DEMOCRATIC CIVILIAN CONTROL IN THE WORLD
Democratic civilian control is an approach to the establishment of a military organisation, where the responsibility for taking strategic decisions in the military sphere lies on the democratically elected political authorities and civil society, and not on military command.
Since strategic decisions (e.g. declaration of war or peace) have an enormous impact on the lives of all citizens, the ability of society to exercise control over its military is often considered an essential part of democracy.
In the case of a developed democratic society, the process of democratic civilian control over the Armed Forces takes a variety of forms and methods that prevent any military activity, which may be considered as a threat to society or the State.
The democratic control system also serves as an effective mechanism to divide responsibility between politicians and the military. If the military has identified threats and accurately assessed expenditures required to deter said threats at a time when politicians are unable to fund specified defensive measures, the later must take responsibility for the failure to comply with their obligations. On the other hand, it also demonstrates an increase in responsibility of the military for not identifying certain threats, since no responsive action or substantiated budget allocation shall be provided in this case.
Democratic civilian control over the Armed Forces includes a number of processes:
- Civil society control while taking military decisions
- Parliamentary control over defence policy
- Judicial control over the compliance with laws on the part of military
- Civilian control by non-governmental organisations, independent media, and trade unions
In the case of a legal state, democratic civilian control serves as a moderator for civil-military relations, when the basic principles of a democratic society take the leading position with respect to principles of military. Being the national agency, the armed forces must pursue and support national policy, and not the policy of separate political parties or unions.
OBJECTS OF DEMOCRATIC CONTROL:
- Decisions and activities with respect to the development of the armed forces, including budget, organisation, manpower, manning, national military doctrine, education and training, combat readiness, military infrastructure, and social support
- Decisions on the employment of the armed forces during armed conflicts, peacekeeping missions, crisis management, and humanitarian assistance operations
- Effectiveness of the military organisation, including the professionalism of military leadership, military ethics and morality, respect for human rights, and international military law throughout military operations
Democratic control is not usually applied to the command of military operations as well as daily operations of military commanders and their staffs, but rather focuses on the supervision over the expediency, legitimacy, and efficiency of operations.