INDISCIPLINED soldiers and POORLY DISCIPLINED ARMIES do coup d’etat’s.
its a poor reflection on the organisation and its officers when a coup d’etat or a mutiny or even an attempted mutiny happens because it shows that there is:
(a) lack of discipline - a professional standing army is defined by one thing, and that is DISCIPLINE – and discipline means
(i) submitting to the lawful chain of command – and that lawful chain of command starts from Parliament within a Constitutional Democracy
(ii) following lawful orders which come down the lawful Chain of command
(iii) maintaining force coherence and unity- and that means officers within the organisation work as a cadre of professional soldiers – respect for fellow officers and professional men at arms
(iv) rigid respect for the rule of law -
to the millitary the rule of law is very important, because it has arms and an arsenal in its possession and control which places a HUGE RESPONSIBILITY and DUTY on it to ensure that those weapons and skills are NEVER USED IN ANY WAY against the State (as represented by the Parliament and the Constitution) or the people of the State for whose security it is entrusted to destabalise it, to conduct coup d’etat’s, or to use it against fellow soldiers (mutiny) or to put at risk or endanger the lives of the people of that State - the Millitary in a Parliamentary Democracy are the final guarantor of the rule of law and the stability of the State, which means that it is also its MOST ARDENT SERVANT.
it shows that:
(b) the officers have no conception of the Constitutional role of the millitary within the context of a Civilian democratic State - and thats a reflection on their training and their intellectual grounding. this is one of the things which distinguishes a professional standing army from other militia and organisations – a professional standing army is made up of officers who are cogniscant of their role within the State – and understand their role within those parameters – they have intellectual grounding which enables them to THINK on that conceptual level and to UNDERSTAND the various political and economic tensions which are at play within the State, to KNOW what their role is within that framework and MAINTAIN their discipline.
Fiji Army hollding guns on unarmed Fiji citizens
officers who have no conception of those fundamentals get drawn into the political arena because they have no control over their mind and their passions – no mental or self discipline – they are easily swayed into taking political positions and then easily drawn into taking active participation within the political framework by breaking that discipline - they are unable to contextualise their role within the broader framework of a democratic state – and thats why they cannot resist the urge to step into that arena – they become driven by their passions, not their cool professionalism and discipline - and that goes back to discipline and training – as an officer in a professional standing army, you must never be driven by your passions or your political views into entering the political arena as a player – your political views are your personal views, and whilst you are a member of the standing army of that State the whys and wherefores is not for you to decide – that is the role of Parliament – soldiers who want to engage in the politics should resign their commission and go and join a political party.these are basic fundamentals. Force structure, Force coherence, Force unity – all those things are strategic millitary concepts but they all come down to two things DISCIPLINE and the RESPECT FOR THE RULE OF LAW.
thats what distinguishes professional standing armies from the rest.
a professional and well trained and well grounded soldier understands and knows those boundries – and disciplines himself to maintain them.
tactical proficiencies in the profession of arms is just a part of that overall makeup of a professional standing army – any militia organisation can get tactical proficiency – but the difference between a professional standing army and a militia is that a Professional standing army is disciplined by a Chain of command and a command structure which comes down from a Parliament which is defined in a Constitution and over which there is a RULE OF LAW
once that discipline is broken down, you lose Force coherence – you will have internal bickering (e.g Driti and Roko Ului) and officers “falling out” – thats the sort of thing which does not happen in Professional standing army where there are rules and regulations governing conduct and where those rules are respected and where the officers have professional respect for eachother and understand their lawful duties in terms of the Chain of command – thats whats called FORCE MORALE. there is coherence in the structure which is founded on that discipline.
but really there’s no point discussing these things – at the end of the day this is an organisation which has cost this country very heavily in terms of development – it should have been an organisation which added value to the country (and it did in the past with the old guys) - but thats no longer the case today – and it can seen in whats now happening
the return from Lebanon is a case in point of how indiscipline has affected things – involvement in smuggling and blackmarketeering and improper associations with the local populace eventually led to the review of that deployment – and that all goes back to INDISCIPLINE.
now Ghanabatt runs that area of operations.
and i think its unfortunate – but is merely a reflection of the decline which has also led to the ongoing instability in this country and the coup d’etats and everything associated with that.
and that dynamic is being analysed and realised regionally and internationally – its no longer a professional standing army beholden to Parliament and the Constitution but a militia. in 1987 it was Rambo’s militia and today its Bainimarama’s militia – tommorow somebody else comes along and it becomes his militia – thats the cycle now playing out.
and which is why the gradual restrictions and sanctions on millitary hardware and equipment will invariably be increased
the same happened in the Solomons – there were sanctions and restrictions put in place to restrict the supply of arms and weapons to the Solomons Government – because the arms and ammunition of the State had been misused after the Police Force over there stopped following the lawful chain of command from Parliament and the Constitution and proceeded to use the State armoury to pursue its own political agenda – thats how the Solomons was eventually stabalised – they restricted access of arms to the State Security apparatus in the Solomons whilst they strengthened the Police structures and law ad order.
it took time, but eventually its led to a situation where the Security apparatus is no longer in a position to enact coup d’etat’s or putchses against the Parliament over there – and so now they can focus on socio economic and political development – and the results are showing – they are growing exponentially as an economy – and in turn that has had its own stabalising effect on their country – because the growth has created opportunities to spread out the wealth amongst the various communities over there – reducing the distortions and areas of societal conflict
nothing new – same dynamic.