By Robert A. Doughty
An exam of the army doctrine that lively the French security opposed to the German invasion in 1940.
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Extra resources for The seeds of disaster: The development of French army doctrine, 1919-1939
Just as I have argued that military factions will often engineer coups d’état to secure their dominance of the military institution in Latin American countries, I believe that these same factions will either support or oppose democratization of a military regime with a view toward their own advantage within the military institution rather than out of a basic ideological commitment for or against democracy. This is not to say that individual officers do not have sincere personal beliefs to which they are attached, but the examples I will draw illustrate a significant consistency in the composition of factions, regardless of the existence of a move toward democracy, and a willingness of factions to switch from one side to the other of the democratization issue depending upon the immediate benefits to be derived by their group (although individual members may, indeed, drop out as a result of such a shift).
Still they, and most of the other writers in this field, seem to assume that the positions taken by all political actors, and by the military in particular as the most significant of these actors, had their genesis in the decision to move toward democracy and relate only to that process. It is my view that, just as I argued in The Coup, the rivalry between military factions for dominance of the armed forces had much to do with the coup d’etat, which was often just an extension of that conflict.
Apart from the near universality of military rule in the region, what was most disturbing about these events was that the regimes that were created seemed to differ fundamentally from the military governments which had often enough sprung up throughout the hemisphere. 4 The policy of this type of military government would be relatively limited in scope to the exclusion of the objectionable candidate or political party and the rapid holding of new elections under rules that would ensure the election of an acceptable new civilian government.