Civil & Military Relations

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Letter From,
Aeyliya Husain

Wardah Nur never imagined that she would become a soldier. And, until ten years ago, she couldn’t have. Nur belongs to a small, elite group -- the 2013 “lady cadets,” as they are called -- the latest batch of women to train at the Pakistan Military Academy since it began accepting them in 2006 during General Pervez Musharraf’s presidency.

Ivan Perkins

Political scientists have long argued that professional militaries provide the strongest bulwark against political upheavals and violent power struggles. But a closer look at the historical record leads to a different conclusion: stability is a product not of military virtues but the rule of law.

Erica De Bruin

The problem of how to improve Iraqi military capacity without undermining civilian control won’t go away when Maliki leaves office. It will persist until norms of democratic and civilian rule become entrenched in Iraq -- a process that could take decades, if not longer.

Steve Negus

A year after Egypt's military deposed President Mohamed Morsi, a new regime is finally starting to take shape. Sisi's charisma can ease his first few years in power, his credibility ultimately hinges on whether he can deliver security, services, and jobs.

Comment, JUL/AUG 2014
Stephen R. Weissman

Newly available evidence shows that the CIA engaged in pervasive political meddling and paramilitary action in Congo during the 1960s -- and that the local CIA station chief directly influenced the events that led to the death of Patrice Lumumba, the country's first democratically elected prime minister.

Aqil Shah

Even though they could be killed, Pakistani journalists have begun to break the long-standing taboo against publicly calling out the military for its misdeeds. The armed forces have fought back, and the more they do, the guiltier they seem.

Paul D. Miller

Due in large part to the massive investment of U.S. time, money, and resources in the Afghan military since 2001, and to Washington’s relative neglect of the civilian government, Afghanistan is facing a very real risk of military coup. There is still time to forestall that outcome. But if it happens, no policymaker should be surprised.

Jeff Martini

A return to military dictatorship in Egypt seems all but certain. But two things could undermine the generals. First, as the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood recedes, it will become difficult for them to hold together a governing coalition of leftists, liberals, and Salafists that is built solely on its members’ shared antipathy for the Islamist group. Second, the new regime might overreach in its suppression of the opposition, inviting a backlash.

Mara Revkin

When Egypt’s 31-year-old emergency law finally expired in May 2012, Egyptians hoped that the days of arbitrary arrests and crackdowns on dissent in the name of national security were over. But thanks to an unprecedented counterterrorism clause in Egypt's new constitution, those days are here to stay.

Michael J. Koplow

Egypt's generals promise democracy once they deal with the Islamist threat -- and the secular camp has cheered them on. But as Tunisia's experience 25 years ago shows, it's hard to put the authoritarian genie back in the bottle once it has been let out. In other words, the liberals are next.

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