In This Review

Warriors in Peacetime: The Military and Democracy in Latin America, New Directions for U.S. Policy
Warriors in Peacetime: The Military and Democracy in Latin America, New Directions for U.S. Policy
Edited by Gabriel Marcella
Frank Cass, 1994, 165 pp

How so central an institution as the Latin American military can continue to be so little studied is curious. Dictatorships may be out of fashion in the hemisphere, but almost everywhere the subordination of the armed forces to effective civilian and democratic control remains problematic, and in many countries the military itself remains dangerously isolated from civil society. In this valuable collection of essays, Gabriel Marcella, professor of Third World studies at the U.S. Army War College, has brought together a group of eminent scholars to examine civil-military relations. Among the more notable contributions are an essay by Juan Rial, a leading Uruguayan expert, which provides a comprehensive overview of the changing role of the Latin American militaries in the process of democratization; a critical discussion of the U.S. involvement in the drug war by Kenneth Sharpe of Swarthmore College; and Howard Wiarda's fascinating examination of the Latin American military and the role of human rights in U.S. policy. Marcella argues that the United States should be prudently involved in the developing Latin American debate about the armed forces, and he rightly warns that "isolation from society and from the international community is a serious threat to both military professionalism and harmonious civil-military relations." If the United States wishes democracy to flourish in the hemisphere, policymakers and scholars would do well to give more attention to the questions addressed in this thoughtful volume.