Mexican Civil-Military Relations: Stability and Strength in an Uncertain Environment
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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While Mexican civil-military relations are evolving, due to the emergence of multi-party democracy and the growing counter-drug mission, the relations between civilian leadership and the military are mature and stable. Despite very limited civilian oversight of the military, the Mexican Army and Navy both acquit them themselves well and are critical to the future of the Mexican state. This paper will demonstrate that while Mexicos civil-military relationship is perhaps not democratically healthy for example, there is no civilian Ministry of Defense to oversee the Army or the Navy, the system works well within the context of Mexicos unique situation and the specific circumstances of Mexican democracy and society. In efforts to help Mexico build and maintain national strength and stability, the United States should not include civil-military reform among its priority agenda items. This paper will examine the history of civil-military relations in Mexico, guidance provided by the Mexican Constitution, the current relationship between the powerful and competent military and the civilian branches of government, potential challenges that may arise from the currently low level of civilian supervision of the military, and the outlook for the future. To understand civil-military relations in Mexico, one must first look to the nations revolutionary past and the role of post-revolutionary leaders and the 1917 Constitution in shaping todays civil-military environment.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law
- Humanities and History
- Military Forces and Organizations