THEORETICAL APPROACHES IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: THE SOUTH AFRICAN MILITARY AS A FOREIGN POLICY INSTRUMENT
2014 South African Defence Review
South African National Defence Force
Department of Defence
South African military
Defence Review Committee
South Africa’s defence policy
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AbstractThe utility of theoretical approaches in international relations can be found in the fact that such approaches provide ‘lenses’ that can be applied to enhance our understanding of the social dynamics of the world we live in. Theoretical approaches are also instrumental in shaping perceptions of what matters in international politics as a social activity. At least indirectly, such approaches inform the choices made by decision-makers on foreign policy and related defence planning. The aim of this article is to revisit those theoretical approaches in international relations that underlie security studies, and to evaluate the relevance of the approaches with regard to a scholarly understanding of militaries and specifically their roles and functions in a foreign policy context. The latter pertains to militaries in general but also to the South African military in particular regarding its role and function as a foreign policy instrument of the South African government.
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Prevention of theft of official vehicles of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in the Gauteng ProvinceMontesh, Moses; Mathebula, Esewu Mxolisi (2014-09-29)The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was formed in 1994 after the
integration of different “defence forces” into one large force. The sole existence of the
SANDF is to protect the borders of the Republic of South Africa and its inhabitants.
Resources such as vehicles make it easier for the SANDF to conduct mobile patrols
and other operations to ensure that the organisation is always combat-ready.
Motor vehicle theft is a crime that affects both individual citizens and organisations in
South Africa; the SANDF is not immune to the crime. Many SANDF motor vehicles are
stolen almost every day, and in most cases, these vehicles are taken without a trace.
While there are security measures in place aimed at preventing theft of SANDF
vehicles but these methods have proven futile.
A literature review formed the basis of the study. Once the main theory and ideologies
were identified, unstructured interviews were undertaken to gather information from
various stakeholders. Observations were also conducted to determine behavioural
patterns within military bases/units with regard to the parking of SANDF vehicles, even
when the vehicles were parked in urban settings. Essentially, there is a problem
regarding the security of SANDF vehicles and also the security within military bases /
units. This study indicated that the SANDF loses vast amounts of money due to motor
vehicle theft in Gauteng Province. The findings also revealed that the current vehicle
security measures are outdated, ineffective and inadequate in preventing SANDF
vehicles from being stolen.
The recommendations are that the SANDF must invest more of its budget on vehicle
security, rather than continuing with fruitless and monetary expenditure by conducting
Board of Inquiries (BOI) or lengthy investigations in an attempt to relocate stolen
vehicles or to determine how a particular vehicle was stolen. The SANDF requires a
comprehensive system that should prevent the theft of its vehicles, as well as curbing
the misuse of vehicles which ultimately renders SANDF vehicles as easy targets.
Negotiating historical continuities in contested terrain : a narrative-based reflection on the post-apartheid psychosocial legacies of conscription into the South African Defence ForceEdlmann, Tessa Margaret (Rhodes UniversityFaculty of Humanities, History, 2015)For a 25-year period during the apartheid era in South Africa, all school-leaving white men were issued with a compulsory call-up to national military service in the South African Defence Force. It is estimated that 600 000 men were conscripted between 1968 and 1993, undergoing military training and being deployed in Namibia, Angola and South Africa. The purpose of this system of military conscription was to support both the apartheid state’s role in the “Border War” in Namibia and Angola and the suppression of anti-apartheid resistance within South Africa. It formed part of the National Party’s strategy of a “total response” to what it perceived as the “total onslaught” of communism and African nationalism. While recruiting and training young white men was the focus of the apartheid government’s strategy, all of white South African society was caught up in supporting, contesting, avoiding and resisting this system in one way or another. Rather than being a purely military endeavour, conscription into the SADF therefore comprised a social and political system with wide-ranging ramifications. The 1994 democratic elections in South Africa heralded the advent of a very different political, social and economic system to what had gone before. The focus of this research is SADF conscripts’ narrations of identity in the contested narrative terrain of post-apartheid South Africa. The thesis begins with a contextual framing of the historical, social and political systems of which conscription was a part. Drawing on narrative psychology as a theoretical framework, the thesis explores discursive resources of whiteness, masculinities and perceptions of threat in conscripts’ narrations of identity, the construction of memory fields in narrating memories of war and possible trauma, and the notions of moral injury and moral repair in dealing with legacies of war. Using a narrative discursive approach, the thesis then reflects on historical temporal threads, and narrative patterns that emerge when analysing a range of texts about the psychosocial legacies of conscription, including interviews, research, memoirs, plays, media reports, video documentaries, blogs and photographic exhibitions. Throughout the thesis, conscripts’ and others’ accounts of conscription and its legacies are regarded as cultural texts. This serves as a means to highlight both contextual narrative negotiations and the narrative-discursive patterns of conscripts’ personal accounts of their identities in the post-apartheid narrative terrain. The original contribution of this research is the development of conceptual and theoretical framings of the post-apartheid legacies of conscription. Key to this has been the use of narrative-based approaches to highlight the narrative-discursive patterns, memory fields and negotiations of narrative terrains at work in texts that focus on various aspects of conscription and its ongoing aftereffects. The concept of temporal threads has been developed to account for the emergence and shifts in these patterns over time. Existing narrative-discursive theory has formed the basis for conscripts’ negotiations of identity being identified as acts of narrative reinforcement and narrative repair. The thesis concludes with reflections on the future possibilities for articulating and supporting narrative repair that enables a shift away from historical discursive laagers and a reconfiguration of the narrative terrain within which conscripts narrate their identities.
Negotiating historical continuities in contested terrain : a narrative-based reflection on the post-apartheid psychosocial legacies of conscription into the South African Defence ForceBaines, Gary F., 1955-; Wilbraham, Lindy; Edlmann, Tessa Margaret (Rhodes UniversityFaculty of Humanities, History, 2015)Also known as: Edlmann, Theresa