Military Engagement

Military Engagement: Influencing Armed Forces Worldwide to Support Democratic Transitions

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 392
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  • Book Info
    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 what exact internal conditions have led to real-world democratic transitions, and have external forces helped or hurt? Here, experts with military and policy backgrounds, some of whom have played a role in democratic transitions, present instructive case studies of democratic movements. Focusing on the specific domestic context and the many influences that have contributed to successful transitions, the authors write about democratic civil-military relations in fourteen countries and five world regions. The cases include Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Syria, and Thailand, augmented by regional overviews of Asia, Europe, Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa.

    Contributors: Richard Akum (Council for the Development of Social Sciences in Africa), Ecoma Alaga (African Security Sector Network), Muthiah Alagappa (Institute of Security and International Studies, Malaysia), Suchit Bunbongkarn (Institute of Security and International Studies, Thailand), Juan Emilio Cheyre (Center for International Studies, Catholic University of Chile), Biram Diop (Partners for Democratic Change-African Institute for Security Sector Transformation, Dakar), Raymundo B. Ferrer (Nickel Asia Corporation), Humberto Corado Figueroa (Ministry of Defense, El Salvador), Vilmos Hamikus (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hungary), Julio Hang (Argentine Council for International Relations), Marton Harsanyi (Stockholm University), Carolina G. Hernandez (University of the Philippines; Institute for Strategic and Development Studies), Raymond Maalouf (Defense expert, Lebanon), Tannous Mouawad (Middle East Studies, Lebanon), Matthew Rhodes (George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies), Martin Rupiya (African Public Policy and Research Institute), Juan C. Salgado Brocal (Academic and Consultant Council for Military Research and Studies, Chile), Narc?s Serra (Barcelona Institute of International Studies), Rizal Sukma (Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta).

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-2480-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)
    Dennis Blair

    The second volume ofMilitary Engagementrelates the stories of how democratic civil-military relations developed in five world regions and fourteen individual countries. This introduction provides some background on those who authored these stories and describes the patterns observed and the lessons that can be drawn from them.

    The regional summaries were written by a team of coauthors, almost all having both practical experience in armed forces or defense ministries of their countries and subsequent careers with security think tanks. They also contributed ideas and criticisms of the analysis and recommendations in the companion volume. Juan Emilio Cheyre, while chief...

  4. 2 Characteristics of and Influences on the Armed Forces during Democratic Transition in Latin America
    (pp. 11-47)
    Juan Emilio Cheyre

    In Latin America, military governments have been commonplace ever since independence. Wars of independence and armed revolutions throughout the nineteenth century delayed the establishment of normal, civilian-led institutions. The majority of Latin American countries were governed by authoritarian regimes offering immediate solutions to social needs, and there were no popular or elite expectations of democracy until well into the twentieth century. Through the 1970s and 1980s, there were authoritarian military governments in most of the region’s countries. This chapter analyzes the transitions of those regimes to more representative, democratic governments.

    The armed forces that formed part of the military governments...

  5. 3 Argentina: A Transition without Conditions
    (pp. 48-66)
    Julio Hang

    Soldiers have played a very important role in Argentina over the past two centuries. Many national heroes were soldiers, as were many of the country’s presidents, some elected and some not. Before 1930 there were eighteen democratically elected governments. Between 1930 and 1983, there were six military coups against both democratically elected governments and military governments. This case study analyzes the last military government in Argentina (1976–83) and also describes the military reforms and accountability measures implemented by the democratic government after the transition. The case study cannot cover all the historical events of the period, but it draws...

  6. 4 Chile: Transition toward the Subordination of the Military
    (pp. 67-81)
    Juan C. Salgado Brocal

    The political transition in Chile from the military government to a democratic government took place over almost two decades, beginning in 1988. It was an arrangement based on the transitional articles of the Political Constitution of 1980 and negotiated among the political actors, and it was carried out in a peaceful and institutionalized manner, without violence and in accordance with a constitutional and legal framework.

    This case study describes the role of the Chilean armed forces, and in particular, the country’s commanders in chief during the transition to a democratic civilian government. The transition happened in two distinct phases. The...

  7. 5 From War to Peace in El Salvador: The Military Transition
    (pp. 82-92)
    Humberto Corado Figueroa

    In 1931 El Salvador’s economy had been severely damaged by the Great Depression, which hindered the government from working effectively. On December 2, General Maximiliano Hernández Martinez, minister of war, the navy and the air force, led the first military coup of the twentieth century in El Salvador. Almost immediately, in January 1932, it faced a rebellion of peasants in the western part of the country, which the military suppressed. Military governments maintained power until 1979. The Salvadoran Army, according to the constitution and by tradition, had wide-ranging responsibilities for public order and national development. During 1954–78 successive military...

  8. 6 Military and Democratic Development in Asia: A Complex Narrative
    (pp. 93-112)
    Muthiah Alagappa

    Monopoly over the legitimate use of force is a key feature of the modern state. As the primary wielder of state-sanctioned force, the military—defined broadly to include the armed forces, paramilitary forces, security services, and intelligence agencies—is a crucial state institution. Notwithstanding its importance, ambivalence and caution characterize public perception of the military. Such perception is grounded largely in the fear of how the military may use its coercive power. Consequently, “Who guards the guardians?” has been a perennial question in Western political thought. As the ethos, values, and organizational structure of the military institution are by nature...

  9. 7 The Military and Democratic Reform in Indonesia
    (pp. 113-138)
    Rizal Sukma

    When Indonesia transitioned to democracy in May 1998, the country had been under authoritarian rule for more than four decades. The end of President Sukarno’s authoritarian rule, which started in 1957 and ended in 1966, did not lead to the restoration of democracy. On the contrary, General Suharto, who replaced President Sukarno in the aftermath of an abortive coup blamed on the Indonesian Communist Party (Partai Komunis Indonesia, or PKI), further consolidated authoritarian rule and completely dominated Indonesia’s politics for more than three decades. During both periods, the Indonesian military had been a central player in Indonesia’s politics, first as...

  10. 8 The Military in Democratic Development: A Philippine Case Study
    (pp. 139-164)
    Raymundo B. Ferrer and Carolina G. Hernandez

    The development of democracy in the Philippines has been an uneven process, and the security forces of the country and their leaders have played a major part in both advances in democracy and in setbacks. This chapter describes the course of that development, the role of the armed forces, and the importance of outside influences.

    The principle of supremacy of civilian authority over the military is not entirely alien in the Philippines. Before the arrival of the United States during the Spanish-American War in 1898, the European-educated Filipino intelligentsia brought home nineteenth-century liberal democratic ideas, including supremacy of civilian authority...

  11. 9 The Armed Forces and Democratic Development in Thailand
    (pp. 165-187)
    Suchit Bunbongkarn

    Since 1932 the Thai military has been actively involved in politics. This can be explained in terms of both political structure and political culture. Regarding the political structure, the representative institutions such as the parliament and political parties were weak and unable to fulfill their key roles in the government. The military intervened when they assessed the civilian governments to be unstable, inefficient, and corrupt. The prevailing culture of political nonparticipation reflected the belief that politics was the affair of the elites and provided the opportunity for military leaders to seize power without mass resistance. Moreover, the Thais preferred a...

  12. 10 Sub-Saharan Africa: Decolonization to Multiparty Democracy and the Challenges of Transforming Military Institutions
    (pp. 188-214)
    Martin Rupiya

    Between 1989 and 1999, with the ascendance of the “Washington Consensus,” the United States and international financial institutions insisted that governments implement reforms for representative government and free-market economies in order to receive funds. Forty-two of the forty-seven sub-Saharan African states held elections. Only five countries—Botswana, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zimbabweachieved a peaceful democratic transition. The elections led to peaceful transitions of power in these states; however, in the other countries the fledgling democracies collapsed after the established ruling parties were challenged. Eleven electoral transitions were overturned by military coups, four more were effectively blocked by incumbent rulers, and...

  13. 11 Civil-Military Relations and Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria: Issues and Challenges
    (pp. 215-235)
    Ecoma Alaga and Richard Akum

    Military coups were frequent for more than three decades following Nigeria’s independence in 1960. The country experienced seven military coups and countercoups during that period—in 1966, 1975, 1976 (two), 1983, 1985, and 1993—as well as a number of failed coup attempts.¹ Indeed, during this period, military rule and involvement in Nigerian politics and government were the norm rather than the exception. Years of military rule eroded the implementation of principles of democratic civilian control of the armed forces that Nigeria had embraced at its founding.

    Despite prolonged periods of military dictatorship, Nigeria has on three separate occasions—1977,...

  14. 12 Civil-Military Relations in Senegal
    (pp. 236-256)
    Biram Diop

    Since independence, civil-military relations in Senegal have been proficient and exemplary. The international community has often cited them as a model. The primary reasons for this success are the

    generally peaceful environment Senegal has enjoyed since independence,

    high quality of civilian and military leadership,

    wisdom and vision of leaders who developed and implemented theArmée-Nationconcept and other approaches that enabled the institutionalization of civil-military relations,

    assignment of the military to a major role in development activities,

    professionalism of the armed forces,

    partnerships established between the Senegalese armed forces and more experienced armed forces, and

    regular participation of the Senegalese...

  15. 13 South Africa: Transition of the Armed Forces from Apartheid to Multiparty Democracy
    (pp. 257-273)
    Martin Rupiya

    This chapter examines South Africa’s transition from an apartheid state pursuing an aggressive Total Strategy, implemented by an almost all-white South African Defense Force (SADF), to a democratic state with a regional strategy for peacekeeping, carried out by an integrated South African National Defense Force (SANDF). The transition was difficult at times, with some violent resistance, but was accomplished in a relatively short time with impressive results. Although there are unique aspects of South Africa’s transition, there are also insights and lessons from the country’s experience that can be of value to transitions in other countries.

    This case study begins...

  16. 14 Democracy and Armed Forces in Europe and Eurasia
    (pp. 274-299)
    Matthew Rhodes

    The more than fifty countries of Europe and Eurasia include many of the world’s most robust democracies, some of its most restrictive authoritarian systems, and states still considered in political transition. They share the historical experience of conflict culminating in the two world wars. The cold war that followed established an East-West political divide, but some diversity in governance on both sides has continued to evolve over the past two decades. Almost all of the countries of the region are members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as well as members or formal partners of NATO...

  17. 15 The Role of Foreign Advisers in the Process of Hungarian Defense Reform
    (pp. 300-310)
    Vilmos Hamikus

    In the period between 1956 and 1988 the Western (NATO and neutral countries) military presence in Hungary was limited to attachés. Their role was twofold: to observe and to report all military activity of Hungarian and Soviet troops in the country and to establish and maintain contacts with military personnel. Counterintelligence agencies attempting to control and thwart these attachés were in a different security organization from the regular Hungarian armed forces. Personal contacts sometimes were possible between attachés and regular military officers, who were generally professional and had little interest in communist ideology. In addition, in the 1980s there was...

  18. 16 The Military Transition: Democratic Reform of the Spanish Armed Forces
    (pp. 311-324)
    Narcís Serra and Marton Harsanyi

    The Spanish transition from a dictatorship to a democratic state began after Francisco Franco`s death on November 20, 1975. King Juan Carlos I named Adolfo Suárez as the head of the first government, placing the country on the path to change. Suárez initiated the Law for Political Reform, which created a parliamentary democracy by calling for free elections and developing the framework for a democratic country based on a revised constitution. The newly appointed government had to cope with the opposition of the hard-liner Francoist Bunker group, which had influence over certain parts of the armed forces.

    To deal with...

  19. 17 The Middle East and North Africa
    (pp. 325-350)
    Tannous Mouawad

    The countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region gained their independence from colonial rule as early as 1920 (Turkey) and as late as 1961 (Kuwait). Through the period of the cold war, the armed forces of the newly independent countries were shaped by their colonial heritage, by the ethnic and tribal nature of their populations, and by their cold war sponsors, either the United States and other NATO states or the Soviet Union. Democracies were few in number—Israel, Turkey, and for a time, Lebanon. Autocratic regimes ruled the rest of the region, some of them coming...

  20. 18 Egypt: A Case Study
    (pp. 351-362)
    Raymond Maalouf

    Egypt became a province of the Ottoman Empire when the Ottoman Turks occupied it in 1517. In 1798 Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt and then, in 1801, withdrew. The Ottomans immediately reoccupied Egypt, heralding the early modern period of Egyptian history.

    After the reoccupation of Egypt by the Ottomans, Mohammad Ali, a high-ranking Ottoman officer of Albanian origin, by 1811 had cunningly maneuvered his way to become the uncontested ruler of Egypt. He dispatched government employees and military officers to Europe to learn and train in industry, agriculture, military, administration, and other fields. Under his rule, Egypt developed its first modern...

  21. 19 Lebanon and Syria: A Case Study
    (pp. 363-374)
    Tannous Mouawad

    Due to their crucial geostrategic location, long before they became twentieth-century nation-states, Lebanon and Syria have for centuries been militarily influenced by numerous regional and global powers, and they continue to be important in geopolitical events today. They share borders with Israel, which has peaceful relations only with Egypt and Jordan; therefore the security of the entire region often depends on the stability of Syria and Lebanon. Moreover, Lebanese and Syrian armed forces have had a very fluid relationship during the past forty years, a relationship greatly affected by the Lebanese civil war of 1975 and its aftermath. This case...

  22. About the Authors
    (pp. 375-378)
  23. Index
    (pp. 379-392)
  24. Back Matter
    (pp. 393-393)