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Military support for democratically elected governments in the states emerging from communism in eastern Europe and elsewhere is critically important to the survival of the new democracies. We have seen the military overthrow civilian governments in many states in Latin America and Africa. What can be done to promote support for democratic government in transitional states?
In a groundbreaking study, Marybeth Peterson Ulrich explores the attitudes of the leaders of the armed forces in Russia and the Czech Republic toward the new democratic governments and suggests ways in which we might encourage the development of politically neutral militaries in these states. Building on the work of Samuel Huntington and others on the relationship between the military and the state, the author suggests that norms of military professionalism must change if the armies in countries making a transition from communist rule are to become strong supporters of the democratic state. The Czech Republic and Russia are interesting cases, because they have had very different experiences in the transition; they have different geopolitical goals; and they experienced different military-civilian relationships during the Soviet period. The author also explores American and NATO programs to promote democratization in these militaries and suggests changes in the programs.
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