Title

Military dissent in the United States: are there lessons from Latin america?

Date of Publication

2021 12:00 AM

Security Theme

Political Stability

Keywords

Civil-Military Relations, Latin America, Donald Trump, Comparative Politics, Military Professionalism

Description

The civil–military relations of the Trump Presidency became increasingly troubled. The President attempted not only to involve the military in partisan politics, but also in counter-protest operations in the face of nationwide demonstrations. Such operations increase the likelihood of human rights abuses by the military, which prides itself on professionalism and public approval. How can officers resist a commander-in-chief pulling them into partisan politics, particularly when this endangers military professionalism and quite possibly democracy itself? This article finds that U.S. military commanders might turn to their counterparts across Latin America for examples and lessons. Commanders in Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil have found innovative waves to resist unwise Presidential orders and potentially save lives in the process. Critically, we find that these instances of justifiable dissent did not result in an erosion of civilian control.

Share

 
COinS
 
Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Military dissent in the United States: are there lessons from Latin america?

The civil–military relations of the Trump Presidency became increasingly troubled. The President attempted not only to involve the military in partisan politics, but also in counter-protest operations in the face of nationwide demonstrations. Such operations increase the likelihood of human rights abuses by the military, which prides itself on professionalism and public approval. How can officers resist a commander-in-chief pulling them into partisan politics, particularly when this endangers military professionalism and quite possibly democracy itself? This article finds that U.S. military commanders might turn to their counterparts across Latin America for examples and lessons. Commanders in Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil have found innovative waves to resist unwise Presidential orders and potentially save lives in the process. Critically, we find that these instances of justifiable dissent did not result in an erosion of civilian control.