Demilitarization: Is It Worth It?
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
Pagination or Media Count:
There are twenty-seven countries in the world with no military forces, with seven of them having undergone a process of demilitarization. Against the background of trying to justify the continued allocation of scarce resources to a standing military force in a country that faces little or no external threat, this study examined the concept of demilitarization and sought to determine if it is worth it. The study utilizes a systems approach through a series of case studies of two countries that have demilitarized Costa Rica and Panama, and two other countries that might consider it Jamaica and New Zealand. The analysis focuses on the political, economic, military and social systems in each of these four countries. In the final analysis, no country should undertake demilitarization in isolation, but at the same time, a military force must not exist in an atmosphere of impunity, and command a disproportionate share of national resources. Though questions remain about the completeness of the demilitarization process in some of these countries, the main conclusions are that to Costa Rica and Panama, demilitarization was worth it in order to end a cycle of military interference in their domestic political affairs, but to Jamaica and New Zealand, demilitarization would not be worth it.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations