Independent national military intelligence and counter-intelligence services have been functioning since the dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy.
Since 1918 military intelligence and counter-intelligence services have undergone numerous structural changes. The new services were modelled after the service of the Habsburg Monarchy, which operated with similar organisation and working principles. The General Staff was established under the cover of the MoD on 1 July 1921 as the VI. Main Directorate of the Ministry of Defence. Within the VI. Main Directorate the 2nd Department was charged with intelligence and counter-intelligence. Its official name became VI-2. Department of the Ministry of Defence.
On 2 March 1938, the General Staff and the 2. Department was officially set up, from that point it was called “VKF-2”. (General Staff 2. Department).
After World War II, the intelligence and counter-intelligence services operated within the General Staff. From 1953, the “MNVK 2” (Hungarian People’s Army General Staff 2) was responsible for military intelligence, while the III. General Department of the Ministry of Interior for military counter-intelligence.
The change of political system resulted in a new national security structure. In 1990, the Military Intelligence Office of the General Staff and the Military Security Office of the Hungarian Defence Forces were established.
In 1995, the parliament accepted the law on national security services, which regulated the tasks and legal status of the services. According to the Act, the Military Intelligence Office (MIO) of the Hungarian Republic and the Military Security Office (MSO) of the Hungarian Republic were established.
The establishment of the Military National Security Service (MNSS)
On the basis of Act CXXV of 1995 on the National Security Services modified in November, 2011 and the 128/2011. (XII. 2) Order of the minister of defence, the integration of the two services – MIO and MSO – began in December, 2011. On 1 January 2012 the Military National Security Service was created.
The main aim of the integration was to make the national security activities more effective and economical. According to the concept of the Ministry of Defence, the coordination of intelligence and counter-intelligence activities can be carried out more effectively in a new and integrated organisation under joint leadership. Also, it can better serve the goals of information collection on military policy and military technology required for the planning activity of the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff as well as the implementation of basic counter-intelligence tasks.
In the structure of the MNSS parallel organisations and tasks have been ceased, the speed of information flow has increased and the capabilities of the two former services complement each other. Intelligence support of HDF foreign missions and national security protection of our contingents became more effective.
Reduction in executive levels and number of leaders as well as the integration of support areas (such as human resources, financial, logistics, and internal security fields) resulted in cost saving.
In order to maintain a cost-effective budget, the MNSS uses fewer facilities. The future headquarters of the Service is currently under reconstruction in order to provide an appropriate, modern facility for the Military National Security Service.