arms sales, military budget, major command changes, and the professional military establishment's relations with the PCR and General Secretary Ceausescu.

    There are few sources of information on Romania's system of law and order. Radio Free Europe Research [Munich], produces highly reliable articles on dissidence in Romania. Lieutenant General Ion Pacepa's Red Horizons is a highly interpretive firsthand account of the structure and domestic and foreign activities of Romania's security and intelligence services. He was deputy director of the DIE and a personal adviser to Ceausescu before defecting in 1978. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)

    Data as of July 1989

    NOTE: The information regarding Romania on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Romania Department of External Information information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Romania Department of External Information should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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