POL 407- CIVIL MILITARY RELATIONS
Question 1: use any military institution of your choice to discuss the effectiveness of the civilian control of the military in a democratic state
Question 1: use any military institution of your choice to discuss the effectiveness of the civilian control of the military in a democratic state
The control of the military by the civilians is in attempt to disable the competition held amongst the military forces and the elected government. A degree disharmony and tension is what characterizes the civilian control of the military, even in the best circumstances of a democratic nation. This essay seeks to discuss the effectiveness of civilian control of the military in a democratic state. The essay will attempt to discuss this by firstly defining what control means and also go onto to ask why there is a need for control and what is achieved through this civilian control, the challenges of civilian control will also be discussed. Secondly, the essay will choose a military force of its own and discuss the effectiveness of the civilian control in that particular country (democratic state). The levels of the military control will also be discussed in brief to further build on the need to military control and its effectiveness.
‘Fundamentally civilian control is a process and not a fact’. Civilian military control relates to the relative power of the civilian and military groups. Achievement is through which the extent of power of the military is reduced vis-a vis the civilian groups CITATION Pat57 l 2057 (Huntington, 1957). (Huntington, 1957), further states that there are two types of civilian control that exist; there are subjective and objective civilian control. Subjective is defined in terms of the maximization of power of the civilian groups over the military. The objective civilian control is the terms of which civilian control relates to the military professionalism. Another definition to civilian control is that it involves the set of relationships between the strength held by the civilian political institutions and the political strength that of the military institutions CITATION Cla76 l 2057 (Claude Welch, 1976). In a democracy civilian control is defined as the control of the military by the elected officials. CITATION Mbe04 l 2057 (Mbeki’s Peace and Security Agenda and the South African National Defence Force, 2004)Civilian control demands that the management of an un-democratic military, by the insurance of the aims and objectives been adhered to and subordinated to the interests of national security. Relations between the military and the civilians would mean the military identifies problems and quantifies the risk. The civilian leadership judges it and determines the appropriate response. Civilian control is absolute, thus no decision or actions taken fall upon the military without authority having made the orders.
WHY CONTROL AND WHAT WILL BE ACHIEVED
The control by the civilians is in avoidance of there been a military dictatorship, most countries have in place the constitution which divides this control into the legislative and executive bodies of government. The military is amongst the most undemocratic institution. This division also provides for a counterweight of a militia which is composed of the people while also answering to the state CITATION JPC17 l 2057 (Clark, 2017) .There is further need of civilian control so to avoid the armed forces competing politically with the democratically elected members of the government for power and control of the state. The military having too much power usually leads to threats of war. Furthermore there is need for a democratic force which well trained, equipped and displays an ability to accomplish assigned missions within the set economic constraints by the state. In that there will be an agreement between the civilians and the armed forces in terms of the operations of the military and what composes it.
In summary of why there is importance of civilian control, (Richard Kohn 1997) of the University of North Carolina states that, “the military pans out as being one of the worlds least democratic institutions. The procedures stated within the military clash with an individual’s freedom and their civil liberty. The basic aim of the military being to wage armed conflict, the military institutions are designed for violence and coercion, and operational structures have been developed to pave way for success in war issues. Authority in the military puts emphasis on the hierarchy so that the individuals and units can act in accordance of the intentions placed by the commanders and can ultimately succeed even under the most critical conditions which can lead to physical circumstances and mental stressors.” Furthermore Khon states that there is necessary control of the military by the civilian officials, as this control allows for a nation to base its values, purposes, institutions and practices upon popular will rather than on the choices of military leaders whose main focus is on the issue of external security and internal order CITATION Kho97 l 2057 (Khon, 1997).
CHALLENGES OF CIVILIAN CONTROL
Mature democracies where there has been strong civilian control and military establishments have had focus on the external defense. This is a test of whether civilians can exercise supremacy in military policy making and decision making. The military been able to enjoy great prestige, possess advanced bureaucratic skills, believes that its ability is to fulfill its mission may be at risk, or be in doubt about the civilian leadership. Civilians can face great obstacles in exercising their authority.
Newly employed democracies on the other hand face the challenge of assuring that the military will not attempt a coup or defy the civilian authority. The military has concentrated on the internal order or been deeply involved in political life, other times preying on the society rather than protecting them, and this is more evident in many former autocracies. In attempting to gain supremacy over military affairs, new democracies are faced with the risk of provoking the defiance of the military institutions. CITATION Kho97 l 1033 (Khon, 1997)LEVELS OF CIVILIAN CONTROL
There are at least two level which will be mentioned by this essay. The first level is that in which the citizens and military should or work together, this level is referred to as the operational level. At the operational level there is a sense of balance brought by the civilian staff that should be supported by separate career management track, controlled and managed by the civilians as part of a professional civil service. The second level is the senior level whereby ministry of defense bases its decision making and concentration is in the hands of the civilians. This will mean the business of the defense establishment is being conducted accordingly with national security and the defense priorities and priorities are effectively managed.
Both these levels exercise a degree of civilian control, however in order for them to function, there ought to be a development in the civilian competence of defense. Furthermore the military should be educated to understand and accept the role played by the civilian and also define this role. CITATION Pet01 l 1033 (Petri, 2001)THE SOUTH AFRICAN MILITARY
In 1994 after Nelson Mandela became the first black president of the new South Africa. Following this transition, a new South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was formed following the merge of the SADF (90000 personnel), and the different homelands armies Transkei; Bophuthatswana; Venda and the Ciskei with a total of 11500 personnel. The liberation movements MK (umMkhonto we Sizwe 28000 and the APLA( Azanian Peoples Liberation Army) 6000 personnel, this new national defense force consisted of a number of voluntary full-time and reserve individuals. Chapter 11 of the constitution of South Africa provides for the defence force and determines that “the primary object of the defence force is to defend and protect the republic, its territorial integrity and its people in accordance with the constitution and the principles of the international law regulating the use of force CITATION Con96 l 2057 (Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996) .Compulsory call ups were eliminated after the 1994 elections. Following their skills and experience of the military, the SADF personnel’s took charge in the planning processes and structures which could be used to build up the SANDF. Following the formation of SANDF in 1994 majority of the influential positions of the new military force went to the SADF with a few others placed in lower positions. There was a display of racism from the former SADF militants to their new colleagues, even excluding them through the use of Africans as a medium for relaying orders. By September of 1994 the homelands armies were incorporated into the SANDF, and 1996 there was a vast majority from the homelands whom joined the SANDF. The MK and APLA were much harder to absorb into the new military as there was bad blood between them and the former SADF militants. The liberation armies returned back from exile where they would report to a board made up the SANDF officers and British military adjudicators whom determined their ranks and salaries, and also the training needed CITATION Sta10 l 2057 (Stapleton, 2010).
Since its formulation in 1994 there has been numerous contradictory motives which have shaped the South African military. Faced with internal issues of poverty and the lack of external threats, defense spending has not been an issue of priority. In 1998 the SANDF together with the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) following orders from SADC helped intervene in Lesotho to prevent or reverse a coup. The late 90s the SANDF has participated in the AU and UN peace keeping operations in countries such as Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia. Internally the SANDF has been tasked with preventing illegal immigrants, smuggling of drugs and guns from entering the country at their border gates. In 2008 the force joined forces with the police to fight against xenophobic attacks in Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Mpumalanga. 1999 saw the South African government purchased new military arms of $4.8 billion, to replace the old arms used during the apartheid era. Four naval corvettes; fighter and trainer jets; at least 30 light helicopters were also bought in order to protect their coastal waters and airspace. These machinery would also be used in issues pertaining to regional peace keeping. The SANDF also went to announce that they were planning to decrease the forces strength from 93000 to 70000 pertaining issues of corruption and as a way to cut on costs. The unionization of the police and prion services in the 1990s, the South African National Defence Union in 1999 was successful in its attempt to get the constitutional court to get rid of the probation of the military unions CITATION Mar95 l 2057 (Shaw, 1995)THE SOUTH AFRICAN MILITARY STRENGTH
In 2018 the South African army has been ranked 33rd surpassing some European countries such as Norway and Switzerland. It has just under 100000 total military personnel comprising of 78050 active personnel and 16000 reserve personnel. The South African airpower had an aircraft strength of 209 assets consisting of 17 fighter aircraft, 17 attack aircraft, 100 transport aircraft, 94 helicopters and 12 attack helicopters. The land power of South Africa stands out and includes 195 combat tanks, 2265 armored fighting vehicles, 43 self-propelled artillery, 97 towed artillery and 50 rocket projectors. The total naval strength is 40 assets, and it is also of relevance to note that currently there are no aircraft carriers, destroyers or corvette-class vehicles. The navy comprises of 4 frigates, 3 submarines, 31 patrol craft and 2 mine warfare vessels. CITATION Wri18 l 2057 (Writer, 2018)EFFECTIVENESS OF CIVILIAN MILITARY CONTROL
Civilian control of the military is manifested in constitutions, laws as well as regulations and policies that grant the citizens the authority to create and enforce laws, provide democratic oversight of the defense establishment. It places the civilians in ministries of defence in decision making position. Smooth operation will lead to the respect and recognition of democratic civilian armed forces having been put in place. Democratic civilian armed forces provide for the armed forces whom are accountable, and conduct planning in accordance with the national security interests and wit national security interests and priorities, and in cooperation with the other government agencies involved in security at national level. There been cooperation means there will be effective management systems whom will be responsible in determining the appropriate force structures which will be viable in accomplishing the assigned tasks. It also provides the force with adequate resources. Furthermore they ensure that the training being conducted the armed forces is adequate in producing forces that are ready and able to accomplish their tasks. Civilian control further establishes and sustains the broad range of personnel actions from recruitment, fair wages, merit based on promotion system, health care, quality of life and also equitable retirement programs. CITATION Pet01 l 2057 (Petri, 2001)In South Africa pre-1994 the military was deeply involved in the political process, often undermining and posing threats to the society it is meant to protect. Effective civilian control demands that all decisions taken, including those related to national and internal security are to be made by elected officials. Furthermore effective control ensures the nations values, institutions and practices are based on the will of the people through the ballot box rather the narrow interests of the military leaderships CITATION Mbe04 l 2057 (Mbeki’s Peace and Security Agenda and the South African National Defence Force, 2004). The South African government taken a definite decision to remove the armed forces from internal roles concerned with crime, drug trafficking etc., to more defining roles concerned foreign policy objectives. This is prevention of halting the tension between the civilians and the military in terms of what each are trained to do. The exercise of defence priorities occurs through civil control the parliamentary defence committees, the Minister of Defence and the Defence Secretariat. The Secretariat is responsible for the formulation of policies, programs and budgets needed to execute the mandates of the Defence Force. The chief of SANDF has a limited role in that he is only responsible for the efficient management, command and administration of the SANDF and its operations. This system of civilian control in South Africa has been effective in that it guarantees the exclusion of the armed forces from having too much power in influencing the politics, except through channels in which the civilians cannot interfere in terms of operational matters. CITATION Gav97 l 2057 (Cawthra, 1997)CONCLUSION
Civilian control is about reducing the power held by the military more especially in relation to those issue relating to security. The essay has made attempts to discuss the effectiveness of civilian control of the military in South Africa. The essay began by defining the civilian military control which relates to the relative power of the civilian and military groups. Achievement is through which the extent of power of the military is reduced vis-a vis the civilian groups, furthermore the essay spoke into the question of why there is a need for civilian control and also the challenges a state may see its self been faced with when there is too much civil control. The levels of civilian control were also touched on as an extension of the topic at hand. South Africa was chosen as a country of reference to discuss the effectiveness of civil military relations. The military of South Africa was also discussed as a brief background to the topic the strength was also discussed. Lastly the effectiveness of there been civilian control has also been discussed.
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