Military Dictatorships and The Dirty Wars
National Security Doctrine
In Latin America, basic ideology of military regimes of late 60s, 70s, early 80s
Most important theoretical work done in Brazilian military colleges
Focused on internal threat of subversion and class warfare
Concerned about link between economic development and internal and external security
II. Latin American militaries would prepare for Total War
Basic premises of the idea of Total War
Enormous power of nuclear weapons shifts struggle to new battlefields
Now conflict between superpowers moves to the periphery
USA and USSR will not fight each other directly
Traditional war is between states, external, but total war can be within populations
Ideological frontiers supersede territorial warfare; battle lines are now ideological, not territorial
Latin American military leaders feared that the USSR would use revolutionary war as path to imperial destiny in Third World
Latin America seen as the front line in this new war
USSR believed to be ready to use political, economic, psyhcosocial and military means to achieve goal
Thus Latin American militaries felt justified in widespread use of repression
Rigorous enforcement of internal security becomes the moral equivalent of fighting occupying army.
Any active opposition viewed by military as effort by USSR to achieve goals
Thus internal security becomes as important as external security
Internal, revolutionary war does not have to armed
Any challenge to state policies can be, indeed is an act of war.
Fighting the War
Only the military is organized to combat subversion
Subversion now seen as global - internal and external - and a global strategy was needed to combat it
National security takes precedence over individual rights
It is enough that individual rights be used to denigrate established values for them to be abridged.
III. Suicide of the West
Idea developed by James Burnham (1905-1987) - National Review editor
His ideas influential in development of National Security Doctrine
Saw Western Civilization as being in peril
Cold War struggle is not about defending capitalism or democracy
It is to defend Western Civilization against Eastern-Orthodox-Byzantine Communism
West is a society derived from split from East. Half-Asian Russia never belonged.
West in contraction - loss of colonies, Communism in Cuba and China, etc.
Burnham saw this as a self-inflicted peril
Ultimate risk to West is freedom to destroy freedom.
Unrestricted democracy is Western suicide
West leads USSR in all areas, so contraction could only have an intellectual or spiritual explanation
In face of nuclear holocaust, West had lost its nerve
Pre-Renaissance Catholicism much stronger than modern liberalism
Renaissance had introduced humanism, Reformation shattered absolute, single moral authority
This led to materialist atheism of desacralizing modern liberalism, leaving West morally weak
West unable to kill without spasms of guilt
West feels guilt over suffering on non-Western peoples, guilt made unbearable by humanism
Christianity solves the problem of guilt
IV. Role of Development
Militaries believed that there could be no internal security without high degree of economic development
Must have means to fight - industry, communications, technology, etc.
Development defined by defense concerns, not population's material needs
Military governments embark on creation of vast military-industrial complex
Form alliances with technocrats
Workers, of course, had to be kept controlled, and labor organizers become enemies of the state.