Cure or Disease: The Civil-Military Consequences of American Foreign Military Aid
Krieger, Miriam A.
U.S. foreign military aid amounts to billions of dollars per year spread across nearly every nation in a variety of programs. However, the actual impact of this aid on the civil-military relations of recipient nations remains largely unexplored. This research explores whether such aid – and the associated U.S. focus on professionalization – enhances democratic civil-military relations as the U.S. military and policy-makers intend or exacerbates existing praetorian relationships and undermines democratic principles of control. I hypothesize that the U.S.-centric formula, in which technical and normative professionalization are inextricably linked, falls flat in nations with differing strategic cultures, histories, and government constructs. Using survey and interview data to focus on professional military education, I find evidence that U.S. professionalization does not effectively teach or transfer democratic norms of civilian control to either foreign officers or U.S. military members. Further case study research in Egypt and The Gambia suggests the U.S. military approach to aid actually empowers militaries and inspires individuals in praetorian states to intervene in government via military coup d’etat.
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