Croatian International Relations Review

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Jack Petri

The paper discusses civilian control of the military. The aims of such control include disabling competition between armed forces and democratically elected government. Civilian control of the military is characterised by a degree of disharmony and tension, in even the best of circumstances, in democratic nations. Democratic control of the armed forces provides legitimacy to the military, and when it works well, credibility. At the highest level of the democratic control of the armed forces should be parliaments with their oversight responsibility. Understanding of what it is that civilians are to control, what should the results of this control look like, who are these civilians, what are the different levels and groups involved in civilian control of the military and the details of the roles of the different civilians in the civil governmental and non-governmental institutions are the starting points in the process of establishing democratic control of the armed forces.