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Journal article

The Domestic Deployment of the Military in a Democratic South Africa: Time for a Debate


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AUC Library
Taylor & Francis Group
Africa | Southern Africa

The paper aims at providing a brief analysis on key realities underpinning the debate on the domestic deployment of the South African armed forces. The theoretical analysis highlights the divergent reality of shrinking budgets and capabilities, and a growing operational schedule confronting militaries in the contemporary era. This is exacerbated by a threat agenda that necessitates armed forces to downscale and police forces to upscale in order to address a threat reality that is neither predominantly external nor exclusively internal in nature. The South African military is fortunate to have access to a long history of domestic deployment that suggests key guidelines for future thinking about internal deployments. The revival of internal military deployment will confront the South African Defence Force (SANDF) with critical trade-offs in decisions about distribution of its resources, sustaining current internal and external deployments, command and control structures, facilities, and key personnel and equipment deficiencies. Routine participation in internal operations, in effect, implies a re-invention of defence policy and SANDF strategies for force development, force deployment, and force employment.


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