The Political Role of the Military: An International Handbook

By Constantine P. Danopoulos; Cynthia Watson | Go to book overview

POLAND

Jerzy J. Wiatr

The collapse of the communist regimes in central Europe and the emergence of new democracies forced the question of relations between the armed forces and the new political institutions in these new countries under a new light. Not only had the armed forces been freed from the tutelage of the communist parties, but they also lost their major adversary of the last decades: the capitalist West. The Cold War is over, and the West is no longer perceived as the enemy. In fact, several of the former communist states have made political gestures indicating their interest in establishing security links with the West, including some form of association with NATO. Domestically, the armed forces have undergone restructuring, downsizing, institutional catharsis, and budgetary belt-tightening. Their loyalty to the new democratic regimes is sometimes questioned, particularly as far as the top ranks are concerned. All these factors combine to create a degree of uncertainty about the future of civil-military relations in the postcommunist world.

From previous experiences we know that the success of new democratic governments to curb the political power of the military is a key condition toward the successful consolidation of democracy.1"The problems of force and violence in long-established democracies are difficult," writes Alfred Stepan, "but they are even more challenging in 'newly democratizing' ones."2 Such difficulties appeared in countries where new democratic regimes succeeded military dictatorships or militarily supported authoritarian regimes. In a different context and under different conditions, postcommunist countries experience difficulties confining the military to security-related and not societal conflict-related responsibilities. This chapter will seek to identify and analyze these difficulties by concentrating on Poland.

While sharing some characteristics common to many, if not all communist states, Poland is unique in a number of ways. Of all communist states, Poland had the strongest democratic opposition (supported by the powerful Roman

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The Political Role of the Military: An International Handbook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Argentina 1
  • Notes 16
  • References 17
  • Brazil 19
  • Notes 34
  • References 41
  • Canada 42
  • Notes 53
  • References 54
  • China 55
  • Notes 67
  • References 70
  • Cuba 71
  • Notes 84
  • References 86
  • Denmark 88
  • Notes 100
  • References 105
  • Egypt 107
  • Notes 118
  • References 121
  • France 122
  • References 141
  • Germany 143
  • Notes 152
  • References 153
  • Greece 154
  • Notes 167
  • References 168
  • India 169
  • Notes 186
  • References 188
  • Indonesia 189
  • Notes 205
  • References 206
  • Iran 207
  • Israel 223
  • Notes 233
  • References 234
  • Japan 235
  • Notes 252
  • References 255
  • Kenya 256
  • Notes 269
  • References 270
  • Mexico 271
  • Notes 281
  • References 282
  • Netherlands 283
  • Notes 295
  • References 297
  • Nigeria 299
  • Notes 320
  • References 322
  • North Korea 323
  • Notes 335
  • References 337
  • Peru 338
  • Notes 355
  • References 360
  • Poland 361
  • Notes 371
  • References 373
  • Republic of South Africa 374
  • Notes 387
  • References 390
  • Russia and the Former Soviet Union 391
  • Notes 401
  • References 403
  • United Kingdom 404
  • Notes 415
  • United States 420
  • Notes 437
  • References 439
  • Zaire 440
  • Notes 456
  • References 458
  • Index 459
  • CONTRIBUTORS 515
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