Are military professionals unaware of their own civic and strategic illiteracy?
One of the most significant issues facing any democracy today, is the current state of civil- military relations. Why should the relationship between the military and society be of such concern to us? There are two principal reasons.
First, the military relationship to civilian authorities and to society more generally lies at the very heart of what democracy is all about. Democracy, Harry Truman suggested, is "based on the conviction that man has the moral and intellectual capacity, as well as the inalienable right, to govern himself with reason and justice." By the same token, what defines the state, Max Weber observed, is government's monopoly of the legitimate possession and use of force. The military is the principal embodiment of state-centered and -controlled violence. Thus, in a form of government where the people are supposed to rule, civilian supremacy over the military is essential; it is an ethical imperative. Where this relationship fails or falters, the very end of government--"the common benefit, protection, and security of the people," rights of citizens violated, massive and wide scale corruption and injustice--the Government stands in jeopardy. Further, Terrorism, Naxalism, Maoism and right wing fundamentalists are pointers and indicators of the degree of of failing/ falling governance.
Second, the three parties to the civil- military relationship--the military, its civilian masters, and the people themselves--are bound to one another by social contract. "The first principle of a civilized state," said Walter Lippmann, "is that power is legitimate only when it is under contract." A social contract is a mutually binding, though a tacit, set of expectations, obligations, and rights. Because it depends on the ability--and, more importantly, the willingness--of the parties involved to live up to their end of the unwritten bargain, it is, in every sense, an ethical compact- a bond.
What do civilian authorities and the people more generally expect of the military as part of this compact?
What Military Expects from the Civilian authorities?
Genuine welfare measures for the Jawans and Ex- Servicemen.
DESA E- Newsletter Mar 2017
15 hours ago