Minister, stop lying, the Ministry of Defence confirmed its interest in Bradley M2A2 vehicle in April 2021

07. January 2022.

Yesterday, another meeting was held – this time online, a virtual meeting – with the representatives of the United States on the topic of equipping the Croatian Ground Forces with Bradley M2A2 ODS infantry combat vehicles. The meeting was convened by the Minister of Defence Mario Banožić in order for Prime Minister Andrej Plenković to personally obtain detailed technical information from US representatives on Bradley fighting vehicles. However, Plenković did not appear at all at the virtual meeting with US representatives. The Prime Minister will join the meeting if his commitments allow, Minister Banožić told the Americans. But Plenković’s commitments did not allow him to finally start doing his job.

The meeting was held without Plenković, because of whom the meeting was convened, to be more precise because of his ignorance, negligence and lack of interest in the important job of equipping the army with fighting vehicles. Instead of Plenković receiving, even at the last minute, accurate information from the US representatives in order for him to make a decision on Bradley fighting vehicles, Minister Banožić read through some presentation on a couple of slides before the Americans, in a language that is heard at the standard make-up exam level, earning Croatia another embarrassment. Worst of all, the military leadership of the Croatian Armed Forces, which knows everything about the Bradleys, had to sit in as extras at the meeting where Banožić once again held a presentation that embarrassed Croatia and its Armed Forces, portraying them as a frivolous and irresponsible partner.

After impressing the Americans with his military and linguistic knowledge, Banožić went on public television last night to rudely tell a few more lies. Speaking in the Croatian Television programme Otvoreno, he explicitly stated that Croatia was offered the M2A2 ODS version of the Bradley vehicle that had not been requested. Of course, this is not true. During his term as minister, the Ministry of Defence did request an offer from the US for the M2A2 ODS version of the Bradley vehicle.

This is confirmed by the official memo of the Ministry of Defence, which is enclosed [in Croatian]. The memo of the Ministry of Defence was sent to the US Embassy’s Office of Defence Cooperation on 8 April 2021. It was signed by the Assistant Minister of Defence and the memo clearly confirms the interest of the Ministry of Defence in acquiring a Bradley M2A2 ODS fighting vehicle.

Minister, stop lying, stop deluding the public, stop embarrassing Croatia, and stop damaging the Croatian Armed Forces!