GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Civil Military Relations in the Gulf
Paper Proposal Text :
Why was there not a history of military coups d’état in America and why did it frequently occur in under-developed countries? How has the United States maintained the civil-military relations and is there any difference in a way that the United States pursued compared to other nations in under-developed world that have failed in the same task? While there were many variables in explanations to this question, what we could say is that the United States has succeeded in the peaceful management in the civil-military relations. The promotion of healthy civil-military relations is the most important variables to forefend coups in new developing countries and forming the sound national identity especially in the Gulf.

Since World War II, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, the nature of such coups brought about a growing interest in academia. Political upheaval in Africa resulted in military take-overs in Dahomey, Togo, Congo, and Uganda, to mention just a few. Political unrest in South America, which involved military coups in Bolivia (189 military coups in its first 169 years of existence), Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay, was largely a consequence of military forces attempting to restrain an increasing influence of the left-wing. The case of South Korean coup in 1960s was justified for some extent on account of disappointment among people at the corruption in the then government. In the late 2006, military coup in Thailand reassured that an updating analysis is continuously requested in the study of civil military relations in order to deepen understanding on transforming socio-political environment in vibrating national polities from the perspective of this persistent problem.

The study of civil military relations is about how we have the military not getting involved in the politics and how much the military could be controlled while maintaining effectiveness. In other words, how we could succeed in civil-military cooperation and how we professionalize the military in that sense. The military apparatus is one of the most prominent of the governmental institutions in building the normal state. So the cooperation between the military leaders and ruling leaders and the relative efficacy of developing national identity through the establishment of a security force should be clear in the process of development in the Gulf.

This paper investigates the characteristics of political, social and cultural environment related to the military in the Gulf and analyzes how civil-military cooperation has been established in that area. Some of advocates supported authoritarian regimes to bring power to military - owing to the political independence of Middle Eastern states - and contributed to the overthrow of democratic governments, as was the case in Mosaddeq in Iran as such. After September 11, 2001, one of the research projects emerged in the Middle East was raising a question on civil-military relations and the related rankings were made among the NATO members for the first time. The paper also explains the main changes in the strategic environment in the Gulf after September 11, 2001, and outlines Euro-American proposals to introduce reforms in the Arab world along with responses from Arab towards this initiative. The main argument of the paper is that establishing “democratic civil-military relations” in the Gulf is the primary and prerequisite task in identifying civil-military relations in Arab.

The paper further clarifies issues questioning civil-military relations in the Gulf that raise the overall question of democracy. Genuine democratic changes would necessarily bring about similar changes in civil-military relations. Healthy relations between civil society and military are also a part of the overall security stability in the region. Some factions’ dominance in interpreting military threats and possessing certain powers of weapons tends to legitimize the role of the militaries. Within the change in the security environment, a meaningful change in the role of the militaries could occur consequently. It is also believed that the dynamics of civil-military relations in Gulf is the concern for neighboring Middle Eastern countries as well as other major parts of the world, therefore, these dynamics should be approached as such.

The paper introduces theories to approach the research questions that emerged since 1950 such as those of Huntington, Janowitz, Finer and others. It will test if these theories can be applied to the current issues in the Gulf and see how to adapt the empirical experiences of civil-military relations with some case studies for South Korea and the Gulf. South Korea has participated in many peace keeping operations and multi-national operations recently. It has also executed civil supporting co-operation in various destinations while mainly dispatching engineering, medical groups and civil supporting groups. Dealing with the close observation of myself during the Gulf War, the paper analyzes how the military can support the civil society in given circumstances and how it figures out and executes problem solving throughout the civil-military cooperation in the Gulf for which creative models and solutions become thinkable such as constructing the civil-military governance.