Politics and Security (op)

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    The armed forces and internal security in Asia : preventing the abuse of power
    (Honolulu: East-West Center, 1999) Collier, Kit
    The lack of interaction between security, development, and human rights policy has helped reproduce a narrow concept of internal security associated with widespread abuse of power in Asia. Governments have increasingly relied on paramilitary repression in lieu of effective political institutionalization, and have sought to evade accountability for their actions. Curtailing the abuse calls for a multistrand approach that conjoins accountable governments and militaries with more closely integrated civil societies, national institutions, and international humanitarian structures capable of enforcing an end to impunity.
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    Ensuring democratic civilian control of the armed forces in Asia
    (Honolulu: East-West Center, 1999) Trinkunas, Harold A.
    Even though there is a trend toward political liberalization and democratization across Asia, its emerging democracies will not become consolidated unless elected officials establish authority over their armed forces. While direct military rule has become rare in Asia, military forces continue to impose limits on the scope of democratization efforts in many countries. This paper argues that civilian control exists when government officials hold ultimate jurisdiction over military activities, and that control is maximized when soldiers are confined to tasks linked to their primary function: preparing for war. Civilian control is likely to emerge only when rulers gain sufficient leverage over the armed forces to compel military officers to accept oversight. Only when civilian control is institutionalized will democracy prevail and norms of civilian supremacy develop within the military. This paper examines democratic civilian control and explores the challenges confronting Asia's democratizers. It also considers the nature of civil-military relations in Asia's authoritarian regimes and studies the barriers that civilian control may place in the path of political liberalization. After examining the issues facing emerging democracies, this paper analyzes civil-military relations in consolidated democracies in Asia, focusing on the question of how the military's activities can be supervised. Next it turns to the problems facing civilian authoritarian regimes in maintaining control over the armed forces, as well as the issues that may arise should these countries begin democratizing. Finally, the paper outlines policy recommendations to promote democratic civilian control.
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    Negotiating and consolidating democratic civilian control of the Indonesian military
    (Honolulu: East-West Center, 2001) Anwar, Dewi Fortuna
    The democratization process in Indonesia has begun in earnest and has led to the formation of a democratically elected government supported by a genuinely open and pluralistic political system. Nonetheless, it is generally acknowledged that consolidating democracy will be a slow and painful process. Of the many challenges faced by the new Indonesia, the most difficult will surely be the reformation of the military from a long-term social-political force into a truly professional defense force under democratic civilian control. In this paper the author puts forward 10 steps that need to be taken to negotiate and consolidate democratic civilian control of the military, to ensure that the military is no longer used to prop up authoritarian regimes, and to transform the Indonesian military into a truly professional defense force. This paper is divided into six main parts. The first part provides a brief history of the expansion of the role of the Indonesian military and its relationship with successive governments from independence to the establishment of Soeharto's New Order. The second part looks at the military's political dominance and economic activities under the New Order. The third examines the various steps and advances that have been made toward ending the military's social-political role and special privileges. The fourth part outlines the many obstacles and challenges to imposing democratic civilian control over the military. The fifth provides policy recommendations and outlines practical measures that can be taken to consolidate democratic civilian control, including the possible role of the international community. The final part presents conclusions regarding the prospects for Indonesia's democratic consolidation, and the efforts to end military intervention in politics once and for all.
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    Going out of business : divesting the commercial interests of Asia's socialist soldiers
    (Honolulu: East-West Center, 2000) Scobell, Andrew
    Massive, institutional military involvement in a nation's economy appears to be a hallmark of civil-military relations in socialist states. There have been three main motives for this: pragmatic, ideological, and financial. While real benefits can accrue from military participation in the economy, the author argues that armed forces have no business owning or managing for-profit ventures. He contends that commercial involvement (1) has a detrimental impact on combat readiness, (2) has a negative effect on civilian control and the chain of command, and (3) damages morale and the military's standing in society. The destruction caused is most immediately obvious in the emergence of rampant corruption while the above three effects only gradually become evident. The author examines the current status of the military's commercial activities in China, Vietnam, and North Korea and provides recommendations on how to proceed in divesting the armed forces of their economic assets. The task of getting the military out of a nation's business is a daunting one that only China has initiated. Announced in mid-1998, this process remains incomplete as of late 1999. Vietnam is currently grappling with the challenge of the military's business empire and may be poised to follow China's example. North Korea, certainly the most militarized state on earth, stands as a special case. While little reliable information is available on the vast economic holdings of the Korean People's Army, divestiture will likely only be successful if instituted as part of a larger process of structural reform.
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