National Defense University: an integrated higher defense educational institute for democratization of civil-military relations in Nepal
Rana, Mahesh SJB
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Despite its transition from a constitutional monarchy to a secular federal democratic republic in 2006, Nepal has yet to achieve the ultimate outcomes of the democratic consolidation process-political stability, stable governance, peace, and security. The stalled democratic consolidation process largely results from gaps in civil-military relations (CMR). In the absence of a higher defense education platform-like the National Defense University (NDU) in the United States-unequal levels of professional competencies among the civilian officials, military leaders, and senior officers of Nepal’s security forces have contributed to ineffectiveness and inefficiency at the policy, strategy, and decision-making levels. In particular, the civilian leadership has demonstrated an inability to effect critical decisions during a recent natural disaster. In this connection, this research traces the development of professional military education (PME) institutions in Germany and the United States and analyzes the importance of integrating higher defense education to enhance professional competencies, defense capabilities, and democratization of CMR. Based on this analysis, the thesis examines the feasibility of and recommends establishing a unique, country-specific, and interagency integrated higher defense educational institute that promotes PME, civil defense education, and national security education programs under one national institutional umbrella like NDU.
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