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Last Updated: Dec 15, 2014 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

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Research Papers

Selth, Andrew. Burma's Armed Forces Under Civilian Rule: A Return to the Past? Working Paper Number 2/01. Washington: Technical Advisory Network of Burma, The Burma Fund, 2001.

Summary: "Neither the National League for Democracy, nor the Burmese democratic movement as a whole, have yet announced any detailed policies on de- fense issues. Yet it is clear that their vision for the country's armed forces, derived largely from the writings of independence hero Aung San, is differ- ent in several key respects from that of the current regime. Should a de- mocratically elected civilian government of some kind come to power in Rangoon, there is not likely to be many immediate or dramatic changes in the armed forces. Over time, however, a democratic government will need to consider major adjustments to the size of the Tatmadaw, its share of the national budget, the role of the military intelligence apparatus and the way in which the armed forces were employed as an institution of the state. "


Summary: "This paper explores the development of civil–military relations in Myanmar since 1988. ...This paper examines the background to this sudden political change in Myanmar, focusing on the relationship between its dictator, the military and the state. This paper’s main argument is that Than Shwe has carefully prepared the transition of 2011 as a generational change in the Tatmadaw and in state leadership. The argument is also made that the challenges created by Thein Sein can be understood as a result of his redefinition of national security and balancing of security-centralism with state-led developmentalism."

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