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Is Military a Central Pillar of the State? 

Brig Narender writes, whenever the President of the United States makes “State of the Union Address” far right corner front two rows (as seen from the podium) are reserved for military commanders. The US knows that if it is strong and a global power, it is because of its military prowess. If it is able to implement a world order that ensures supremacy, dominance and protection of vital national interests the US, it is certainly a strong military.

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State of the Union Address by the US President

 

It has been a tradition that whenever the President of the United States makes “State of the Union Address” far right corner front two rows (as seen from the podium) are reserved for military commanders. It is part of a tradition, but what it signifies is something that needs to be taken note of. Had it been in Pakistan or North Korea, one may have viewed it as military dominance over civilian government. But to showcase such a tradition by one of the oldest democratic nations needs to be understood in correct perspective. Does it in any way supersede symbolically primacy of civil government over the military ? Does it violates protocol or hierarchy of civilian political leadership over military?  It does not do either.

The reason is that military is the last bastion and the central pillar of a nation that has the mandate to secure the nation from the internal and external threats. While discussing with a serving army officer, who has years of experience in combating counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism service along the LOC/LAC, said, “the nation that does not respect and accord importance to its military, can never dream of becoming a regional or global power. Rather such a nation will continue to bleed because of the neglect and decaying military power”.

The US knows that if it is strong and a global power, it is because of its military prowess. If it is able to implement a world order that ensures supremacy, dominance and protection of vital national interests of the US, it is certainly a strong military. Chanakya had said, “To have a state you need a strong army. If you have week army the frontiers will be torn apart by the enemy that are always hovering around the periphery of the states. But it is strong military that can drive away the enemy and keep the state safe and secure”. The neglect of military is a sign of meek surrender to the adversary in an environment where projection of hard and soft power has become necessary to secure vital national interests.

When the President of the US addresses the State of the Union, he in fact addresses the world. The presence of the military commanders in the front rows ahead of many senators and secretaries is a signal to the global community that no matter how difficult it is, but the US and its interests will be guarded by these uniformed men who are entrusted with the honour, dignity and safety of the nation. These are some of the characteristics that make the US strong and great democracy.

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7 thoughts on “Is Military a Central Pillar of the State? 

  1. Col Manjeet Singh Samra says:

    Very timely and meaningful article. Hope our country and political class realise the ground realities and give the place to the defence forces they deserve .

    Reply
  2. Brigadier V Mahalingam says:

    A very well articulated article which brings out the role of Army in a democracy. Unlike in India where reserving the front two rows for the all important speech of the President of the USA, for the military would have raised hue & cry the US & it’s people understand the relevance of the military. This is what makes the country great which cherishes its values.

    Reply
  3. Sanjay bajpai says:

    A very relevant article for the blind politicians and beaurocrats of India. The parallels from european countries & US may be very relevant as in those countries the governance is centered towards welfare upliftment and interests of the land whereas here it is just reverse. Hope the dead conscience revives with CPR at least

    Reply
  4. N S Bawa says:

    Very appropriately articulated. Hope people who are at the helm understand this vital aspect of national security.

    Reply
  5. Amitabha says:

    US is great because they care and nurture Armed Forces.

    Indian Politicians and bureaucrats lack the vision and are jealous of Indian Defence Forces.

    We need to recognise the contribution by Defence Forces in peace and war.

    Reply
  6. aar says:

    Valid point raised in the article. However, there is also a need for military leaders to think from larger perspective on larger issues

    Reply
  7. NIHAR KUANR says:

    This is a subject which needs to be deliberated upon. The paramount importance of a Nation’s military in nation building has been very aptly brought out in the blog.

    A perceptive study of history of the formation, rise, fall, sustainance and survival of erstwhile empires and majority of the Nations unmistakably and decisively tells that Military always used to be and still is the central pillar of Nation-states. Military is the last bastion to preserve the core interests to include sovereignty of almost all States. The combative id, just like the gregarious instinct, is always a prerequisite for survival and evolution of homosapiens and the same also extrapolates to a Nation state. When a State achieves a state of non-war, it is largely due to its Military, but paradoxically, such intermittent peace (peace is but a interlude¡) lulls a nation to complacency and hence the debate about the necessity and role of warriors.

    History is also witness to the fact that, the potency and might of a military force is largely incumbent on the morale, motivation and spirit of the warriors. The honour, love and respect of fellow countrymen inspire the warriors to attend to the higher callings and always remain prepared for the Supreme sacrifice. When the people, the bureaucracy, and the Govt start questioning the rightful place of highest pedestal to the soldiers and start being jealous of its warriors and work to undermine the sacred institution of soldiering, and play with the sentiments of the soldiers, it plays havoc with the morale of its warriors and thus undermines the potential of military.

    Bhagwad Gita puts the stamp of highest distinction to the warriors amongst all. Warriors always deserves highest accolade so that they achieve excellence in everything they do. It is the bounden duty of every citizen of a country to provide conditions for enabling its soldiers to perform in the most optimal manner in everything they set about to do. It must be realized that, soldiering is not just a profession, but a calling, and if at all considered a profession, than it is the acme of professions deserving the highest pedestal. The Govt, the bureaucracy, the people in the business of governance and the citizens of a Nation must display warrior spirit in ensuring that the soldiers are loved, respected and accorded their rightful place in the scheme of things of nation-building.

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