NAWAIWAQT GROUP
 
 
 
Soldier and the state
 
November 11, 2012
 
 


Samuel P. Huntington is famous for his most debated thesis in the modern history, Clash of Civilizations. Academically his Magnum opus is another scholarly work written in 1950s, The Civil Military Relations – The Soldier and The State. This was the direct result of a desire to know the reasons of WW-II discrepancies in military affairs. The underline conclusion was an eye opener for the greatest democracy of the world. The US also lost the Vietnam War because of one reason, the over centralization of command by politico-military pyramid. Consequentially, the troops in the field were left high and dry waiting for orders to react to guerilla’s shenanigans, later they were called military blunders. The US army took the brunt of everything, for the simple reason that the civil-military equations were not clearly defined. One of the lessons was to increase the bluster and self-respect of a soldier, so that the morale curve could be achieved. Wars are not fought with weapons; wars are fought with one major weapon that is the morale of the rank and file. Politics is and should not be the forte of any military. It has to be seen what generals are made of; they are made of the collective of the strength of the body they command. This relationship is unique in the sense that nowhere else does a boss have such a direct link to the people they command.State as per the political theory and the modern social contract has three pillars, the executive, the judiciary and the legislature. A new fourth pillar has been added called the Media, after the emergence of this phenomenon a new space for media was not created, rather it has been squeezed between the other three pillars who have rendered it some space. Pakistan is moving towards a new regimen of institutional equality amongst different institutions of state. No institution is supreme, it is the official intent in the light of national interest which should have the sway, when it is a matter of rule of law the judiciary is to be respected and obeyed by all, when it is war and national security it is the army, when it is the human security it is the legislature and when it is the security of ideology and national ethos it is the media which becomes quasi superior for that particular time.In the context of Pakistan, the army has acquired the status of fifth pillar of state not in physical terms but by means of a long history of martial laws and political clout even when it was outside the loop. Still today it is part of the same mechanism, although the excessive fat is melting due to emerging of civil society and political awareness amongst the masses. It is in the best interest of country that the morale readjustments should not be taken as the ‘war of the Titans’. Civil and military relations are being redefined in the context of emerging realities which no one can deny. Problematic may it seem, but it is like the birthing pain, totally inevitable and life giving. The emerging civil society is the driver of change. Historical grievance against the army is a fact frozen in time. Nations support their armies in hour of need as if left alone; too many hungry eyes will try to destabilize the security cauldron. The war on terror and the threat therein is a serious issue. The US elections and Obama becoming the president again is clear indication that American people, the principal constituency of American power does not desire a change in their policy, the continuity will also perpetuate into this region. ABID LATIF SINDHU, Lahore, November 7.

 
 
on epaper page 7
 
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