SOUTH AFRICA’S STRATEGIC ARMS PACKAGE: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS

  • Justin Sylvester
  • Annette Seegers

Abstract

The South African government’s Strategic Arms Package (SAP), has beenthe largest public controversy of the post-Apartheid era. We synthesise the debatesabout two dimensions of the SAP, military necessity and affordability, in order toget a better understanding of civil-military relations in democratic South Africa. Oursynthesis shows that the economic enthusiasm about the SAP is both naïve and anopportunity for government and dominant business and industry to wed theirinterests in a way that is not that different from the Apartheid era. In military terms,the SAP has equipped the South African Air Force (SAAF) and South African Navy(SAN) for the most improbable of primary missions. The equipment is also not veryrelevant to secondary missions. The way that the SAP decisions were reachedsuggests that civil-military relations are marked by the continuing impact of pastcompromises, corruption and the centralisation of power in the executive branch.
Published
2011-08-08
How to Cite
Sylvester, J., & Seegers, A. (2011). SOUTH AFRICA’S STRATEGIC ARMS PACKAGE: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS. Scientia Militaria - South African Journal of Military Studies, 36(1). https://doi.org/10.5787/36-1-45
Section
Articles