The Doctrine of Civilian Control<sup>1</sup>

A.G. Noorani


Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195678291
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080588 | DOI:
The Doctrine of Civilian Control1

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There is a unanimous agreement that the principle of civilian control takes precedence over the armed forces. However, its implications are not well understood by politicians and bureaucrats. This is evident in the 1971 war between India and Pakistan. Eight years earlier, Menon asked whether the soldiers can decide when to begin fighting. His desire to suborn a demoralised army into blind compliance had tragic consequences. The issue of civilian control was addressed in a report of the Study Team on Defence Matters established by the Administrative Reforms Commission on 15 November 1966 under the chairmanship of Ali Yavar Jung. The true meaning of 'civilian control': accountability under the law to the government and Parliament, and accountability to the law enacted by Parliament.

Keywords: civilian control; armed forces; India; Pakistan; Menon; Administrative Reforms Commission; accountability; Parliament

Chapter.  3761 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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