The Theories Of Civil Military Relationship Politics

Essay add: 29-10-2015, 10:44   /   Views: 332

Civil-military relations vary from one country to the other and the issues of concern differ at different points of time. Civil-military relations generally refer to the interactions between armed forces as institutions and the society they belong to. In terms of general definition, the democratic civil-military relations stand for the efficient management of security based on the principles of democracy as well as of the governmental agencies associated with the above mentioned field. [] 

There are a few problems of civil-military relations. Foremost is the problem of, military coups. The second is of effective management of the army by civilian leadership. The third is of protecting the army from the politicians who try to exploit it for their selfish interests and lastly is the lack of capability and knowledge in the ministers who boast of the responsibility of managing the defence forces.

One of the main obstacles in democratization of civil and military good relations is the unenthusiastic role of the decision makers in the state. Civil-military relations cannot be improved if the government in power does not want it to occur .Scholars and academicians all over the world have provided many theories which suggest the different ways by which civil-military relations have been maintained in developed states and can also be applied in third world states. [] 

Huntington's Liberal Approach: Civilian control through professionalism

The first precedence of a democratic state to protect the human rights and liberties of individual citizens. The military cannot be fully dominated by the state especially in a democratic state. A qualified officer corps, is resentful of its own restricted sphere of aptitude but recognizes its lack of ability in matters that are outside the qualified military sphere and is ready to accept its role as a subordinate mechanism of the state. This involves the reorientation of the armed forces toward their missions, the removal of overstaffing and non-military tasks and conferring the status and respect deserved by the armed forces.  [] 

Janowitz's Approach: Civilians are in command through societal control

Realistic experiences hint that most of the armed forces of the nations that were deemed professional, not only by their own standards but also by external evaluation, have engaged in actions of subverting civilian power, including coups. The professional socialization of the military through its relationship with and sympathy for the values of the society it serves ensures civilian control over the armed forces. [] 

6. Corporatism: Civilian control with limited military autonomy in economic sphere. Military corporatism is a modified form of military professionalism. A typical 'corporate' model of civil-military relations ascribes high value to military strength. It briefly means that military as a modern organization is collectively very professional and military elites have the capacity to influence political policies for organizational interests. [] 

Agency theory. It has its origins in micro-economics and tries to explain the strategic interaction between civilian principles and military agents. This type of civil-military relations begins with civilians seeking to trade off the advantages of specialization against disadvantages of agency. The advantages are that the military function can be performed by experts, freeing the time and energy of civilian masters for other tasks. The disadvantages are the ones inherent in any political relationship, will the representative truly serve the organizational interests or will he exploit it . [] 

7. Concordance Theory. This theory proposes that "three partners- the military, the political (civilian) elites, and the citizenry- should aim for a cooperative relationship" that does not require separation. It highlights "dialogue, accommodation, and shared values or objectives among the military, the political elites, and society." It suggests a high level of unity "between the military and other parts of society as one of several types of civil-military relationship which can establish and strengthen democracy in the world. [] 

Civil Military Relationship at the Apex Level [] 

Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). This is the highest body at the apex level and is the final decision maker on all aspects of security. It is chaired by the Prime Minister and includes the Cabinet Ministers of Defence, Home, External Affairs and Finance. Other cabinet ministers attend as special invitees whenever required. In addition, the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) / CDS and the Service Chiefs are in attendance on required basis. Similarly, the Cabinet Secretary or any other Secretary to the Govt of India will attend whenever required. The CCS is helped in decision making with inputs from various agencies. Some of the important agencies are: -

(a)        National Security Council (NSC). The NSC deals with all issues that threaten or have the potential to threaten India's internal or external security. NSC is in effect an advisory body; It does not have any executive authority. The authority of execution lies firmly within the ministries. The Council and its associated structures are expected to focus primarily on a multi-disciplinary approach to security issues, long and medium range assessment of threats, challenges and opportunities. The NSC comprises five structures - the Council, the National Security Adviser (NSA), the Strategic Policy Group (SPG), the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB), and the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).

   (b)        Council. The six member Council is a Cabinet level body chaired by the Prime Minister. It consists the Ministers of Home Affairs, Defence, External Affairs and Finance. The NSA functions as the pointsman to service the Council.

(c)        Strategic Policy Group (SPG). The 16 member SPG, comprising the chiefs of the three services, heads of important security related ministries, and heads of the major Intelligence agencies. It is the principal mechanism for inter-ministerial coordination and integration of relevant inputs in the formulation of national security policies. The Cabinet Secretary chairs it.

(d)        National Security Advisory Board (NSAB). The NSAB comprises a nominated convenor and other people of eminence outside the government with expertise in various fields. NSAB advises the NSC on issues of national security.

(e)        National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS). The NSCS is a specialised unit under the direct charge of the NSA in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). All ministries/departments consult the NSCS on matters having a bearing on national security. It is headed by Deputy to the NSA, and acts as the Member Secretary to the SPG.

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The CDS will provide the single point military advice to the CCS/RM when appointed. He will ensure the efficiency and the effectiveness of the planning process through inter service prioritisation and also exercise control over the strategic forces. He would rank 'primus inter pares' in the COSC and function as the Principal Military Adviser to the Raksha Mantri. Till appointment of the CDS, the Chairman COSC will perform the tasks of CDS. The CDS/Chairman COSC is assisted in functioning by the HQ Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) under the command of the Chief of Integrated Staff to Chairman COSC (CISC).

Present Status Of Civil Military Relations

Based on growing awareness in the country on matters related to strategic and defence planning, the reports of various government committees, and the media influence on the rapidity of reforms, the Higher Defence Organisation has been revamped and reorganised in recent times. while some progress has certainly been achieved, there is much more that needs to be done. To improve the efficiency of the existing Higher Defence Organisation further, the need to integrate the Service Headquarters with the Ministry of Defence was accepted in 1991. The Kargil Review Committee (KRC) recommended the integration of the Services Headquarters with the MoD and the creation of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). Subsequently the Group of Ministers (GoM) approved the setting up of four task forces. These included Intelligence Systems and Apparatus, Internal Security, Border Management and Management of Defence. The Higher Defence Organisation was restructured to cater for future wars, maintain parliamentary control over military, strengthen advisory apparatus to the Government on professional military matters and strengthen budgetary process. However, it was ensured that the changes in the working system were to be minimal.

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