THE ROLE OF MILITARY PSYCHOLOGY IN PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS: THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE AS AN EXAMPLE

  • G.A.J. Van Dyk

Abstract

This article is an interdisciplinary publication focusing on the role anddevelopment of military psychology in the South African context. Peacekeepingoperations and the results of the first and fifth deployment of the South AfricanNational Defence Force (SANDF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) areused as background to illustrate the relevance of military psychology in suchoperations. Peacekeeping operations involve military and often civilian personnel.The nature of peacekeeping operations has become increasingly complex andstressful. It is hypothesised that the stressors that members experience may have adestructive effect on their morale and on the cohesion of the force, and that it couldlead to alcohol and drug abuse (Ballone 2000).This article discusses peacekeeping stress theoretically and evaluates thestressors experienced by members of the first and fifth deployment of the SANDF inthe Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The contribution of military psychologyin these and other peacekeeping operations in the South African context is alsoexplored.
Published
2011-08-08
Section
Articles