Making the Afghan Civil-Military Imbalance Conducive to Democratization

In-conflict state building generates unbalanced civil-military relations in the host state due to an inevitable civil-military gap. Building civilian institutions cannot match the trajectory of progress in building military institutions. The civil-military imbalance creates structural risks to the democratization of the state. This article explains the civil-military gap and its risks, examines Iraq and in particular Afghanistan, and presents steps on how to make unbalanced civil-military relations conducive to democratization by shaping the political role of the military.