By Claude Emerson Welch
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Additional info for Civilian control of the military: theory and cases from developing countries
The heart of civilian control occurs within the corridors of government, far removed from the usual ambit of scholars. Adding to the conceptual fuzziness of civilian control is its changing nature over time. The nature and extent of civilian control reflect shifting balances between the strengths of civilian political institutions on one side, and the political strengths of military institutions on the other. Civilian control is a matter of degree. All armed forces participate in politics in various fashions.
Political influence is exercised through regularized and accepted channels. Contacts between the military and civilian political leaders occur at the top rungs of the military hierarchy; lateral contacts at lower levels are discouraged to preserve the integrity of the chain of Page 4 command and the integral nature of institutional boundaries. ) Be it through budget lobbying or (more important) providing information regarding strategic decisions, military leaders proffer advice. This advice naturally carries the weight of expertise and cannot readily be disregarded by civilian leaders.
States blessed with friendly neighbors, or states whose security can be assured by powerful allies or geographic barriers, may be able to maintain relatively small standing forcesover which civilian control may better be exercised. The absence of a clear external threat diminishes the significance of a country's military, which can be subordinated to government institutions. " States lacking "natural" or readily defensible frontiers have historically expanded their armed forces to reduce the possibility of successful invasion.
Civilian control of the military: theory and cases from developing countries by Claude Emerson Welch