The Index measures the relative efficiency of civil-military relations. Efficiency is defined as the ability of civilian and military actors to negotiate, formulate, and coordinate policies in the sphere of national defense, in ways that further effective governance of the defense sector, reinforce state core competences, and enhance nation building.
The Index includes five domains, each comprising a set of main questions and indicators. Rationales for each domain and main question clarify their relevance in measuring the efficiency of civil-military relations. The index is designed in question format, allowing respondents to answer each indicator on a scale.
Efficient relations between military and civilian authorities are stable and predictable, governed by constitutional provisions and laws, and managed through clear institutional mechanisms, as with other state agencies. Civil-military relations are less efficient when the military becomes an independent actor in the political system, or when governmental or nongovernmental actors instrumentalize the military as a political asset. Modern military forces enjoy a degree of autonomy within their professional remit, so long as they operate within the policy framework set by duly established governing authorities and under the oversight of competent civilian agencies.
Q1. Who has the power to assign missions to the armed forces and order their operational deployment?
Efficient civil-military relations suggest well-defined roles for assigning tasks to national armed forces, while dissuading them from rejecting government authority and taking power. These roles are likely to combine formal and informal elements in ways that are efficient so long as civilian and military roles are clear. The civil-military relationship should function in a way similar to that between the government and all other state agencies.
- Do the constitution or relevant laws offer clear and effective provisions to govern the powers and responsibilities of civilian authorities and the armed forces?
- No formal provisions.
- High level of informality or discretionary interpretation.
- More clear and effective than not.
- Very clear and effective provisions.
- Does the military have formal supra-constitutional powers that exempt it from any civilian oversight or award it the right to over-ride civilian authorities in any domain?
- The military has extensive formal supra-constitutional powers.
- The military exercises de facto supra-constitutional powers.
- The military does not have supra-constitutional powers but enjoys a special status due to being fused with the political leadership.
- No, the military is fully subordinate to constitutional civilian authorities.
- Does a national security council or similar body comprising the country’s top civilian and military officials play a meaningful role in determining defense policy, development, or budgets?
- No such body exists.
- A body exists but plays a minimal role to no role.
- A body exists but plays a limited role.
- A body exists that plays a meaningful role.
- Do informal processes and consultations tend to reinforce or undermine the civil-military relationship, and to facilitate or impede beneficial defense outcomes?
- Informal processes are overwhelmingly inimical to healthy civil-military relations, and to beneficial defense outcomes.
- Informal consultations often undermine healthy civil-military relations and impede beneficial outcomes.
- Informal consultations often reinforce healthy civil-military relations and facilitate beneficial outcomes.
- Informal processes and consultations are predominantly helpful and complement formal ones.
- How likely is the military to submit to the authority of a civilian defense minister?
- Very unlikely: the military rejects the authority of a civilian minister.
- Somewhat unlikely: considerable resistance.
- Somewhat likely: general submission, with some resistance.
- Very likely: submission is the norm.
- How much effective control does the minister of defense actually have over the military in non-combat matters such as planning, procurement, budgeting, and recruitment policies?
- The Minister of Defense has no control.
- The Minister of Defense has minimal control.
- The Minister of Defense has moderate control.
- The Minister of Defense has extensive control.
- Does the military conform generally to the same laws, rules, and regulations as the public sector governing personnel, procurement, compliance and review, and so on?
- No, the military is not regulated by the same laws, rules, and regulations as the public sector.
- The same laws, rules, and regulations apply only in a few areas or to a limited extent.
- The same laws, rules, and regulations apply in many but not all areas or to a greater extent.
- The military conforms to rules and regulations of the public sector.
- Is public discussion of defense affairs allowed?
- Formal prohibition.
- Active discouragement and de facto prohibition.
- Some de facto restrictions.
- Full freedom (outside of classified information).
- Do parallel state-sponsored armed forces exist outside the normal chain of civilian and military command, and/or lack a clear legal framework?
- Parallel state-sponsored armed forces both exist outside the normal chain of civilian and military command, and lack legal frameworks.
- Parallel state-sponsored armed forces exist outside the normal chain of civilian and military command, albeit with a clear legal framework.
- Parallel state-sponsored armed forces exist within the normal chain of civilian and military command, and with a clear legal framework.
- No parallel state-sponsored armed forces exist.
Q2. What role do the armed forces play in the organization and conduct of political power?
Civil-military relations are unlikely to be efficient when control over the military is regarded as an avenue to power and it becomes a site of political contestation. The military’s own position and role in domestic politics is of equally critical importance.
- Does the military have either a formal or informal role in maintaining the political regime, as distinct from protecting the constitutional order?
- The military formally protects and maintains the political regime.
- The military informally protects and maintains the political regime.
- The military has no role in maintaining the political regime but mostly obeys orders.
- The military actively maintains its political neutrality.
- To what extent are top military appointments shaped by political factors rather than professional competence?
- To a great extent: appointments depend heavily on political factors such as personal, partisan, or communal loyalties.
- To some extent: there is a trade-off between professional requirements and politics, where politics comes first.
- To a limited extent: politics play a role, but professional requirements are met.
- To no extent: appointments are shaped by professional competence, and politics play no or a minimal role.
- Is the officer corps factionalized along political, personal, and/or communal lines in response to, or in alliance with, civilian actors?
- The officer corps is heavily factionalized, with strong adverse effects on military corporate identity and loyalty, professionalism, command and control, and cohesion of the armed forces.
- Factionalization affects military professionalism and performance, perceptions of fairness/unfairness in promotions and appointments, and morale, but does not undermine the overall loyalty, command and control, and cohesion of the armed forces.
- Officers are aware of and affected by political or communal factors, but prioritize their corporate identity and professionalism and maintain loyalty, command and control, and cohesion of the armed forces.
- The officer corps is not factionalized.
- Does the minister of defense tend usually to represent the government’s will to the military, or the reverse?
- The minister represents the armed forces, and is routinely an officer.
- Whether an officer or a civilian, the minister represents the military more often than the other way round.
- Whether an officer or a civilian, the minister represents the government to the military more often than the other way round.
- The minister represents the government’s will.
- To what extent do retired military personnel play a role in political life or in government?
- They are both prominent and exert disproportionate influence in the sphere in which they are involved.
- They are present and exert noticeable influence in certain spheres.
- They are present but do not exert disproportionate influence in public affairs.
- They have a minimal presence and influence in public affairs.
- Does the military override civilian authorities on non-defense issues, whether on a de jure or de facto basis?
- The military claims the right to a say and may exercises veto power on non-defense issues.
- The military goes beyond offering advice on certain non-defense issues to exerting pressure in favor of its preferences.
- The military is officially consulted on certain non-defense issues but has no veto power.
- The military is rarely, if ever, consulted on non-defense issues.
- Are military personnel allowed to exercise the same civil and political rights as other citizens under the constitution or existing laws?
- Military personnel do not have the same level of civil and political rights as other citizens.
- Military personnel enjoy some of the same civil rights, but not political rights (e.g., voting).
- Military personnel enjoy many of the same civil rights and limited political rights.
- Military personnel generally enjoy the same level of civil and political rights as other citizens.
- Do foreign governments wield political influence within the military or any of its branches or units?
- Foreign governments maintain direct relations with certain branches of service or units of the armed forces and influence their operational deployment independently of their national governments and military chain of command.
- Foreign governments have discreet political influence within the armed forces, independently of their national governments.
- Foreign governments have indirect political influence within the armed forces, in line with the general orientation of their national governments.
- Foreign governments have no direct or independent political influence within the armed forces.
Q3. How significant a role do the armed forces play in the maintenance of public order?
The armed forces may have a formal secondary mission of maintaining public order in exceptional circumstances. This should be regulated by clear legal authorities and rules of engagement in order to ensure efficient civil-military relations. Normally it should also be limited in scope and duration so as to avoid degrading combat readiness, orientation, and morale.
- How significant is the public order role undertaken by the military?
- Very significant: The military routinely undertakes a major public order role as part of regime maintenance functions.
- The military undertakes public order roles as an extension of domestic political rivalries or as an assertion of its influence in the civilian domain.
- The military undertakes a major public order role to compensate for failings of the government or political system, but does not expand beyond this into other domains.
- Low significance: The military undertakes a major public order role only in exceptional circumstances.
- How routinely does the military undertake public order missions normally assigned to the police, intelligence, and related civilian agencies?
- Very routinely.
- Somewhat routinely.
- Somewhat rarely.
- Very rarely.
- How effectively does the military coordinate with and support the civilian agencies normally engaged in maintaining public order?
- Not effective: The military either does not coordinate with civilian agencies or there is excessive duplication of effort and competition between them.
- Limited effectiveness: coordination occurs but is often informal or haphazard and ad hoc.
- Somewhat effective: formal mechanisms exist, but coordination is not routine or comprehensive, resulting in avoidable errors and failures.
- Highly effective: formal coordination mechanisms contribute to a disciplined and well-planned approach.
- Are there clear and separate roles and areas of jurisdiction for military and police/internal security forces in maintaining public order?
- Serious lack of clarity: Roles and spheres of influence are arbitrary and changeable, resulting in considerable problems (overlap and duplication of effort, inefficiency and friction, operational failures).
- Roles distinct, but serious problems in implementation.
- Largely clear and distinct roles, but with continuing separation challenges and under-performance.
- Very clear and distinct roles, resulting in effective performance.
- Is military involvement in public order maintenance sufficiently regulated by suitable codes of conduct, rules of engagement, and enforceable accountability mechanisms?
- Not regulated or enforced by any specific instruments.
- Limited regulation: Codes of conduct, rules of engagement, and accountability mechanisms are generally lacking or may exist in part but are not enforced.
- Somewhat regulated: Codes of conduct, rules of engagement, and accountability mechanisms exist but enforcement is inconsistent.
- Sufficiently regulated and enforced.
- Does the military’s public order role have negative effects on its primary national defense mission?
- Highly negative impact: The military diverts resources, strategies, and personnel to meet public order needs in a way that undermines its defense role.
- Somewhat negative impact: The military prioritizes public order needs, but still meets defense needs.
- Limited negative impact: The military diverts some of its capacities to public order needs, but can still meet defense needs effectively.
- No negative impact: The military meets public order needs without noticeable impact on its defense role.
- Are the constitutional or legal circumstances and powers for assigning public order missions to the military and the guidelines governing its implementation of these missions clear and enforceable?
- Powers and guidelines governing the assignment public order missions to the military and its implementation are unclear, ineffective, or disregarded with impunity.
- Formal guidelines governing public order missions are relatively clear but relevant civilian authorities (including the judiciary) or independent actors are unable monitor or enforce these effectively; in practice the military is autonomous.
- Formal guidelines governing public order missions are largely observed by the military, while monitoring and enforcement by relevant civilian authorities (including the judiciary) or independent actors is possible but inconsistent.
- Very clear and enforceable: The relevant civilian authorities exercise their responsibilities and powers and the military observe all guidelines.