Military Engagement

Military Engagement: Influencing Armed Forces Worldwide to Support Democratic Transitions

DENNIS BLAIR
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 144
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7864/j.ctt2tt22h
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    Military Engagement
    Book Description:

    The response of an autocratic nation's armed forces is crucial to the outcome of democratization movements throughout the world. But how can military officers and defense officials in democratic nations persuade their counterparts in autocratic regimes to favor democratic transitions? Here, Admiral Dennis Blair confronts this hard-edged challenge with a primer on the factors that affect military behavior during democratic transitions.

    Military Engagementmakes the strong case for why the armed forces of any country should favor democracy and why, contrary to conventional wisdom, many military leaders have supported democratic transitions in different regions of the world. Further, it explains why military support, active or tacit, is essential to the success of any demo cratic transition. Blair provides incisive commentary on civil-military relations and outlines the foundational elements of armed forces in a democratic country. He presents sound advice to defense officials and military leaders in established democracies that can be put into practice when interacting with colleagues in both autocratic regimes and those that have made the break with dictatorship.

    This succinct handbook analyzes democratic transitions in five major regions and surveys the internal power dynamics in countries such as Iran and North Korea, dictatorships that are hostile toward and fearful of democratic influences. Blair juxtaposes the roles, values, and objectives of military leaders in autocratic nations with those in democracies. In turn,Military Engagementhighlights how crossnetworking with international military delegations can put external pressure on autocratic countries and persuade them that democracies are best not only for the country itself, but also for the armed forces. Volume one of this two-volume project provides the educational foundation necessary so that military officers from established democracies can raise their game in achieving effective dialogue on democratic development.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-2449-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

    Indonesia today is recognized as the world’s third largest democracy after India and the United States, and one of the most successful transformational stories of the early 21st century. We have come a long way from independence in 1945 to be where we are today: a stable and peaceful democracy; a coherent multi-ethnic nation; a G-20 emerging economy; a regional power with global interests.

    The Indonesian armed forces (TNI) have always played a powerful and important role in Indonesia’s history. They defeated the colonial powers’ attempts to reclaim Indonesia by force after World War II, and they became a formidable...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. 1 Introduction: Influencing Dictatorships to Become Democracies
    (pp. 1-14)

    This handbook is about the role of armed forces in the support and spread of democracy. Its purpose is to inspire and instruct the ministries of defense and armed forces of the established democracies to make the support of democracy a priority mission. They can and should help enable democratic transitions in countries still governed by authoritarian regimes as well as those that have already started on the road to representative government but have not reached a solid and resilient democratic destination. All the established democracies—in Asia, Europe, and North and South America—have hundreds of points of contact...

  6. 2 What the Armed Forces Look Like in a Democracy
    (pp. 15-28)

    Officers who serve in the armed forces of long-established democracies generally take for granted the laws and customs that govern their actions within their countries. They would never think of participating in political activity in uniform or questioning the authority of the legislature to cut their budgets. Having grown up with these customs, military officers in democracies often have little knowledge of the origins, rationale, or importance of democratic civilian authority. If officers in democracies are to convince their counterparts in autocratic systems of the superiority of military service in a democratic system, they must understand fundamental principles and the...

  7. 3 Regional Transitions to Democracy
    (pp. 29-42)

    Political scientists write of three waves of global democratization, with the Arab Awakening possibly constituting the start of a fourth. The first wave, which began in the early nineteenth century, crested and retreated with only twelve democracies remaining in 1942.

    The second wave began at the end of World War II and crested in 1962 with thirty-six established democracies in the world. Many of these new democracies were former European colonies in Asia and Africa. By the early 1970s, however, several had fallen back into dictatorship.

    The third wave of democratic development began in the mid-1970s, and was the most...

  8. 4 Developing Democracy: The Crucial Role of the Armed Forces
    (pp. 43-54)

    Military forces have played decisive roles in most major political changes in countries worldwide. Many countries won their independence through armed struggle, civil wars have determined the course of a country’s history, and international wars resulted in the gain or loss of territory and the preservation or loss of sovereignty. Although the fighting ended, military leaders and the units they commanded continued to wield power in political life.

    There have been exceptions. Some countries achieved significant political transformations without the use of military force: India won its independence from Great Britain without war, South Africa ended apartheid without a civil...

  9. 5 Outside Influences on Democratic Development
    (pp. 55-82)

    Several factors are important to the success of defense officials and military officers in democracies when trying to persuade their counterparts in autocratic countries of the advantages of a democratic system. First, their own democratic governments need to adopt a clear policy goal of supporting peaceful democratic transformation in autocratic or transitional countries around the world. Military organizations need straightforward guidance. The governments of established democracies must state explicitly to their departments of defense and their armed forces that one of the important objectives of interaction with foreign counterparts is to promote peaceful democratic development.

    Currently, the established democracies are...

  10. 6 Military-Military Relations during Violent Insurrections and Campaigns of Civil Resistance
    (pp. 83-94)

    As described in chapters 3 and 4, the long-term trend in world governance is toward more democracy. Dictators and one-party governments can hold onto power for a time—often a long time—but without the consent of their people and the capacity for renewal, they eventually crack and fall.

    How they crack and fall matters. It has become increasingly clear in recent years that violent insurgencies almost never lead to a democratic outcome whereas successful nonviolent civil resistance movements have a high probability of creating durable democratic gains.

    These results should not be surprising. The path to victory for a...

  11. 7 Hard Cases
    (pp. 95-110)

    This chapter addresses military relations with several important autocratic countries that are difficult to move toward democracy: North Korea, Iran, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and China. Conventional wisdom has been pessimistic that any of them can change. However, in the past, dictators who have seemed solidly in control of their countries, supported slavishly by armed forces and other security services, have toppled with astonishing speed, and the leaders of armed forces have in many cases shown them the door. While this handbook was being written, Myanmar moved away from its autocratic past with surprising speed.

    It is important to acknowledge...

  12. 8 The Challenge Ahead
    (pp. 111-116)

    As summarized in chapter 3 of this volume and detailed in volume 2, this handbook describes the successive waves of democratic transitions across the world, the crucial role that armed forces have played in those transitions, and the role of foreign military influences. Each democratic transition is unique. South Korea’s and Taiwan’s paths to democracy have been different from those of India, South Africa, Chile, or Poland. Often democratic development in a country has not proceeded uninterrupted in a single direction; there have been setbacks, even reversions to dictatorship, followed by new transitions. However, the overall trend clearly has been...

  13. APPENDIX A Essential Elements of Intelligence Information Needed before Meeting with Counterparts in Authoritarian Countries
    (pp. 117-118)
  14. APPENDIX B The Role of the Armed Forces in a Democratic system: Template for a War College or Regional Center Seminar
    (pp. 119-122)
  15. APPENDIX C Field Trip Itineraries for Military Students from Autocratic and Transitional Countries
    (pp. 123-124)
  16. APPENDIX D Exercise Checklist for the Legal and Democratic Use of Force
    (pp. 125-126)
  17. Notes
    (pp. 127-130)
  18. Further Reading
    (pp. 131-134)
  19. Index
    (pp. 135-144)
  20. Back Matter
    (pp. 145-145)