Home » Uncategorized » NO NEED FOR ARMED MILITARY FORCE ….. A contributors view

NO NEED FOR ARMED MILITARY FORCE ….. A contributors view

NO NEED FOR ARMED MILITARY FORCE

I just find it hard to believe why the electorate of Fiji, politicians and their political parties do not have any desire to abolish the Fiji Military Force in totality. There is no talk about it , there is no discussion about it , there is nothing in the party manifestos, there is no  propaganda against it , there is no mention of it in the media- not a hint any where in the thin air about abolishing the FMF altogether.

Fiji does not need a military force to secure its oceanic borders, to keep internal peace and to patrol its beautiful coast lines and territorial waters. There is no threat from neighboring countries like Australia or New Zealand. They have their own problems to resolve and are not in any dire need of additional real estate. The surroundings islands such as Tonga, Samoa and many other islands such as Nauru etc., does not have intentions to expand its territory and powers. They have neither the economy nor the political or the military might to do anything else apart from feeding, clothing and housing their own people.

The newly elected Fiji government that hopefully will be sworn in September 2014 can save millions of dollars in diverting the FMF budget towards upgrading the infra structure and investing in new industries, creating more employment , spending more money on education , roads, housing etc.,

If one looks at a country like Mauritius, a country that is always compared with Fiji ; one will find it has no armed forces. I was amazed to learn that Mauritius has not had a standing army since 1968. All military, police and security functions are carried out by thousands of active duty police personnel under the command of commissioner of police. These police officers are responsible for internal law enforcement, national coast guard and other special paramilitary type of operations. Similarly, there are about twenty other countries all over the world that does not have “armed forces”. Some countries with neighbors like Costa Rica, Panama and even Iceland does not have a standing  armed forces.

Granted some of these countries have some sort of defense agreement with some large allies like USA , France and Russia for training their personnel and supplying weapons and military equipment. Nevertheless, the fact remains that they do not have armed force to brag about. Hence, the question is- why can’t Fiji do the same ? Perhaps fiji can get some assistance in training its SWAT teams from countries like USA , India and Great Britain. Australia and New Zealand should be the first choice for providing training and equipments but  if they are reluctant then one has to look for help from other friendly countries.

I do understand that the Constitution does provide it its articles for “armed forces” but eventually as we get accustomed to this idea of abolishment of the military; we can amend the Constitution getting rid of those provisions dealing with armed forces .

Here are ten arguments in favor of abolishing the armed forces. I am sure there are many  more reasons.

 

  1. Save millions of dollars in recruiting, keeping, training and maintaining an armed force
  2. The expanded Police Force will have members of all races and will be attractive source of employment for youngsters. It will be civil service position with all its perks.
  3. The possibility of having another coup will be almost non- existent.
  4. The Judiciary process will get involved if there is abuse of process, powers and procedures.
  5. Political stability of the country will be greatly enhanced
  6. Fiji will have a highly trained SWAT team to deal with  drugs and other vices
  7. Cross trained personnel who can do other civil service jobs whenever required.
  8. Young  police officers will be given incentive by being offered free tertiary education once they have served minimum of five years in police force
  9. Army barracks and buildings can be used for other public services like temporarily housing the elderly and homeless
  10. A large police force will eventually lead to more physically fit and highly civil minded young people in the community.

I do know that there are dozens of strong arguments that can be made against the abolition of armed forces. Nonetheless, I think there will be few arguments that can dispute my ten points mentioned above. I must confess that getting rid of the army is one issue that comes to my mind not every time when there is a coup in Fiji but every time, I see an army vehicle on the road just cruising around aimlessly loaded with passengers in army uniforms. What a waste of time and money under pretense of national security.

I do know that United Nation employs a number of Fiji military personnel every year. Fiji is paid generously by United Nations for these brave soldiers. However, it ought to be kept in mind that modern peace keeping operations and state of art weapons do not require too many boots on the ground.  In time to come, United Nations will need less number of soldiers to keep peace.

The geographical location of Fiji proffers it in such a secured, safe and ideal position that invasion from outside powers should be the least of its worries. If and when Fiji can afford it, just one small THADD radar system will protect the entire Fiji Islands from any outside perceived or real danger of invasion by a foreign country.

This is one major issue that any political party can have on top of its agenda and will garner thousands of votes. This article is meant as a food for thought to improve our country and some fuel to fire up voters.

Sachin Anand Balram

 

 

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10 thoughts on “NO NEED FOR ARMED MILITARY FORCE ….. A contributors view

  1. I agree fully with the author of this article. FIji does NOT indeed REQUIRE An ARMED MILITARY FORCE.
    And Fiji will indeed become a “better Fiji” when it NO LONGER Has AN Armed MILITARY FOrce.
    The sooner Fiji is able to get rid of its Armed Military Force which has been behaving in a thuggish manner towards the very people it was originally put together to protect the better it will be for Fiji.
    This issue should be at the centre of public debate in light of our recent adverse experience of the Armed Fijian Military Force.

  2. the easiest way to become a the PM in Fiji is to first become the commander of the RFMF! in fact you don’t have to be the commander. SR wasn’t commander but still ended up being PM. LQ became one through RFMF, FB became one and the next one will be Mosese T.So what is the point in having elections? just strive for becoming commander of RFMF and do a coup, become PM, throw the constitution, make a new constitution, make a new party call election. we have seen this three times so another coup will not surprise us all.

  3. and the international community will eventually endorse the coup leader after making some impotent noise about breach of democratic principles of constitutional governance and all that. joejoe you too right. we have been through this now familiar rigmarole.

  4. I totally agree that we should abolish Fiji’s military force, as, on balance our military force is not justified on recent political upheavals, economic and financial arguments.

    We are free from external threats and a beefed up Police Force will be very capable of handling law and order and para-military duties to maintain peace and order. Indians and other races are more confortable working in Police rather than Military…ie more chances of a more multiracial organisation.

    I had been arguing for a long time for the abolishment of the military.

    Political Parties must seriously consider this very important aspect of our country’s future.

  5. The Fijian military establishment has long gone past its use by date. The first coup was clear enough sign that the army was not a force for combat outside, but a tool for involvement within! To stray away from its constitutional duty and wage into politics was the biggest mistake ever that has never been reversed. The Fiji military has deviated so far away from its institutional role that it has now assumed for itself a role that was never designed for it – to be the guardian of Fiji’s democracy and to protect a constitution that gives immunity to treasonous criminals! Its not only a joke but a sad regression that reflects very very poorly on the army and its entire personnel. We all know that ultimate power in democracy lies with the people. They take governments out through the ballot box. That’s where the ax of democratic accountability falls. But for Fiji that power of throwing government out has been transferred from the people to the army (as provided for in the Bainikaiyum constitution) and it is not within the norm of democratic governance. It makes this whole engineered election a flawed endeavor because citizens merely vote in a government that the military can change or ultimately remove! The question that should be asked about this election charade is whether the military will accept a government voted in by the people to bring those responsible for the 2006 coup and those responsible for death of civilians and ransacking of the public purse to justice? The Fijian military has lost its way too badly that it has strayed from being a force for national security to a force for human rights abuse, a force for robbery and a force for protecting criminals!

  6. We used to have a small cadre of regular force of 300 personnel pre UNIFIL but 4 battalions of TFs (Territorial Force) of more than a thousand personnel on part time. Expeniditure then was affordable and internal security was its main role. This can be expanded due to the UN/MFO engagements but thru the TF/Reserves. A gradual demob exercise needs to be a policy now. All demob pers are entitle to 1fork, spade, toqou, cane knife seedlings for dalo and yaqona.

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