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Title: THE ROLE OF MILITARY POWER IN ETHIOPIA’S NATIONAL SECURITY (1974-1991)
Authors: BEROUK, MESFIN
Advisors: Dr. Assefa Medhanie
Copyright: 2002
Date Added: 21-May-2008
Publisher: Addis Ababa University
Abstract: Among the most intriguing problems confronting students of international relations is the role of military power in the furtherance of a state’s national security. In fact, it is a subject with such wide ramifications that no claim to comprehensive treatment can be easily made. Nonetheless, this study attempts to hold a consistent view of the subject when taking up the Ethiopian case in the 1974-1991 period. The study begins by considering the concept of national security, which basically signifies the protection of a state’s vital interests from threats assessed by the regime in power, and that of military power, which is the capability of a state to employ its armed forces effectively in support of national security goals. The study also discusses and applies the realist approach to national security, which holds that national security is basically safeguarding a state’s core interests (such as territorial integrity and political independence) from threats emanating from outside its borders and are primarily political and military in nature. Furthermore, the approach calls for a focus on military power considered to be, in peacetime as in wartime, the most essential element of national strength and security. The study then presents the political dynamics of Ethiopia. The country was governed by an authoritarian and Marxist-Leninist leaning regime the policy-making responsibility of which was practically concentrated in the hands of one individual, namely Mengistu Haile Mariam. Plagued by political frictions and civil wars, the country grappled with numerous military and political threats, which were essentially ingrained in the Horn of Africa region. Against the backdrop of these threats, the post-1974 regime engaged in and maintained a high level of military spending,vigilance and capability. The study emphasizes that the net result was the creation of probably the largest and best equipped Armed Forces in Sub-Saharan Africa. The study also stresses that the regime guided the Armed Forces by a doctrine largely based on the Soviet model, centralized the High Command, conducted constant indoctrination and surveillance, and put its faith in the accumulation of weaponry which was mainly provided by the Soviet Union. The study finally notes that the Armed Forces were used in three ways. First and foremost, they were employed for defense of the country against external aggression, forcing Somalia to desist its invasion of the Ogaden in 1978. Secondly, the Armed Forces were used in a compellent role, as applied to Somalia in 1982 through cross-border air raids and infantry-armored excursions to force it to reverse its anti-Ethiopian activities. The third and last use of the Armed Forces was strategic intelligence, which was concerned with the gathering and analysis of information on the capabilities, vulnerabilities and probable courses of action of the states in the Horn of Africa, and also involved carrying out covert operations such as the substantial military aid imparted to friendly insurgent groups operating in Sudan and Somalia.
Description: A THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES OF ADDIS ABABA UNIVERSITY IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1158
Appears in:Thesis - International Relations

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