The Dilemma Relating to the Modernisation of the SANDF and Its External Role: From Defence Review 1989 to Defence Review 2015
This chapter will revisit some of the main arguments presented (in the South African context) since the late 1990s in relation to the regional security demands placed on the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on the one hand, and the configuration of the force design imposed on the SANDF on the other. These issues are of great relevance to the South African Department of Defence’s (recent) official pronouncements and related defence thinking on the current and future external role of the SANDF, specifically with regard to peace missions and post-conflict reconstruction and development. In view of the above, this chapter will examine the dynamics of recent years—philosophical and practical—that gave rise to the policy “move” or “shift” from the 1998 defence review to the 2015 defence review. From this point of departure, this chapter will argue that the Department of Defence has now gained a clearer idea or perspective of what the future external role(s) of the SANDF should be. This chapter will further argue that there is a need for increased spending on the military in terms of the need to have a military that is appropriately equipped, resourced and multi-role trained, and in order to execute successful external operations across the spectrum of potential conflict. However, politicians, taxpayers and the public at large will have to be convinced of the need for increased spending on the SANDF. In this regard, it will finally be argued that the need for more spending on the SANDF poses a major challenge to defence functionaries—specifically given the current problem of low economic growth and dire socioeconomic needs in the South African context.
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