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Managing Transitions in the Military David Chuter.

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1 Managing Transitions in the Military David Chuter

2 Who am I? Well … Ive worked in the UK Ministry of Defence since 1976. Ive worked extensively with other governments around the world. Im working for the French MoD in Paris at the moment. Ive thought, written and lectured a lot about security sector issues.

3 Also known as ….

4 Two General Points I am not speaking on behalf of any government. Most of what I say is based on personal experience.

5 A Few General Principles Defence reforms take place in different ways for different reasons. There are no simple before and after models. Defence reform has to support wider political objectives. Lets take these in turn.

6 Defence Reforms Defence forces exist to underpin the domestic and foreign policies of a state with violence or the threat of violence. And they have to be managed in ways that respect the norms of a parliamentary democracy. Therefore …

7 Defence Reforms …. … are about making sure that the military are providing security, and contributing to the security policies of the government, and doing so in ways that respect democratic political norms.

8 Three Broad Types Adaptation - a continual process. Reform – a discontinuity. Transformation – a complete and total change. Post –conflict situations can involve all of these.

9 No Simple Models Circumstances can vary greatly. Words can mean different things in different contexts. Avoid elaborate lists. Dont try to do everything at once.

10 Reform of the Security Sector is often thought to be a necessary part of post-conflict reconstruction. This isnt always true. It depends on what the causes of the war were, and what the post- conflict situation is.

11 Military reform does not necessarily mean force reductions. Armies do not necessarily cause wars. More normally, wars cause armies. Where security is weak, there will be conflict.

12 Wider Objectives Military reform is not an end in itself. It must contribute to security and stability in practical terms. Political factors may influence how it is applied.

13 Two Broad Types of Situation Simple, where the military have simply been fighting an international or civil war. Complex, where the military may themselves have been part of the problem.

14 The Military After War Return to peacetime force levels. Demobilisation etc. Need for post-war planning. Reduction in importance of defence … … if peace is permanent.

15 The Military and Political Transitions. Depends on role the military have played. The military can have considerable public support. The new political leadership may itself be corrupt, incompetent or compromised.

16 The whole issue of political control, subordination etc. is extremely complex and very sensitive. Its very easy to get wrong.

17 The Military and Politics The military almost never takes power as such. It usually aligns itself with other forces. It may not be united. It may act progressively. Motives vary enormously.

18 The Military in Power May be in a dominant position… Or a very weak one. So formulas about political subordination have to be handled very carefully. They could mean all the wrong things.

19 What do we Want? A military which willingly puts itself at the service of an elected government, as part of the resources of the state available to implement government policies.

20 Which Means in Practice.. The political leadership takes responsibility, credit, blame and therefore the final decisions. The military (and civilian officials) give advice and ultimate consent.

21 How Do We Get There? The government must be legitimate and behave honestly. No politicisation of the military. Aim for mutual respect. Strengthen civilian competence. Dont forget the Military actually have real roles.

22 How do we handle the Military? Not all the same – resist clichés. Tend to be patriotic and goal- oriented. Whats the mission? Clear roles and tasks. Lots to do. Create a good environment. Avoid triumphalism and revenge.

23 How do we handle the Military? (2) Triage. Dont fight unnecessary battles. Use ambition. Normalisation therapy. Take it step by step.

24 Thank you Questions and comments?

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