You are on page 1of 3

Military and Politics

Jones J C, Barlow D H 1990 The etiology of posttraumatic stress contributing to tyranny because of the expense of their
disorder. Clinical Psychology Reiew 10: 299–328 maintenance. In modern times they gain political
Holloway H C, Benedek D M 1999 The changing face of influence through symbiotic relationships with the
terrorism and military psychiatry. Psychiatric Annals 29:
private enterprises that produce their weapons syst-
Iacopino V, Waldman R J 1999 War and health: From Solferino ems—the ‘military–industrial complex’ that former
to Kosovo—the evolving role of physicians. Journal of the United States President Eisenhower warned against in
American Medical Association 282: 479–81 1961.
Mollica R F, McInnes K, Sarajlic! N, Lavelle J, Sarajlic! I, Within democracies, institutions of civilian control
Massagli M P 1999 Disability associated with psychiatric include constitutional, legal, and administrative mech-
comorbidity and health status in Bosnian refugees living in anisms such as military budgets and establishments,
Croatia. Journal of the American Medical Association 282: civilian confirmation of officer commissions, appoint-
433–39 ment of top military officials by civilian authorities,
Shalev A Y, Solomon Z S 1996 The threat and fear of missile
and prohibitions on military employment for domestic
attack on Israelis in the Gulf War. In: Ursano R J, Norwood
A E (eds.) Emotional Aftermath of the Persian Gulf War: problems. Even powerful and popular military officers
Veterans, Families, Communities and Nations, 1st edn. Ameri- who exceed existing boundaries may be removed from
can Psychiatric Press, Washington DC, pp. 143–62 their positions by their civilian superiors, as when, in
Ursano R J, Holloway H C 1985 Military psychiatry. In: Kaplan April 1951, US President Harry Truman summarily
H I, Sadock B J (eds.) Comprehensie Textbook of Psychiatry, relieved General Douglas MacArthur.
4th edn. William and Wilkins, Baltimore, pp. 1900–9 Professional, full-time military, consists of members
Ursano R J, McCaughey B G, Fullerton C S (eds.) 1994 Indi- who devote all of their time to their duties, minimizing
idual and Community Responses to Trauma and Disaster: The conflicts of interest. In some regimes, civilian author-
Structure of Human Chaos. Cambridge University Press, New ities worry about militaries with a capacity to compete
Weisaeth L 1994 Psychological and psychiatric aspects of
with their authority. In both communist and fascist
technological disasters. In: Ursano R J, McCaughey B G, regimes, specialized political officers have been em-
Fullerton C S (eds.) Indiidual and Community Responses ployed within military units with lines of authority
to Trauma and Disaster. Cambridge University Press, New parallel to military commanders as a means of en-
York, pp. 72–102 suring the latter’s compliance with regime dictates.
However, such institutions are not effective absent
D. M. Benedek and R. J. Ursano an underlying foundation of well-developed and
widely accepted norms in the broader political culture,
which may take centuries to develop (Landau 1971).
Political norms include general acceptance of military
subordination to civilian authorities and specific pro-
hibitions on serving officers engaging in political
Military and Politics activities such as legislative lobbying or standing for
elected or appointed office. These norms constitute
Virtually all nations have some form of military force essentially a social contract about the roles and
for protection against external foes, for international functions of civil and military authorities, respectively.
prestige, and often to maintain internal order. The The exact character of this contract tends to be
relationship between a nation’s political life and its renegotiated over time.
military is a fundamental and enduring problem which In democratic regimes, such as Britain, a pattern of
may be understood as a matter of managing the norms developed over centuries in which both civilian
boundary between them. Civil authorities desire to and military bureaucracies were subordinated to the
control the military; but, militaries are more effective control of Parliament. In the United States, rep-
when they are professionalized, which requires sub- resentative political institutions were constitutionally
stantial autonomy and minimal civilian penetration established before any other, with the result that
into their internal operations (Wilensky 1964). control of the military by civilian authority has never
been at issue, nor has the legitimacy of representative
institutions relative to the military (see Public Bureau-
1. Ciilian Control of the Military cracies). In developing nations, representative poli-
tical institutions may still have to compete with the
The scale of the problem of relations between military military for legitimacy (Stepan 1971).
and politics differs between modern democracies and Development of separate and effective institutions
less well developed and differentiated societies (see for domestic law enforcement and state militias,
Modernization, Political: Deelopment of the Concept). combined with firmly established political norms
In stable democratic regimes, widely accepted political allowing employment of militias internally only in
norms and formal institutional mechanisms serve to extreme circumstances of natural disaster or civil
maintain the boundary (see Political Culture). Hist- unrest, have reduced pressures to use military forces
orically, standing militaries have been viewed as internally.

Military and Politics

2. Military Participation in Politics sophistication of its air forces promised military

effectiveness with low risk of casualties. Disputes
In developing nations, the military, because it tends to between civilian leaders and military officers most
be socially conservative, is typically the best organized often occur at the operational level of decision. The
of institutions, and controls lethal force, has been both military is usually primarily responsible for the tactical
motivated and able to act as an independent political level. In recent years, with dramatic improvements in
factor. It has superseded civil authority by coup d’etat, communications capacities, civilian leaders have be-
influenced public policy by threat of intervention, been come increasingly involved in operational level deci-
used as an instrument of terror. It has made successful sions, and even in tactical decisions, such as the
claims for special privileges, such as special stores and ill-fated US effort in 1976 to rescue the crew of the
facilities, achieved large budget allocations, or achieved merchant ship Mayaguez from their Cambodian cap-
direct military control of economic enterprises as in tors.
former communist regimes. Where civilian leaders have heeded their profes-
When a nation’s military is dominated by particular sional military officers on questions concerning the use
ethnic or racial groups, or by geographic regions, the of force, ill-advised adventures and misuse of the
probability increases that it will be used in internal military have been less likely. As the technology of
political conflicts, or for repression of certain ethnic warfare has become more complex, the need for expert
groups, as events during 1999 in Indonesia concerning military advice to civilian decision makers has become
East Timor have shown. Only occasionally has the more acute. Civilian leaders have not always shown
military acted to facilitate the establishment or res- themselves capable of seeking advice, or listening to it,
toration of democracy in such nations (see Democratic or understanding it. Ironically, senior military officials
Transitions). are frequently less prone to use force than their civilian
Following World War II, because the perceived role counterparts. Changes in warfare have also effectively
of the German and Japanese militaries in causing the doomed the hastily thrown together citizen army as an
war, and of their role in supporting authoritarian effective means of national defense and created press-
regimes, the Allies deemed it of utmost importance to ure for standing militaries.
demilitarize both nations, including constitutional
proscriptions against the use of offensive military
force. Efforts by western democratic states to profes-
sionalize the militaries of developing nations in Latin 4. Interpenetration of Military and Politics
America, Africa, and Asia have been only partially Established boundaries do not mean impermeable
successful given the military’s role in internal political barriers, however. Historically, there has been concern
control (O’Donnell and Schmitter 1986). It remains to that a military set completely apart from civil society
be seen whether analogous western efforts to assist might prove dangerous to the latter. In the late
former Soviet-bloc militaries to adjust to existence in nineteenth century the United States Navy relied
democratic states will prove more fruitful (Linz 1996). predominately on citizens from other countries to staff
its ships, and sailors were considered social pariahs to
be excluded from polite society, while officers were
3. Autonomy for the Military drawn disproportionately from higher social strata.
Both factors contributed to separation of that service
The military also benefits from well-defined bound- from American civil life (Karsten 1972).
aries between it and civilian politics. When militaries Universal conscription has lessened such separ-
are relatively insulated from civilian intrusion into ation, as have reserve officer training programs in
promotion and assignment to duty they have proven civilian universities, both of which create a regular
more effective (Chisholm 2000). To the extent that flow of individuals in and out of the military. This at
militaries are perceived by their civil societies to be once increases civilian influence on the professional
professional organizations whose members are en- military, enhances civilian understanding of the mili-
gaged in service to their nations and are not principally tary, and provides mechanisms by which militaries can
mechanisms for patronage, nepotism, and informal expand and contract in response to external threats.
welfare, militaries are accorded a relatively higher Ironically, it also increases the potential political cost
status (Janowitz 1960). of military actions, as the United States found with
The use of force is usually considered at three levels Vietnam, and Russia discovered in its Chechen en-
of analysis: strategic, operational, and tactical. Civ- deavors during the 1990s, in which parents of con-
ilian leadership typically takes responsibility for the scripts pressured the government to end the action.
strategic level of decision, advised by the military. The Development of smaller, all-volunteer, career mili-
mere presence of military capability may indirectly taries runs counter to this historical trend, and to the
influence decisions by civilian leaders about strategy. extent that in the generations following World War II
In 1999, for example, NATO found it politically fewer top civilian leaders in western nations have
feasible to intervene militarily in Kosovo because the performed military service, trust between civilian and

Military Geography

military leaders appears to have diminished (Ricks been a problem because of their inherent flexibility
1997). Moreover, it may mean reduced understanding and because agents of change come from a range of
by civilian leaders of the appropriate uses of and institutions.
limitations on military force as an instrument of
national policy, especially as nations expand the use of See also: Democratic Transitions; Military Psych-
their militaries for limited armed conflicts and for ology: United States; Military Sociology; Modern-
operations other than war. Employment in the 1980s ization, Political: Development of the Concept; Poli-
of the United States Marines in Lebanon at the behest tical Culture; Public Bureaucracies; War: Anthro-
of the State Department and against the opposition of pological Aspects; War: Causes and Patterns
senior military officials exemplifies the misuse of
military forces at the operational level. Pressured to
act by domestic constituencies during various inter-
national crises, civilian leaders appear to turn to the Bibliography
use of military force, even if they cannot achieve Chisholm D 2000 Waiting for Dead Men’s Shoes: Origins and
the ends sought. Deelopment of the U.S. Nay’s Officer Personnel System.
As a relatively closed institution and with socially 1793–1944. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA
conservative inclinations, the military has often had Janowitz M 1960 The Professional Soldier. Free Press, Glencoe,
difficulty adjusting to changes in civil society. How- IL
ever, changes of values in the broader society do Karsten P 1972 The Naal Aristocracy: The Golden Age of
penetrate the military, evidenced by improved treat- Annapolis and the Emergence of Modern American Naalism.
ment of enlisted personnel. Desegregation and the Free Press, New York
Landau M 1971 Linkage, coding, and intermediacy. Journal of
integration of women and gays into the military have Comparatie Administration 2: 401–29
proceeded at a faster pace than in civilian institutions, Linz J J 1996 Problems of Democratic Transition and Con-
perhaps because of its hierarchical, command organi- solidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Com-
zation. Changes have been instituted by the command munist Europe. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore,
of civilian authorities, an approach impossible in most MD
sectors of civil society. O’Donnell G, Schmitter P C (eds.) 1986 Transitions from
Militaries also have acted as interest groups with Authoritarian Rule: Tentatie Conclusions About Uncertain
their own political agendas. In stable democracies, Democracies. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore,
they must compete with other institutions for legit- MD
Ricks T E 1997 Making the Corps. Scribner, New York
imacy and for scarce resources. The influence of Stepan A 1971 The Military in Politics: Changing Patterns in
militaries waxes and wanes with the centrality of Brazil. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ
external threats to their societies, the perceived ability Wilensky II 1964 The professionalization of everyone? American
of the military to contend with threats, and in some Journal of Sociology 87: 548–77
cases, the degree of internal political unrest. A mili-
tary’s failure, as the Argentine military found in its D. Chisholm
war with Britain over the Falkland Islands in 1982,
may have profound consequences for its domestic Copyright # 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.
standing, even where it has previously functioned to All rights reserved.
suppress political dissent.
Militaries have historically also served as a mech-
anism for social mobility for less advantaged groups, Military Geography
particularly during economic recession and following
wars when veterans have received pensions, tax relief, Military geography is the subfield of geography that
health care, and education and real estate subsidies. deals with the impact of geography on military affairs.
For example, the US GI Bill following World War II Its purpose is to provide understanding and appreci-
provided college education for a broad sector of ation of the significance of geographic concepts and
society that was previously excluded, contributing to realities to military plans and operations at the tactical
the sustained growth of the postwar American econ- andoperationallevelsofwar,andtomilitaryconcernsat
omy. Military training in technical specialities such as the strategic level. Thus in using geographic methods
aviation or electronics also provides skilled personnel and information, military geography ‘concentrates
at subsidy to private economies. The importance of on the influence of physical and cultural environments
this has increased as technical skills in demand by over political-military policies, plans, programs, and
military and civilian sectors have converged. Con- combat\support operations of all types in local,
vergence makes it more difficult for militaries to retain regional, and global contexts’ (Collins 1998).
skilled personnel, especially during periods of strong While military geography is accepted by recognized
economic growth. scholars in the discipline as a viable subdivision of
Political dictators have been educated and trained geography, its growth and contribution to scholarship
in the military, but in democratic regimes this has not has been marked by periods of intense activity and


International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences ISBN: 0-08-043076-7