Civil-Military Relations in Democratic Latin America
Bruneau, Thomas C.
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A Civil-military relation is a poorly defined concept in the academic literature and in popular usage. This paper begins with a conceptualization of civil-military relations as a trinity of dimensions including democratic civilian control, effectiveness in the achievement of roles and missions, and efficiency in the use of resources. Six roles and missions are specified and three different entities – the armed forces, police, and intelligence agencies – are defined as the instruments of security. The paper then highlights the ongoing tensions with regard to democratic civilian control: that chief executives in Latin America are able to fire ministers of defense and senior officers. What is generally lacking, however, in all but a few countries, are institutional mechanisms and sufficient personnel to manage security and defense issues in a routine manner. Just as important, the vast majority of Latin American countries lack the required instruments – strategies, institutions, and resource allocations – to achieve effectiveness. A few countries, including Argentina, Chile, and Colombia, however, are seeking to increase effectiveness through reforms in professional military education.
Research Paper No. #12
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