The rule of law puts the military under the authority of civilians. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes armies may try to overthrow the government, interfere with politics, or try to take over power. In such cases, the military should be subject to civilian control. This has helped military professionals internalize civilian control. Civilian leaders and elites also accept the military’s subordination to the civil authority. Here’s an analysis of civilian control in modern military affairs.
Military control is sometimes difficult to achieve because civilians lack expertise or knowledge of military affairs. The extent to which civilians exert control over military affairs, including military policy, depends on the circumstances. It has a history of deteriorating and sometimes ambiguous relationships. Ultimately, whether civilians control the military is a question of who controls what. While there are several factors to consider, civilians have a greater opportunity to influence military affairs than military leaders do.
The word civilian has a wide variety of meanings. In a modern society, a civilian can be anyone who does not work in the military or in a law enforcement agency. In the past, civilians were referred to as non-military law enforcement officers, but the term is not as common today. Earlier, civilian also meant a judge or a legal expert. Civilian is a contraction of the Latin word civilis, which means “related to a citizen.”
The Colombian military manual defines civilians as those who do not participate in hostilities. However, the manual does not define the status of armed opposition groups. In fact, the manual refers to armed opposition groups as “armed civilians” and uses a negative definition of this group. This definition applies to most military manuals. The definition of a civilian is also vague, and most do not apply to armed opposition groups. However, the term is important in the law of war and in practice.
While military officers are a professional group that offers advice on military strategy, civilians are unofficial representatives of another professional group. However, they are not systematically commissioned and are relevant to legitimate policymaking. The American armed forces should be impartial to political interests, as opposed to being apolitical. It is important to note that the definition of a civilian is quite different than the military officer’s. The term civilian does not refer to one profession; it describes a range of professional roles in a military organization.
While the military is an important institution that supports civilian control, it is not the only one. Coups still happen across the world, and the military has the power to overthrow a civilian government. Furthermore, military leaders can also impose and block policies that are not in the interests of national security. For example, they may block a military-imposed defense policy, which is contrary to the civilians’ goals. Hence, civilian control is important for democratic progress.
The role of a civilian in national security policymaking is a critical one. The civilian has a unique perspective and experience. This background provides a valuable perspective and can make a real contribution to national security policymaking. Moreover, civilian careers in public office often fall under the field of law, social science, and management. Therefore, civilians with these backgrounds are better equipped to deal with diverse interests and relationships, and understand the concept of social power.