Masters Degrees (Strategic Studies)

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 12
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    A critical analysis of the military strategic lessons learned from South Africa’s participation in the force intervention brigade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Pieterse, Johan Christiaan; Olivier, Laetitia; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Military Science. School for Security and African Studies. Dept. of Political Science.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Security and Africa studies is a broad subject that is widely researched and documented, particularly the African battlespace. The nature and complexity of the African battlespace is a contemporary subject that requires in-depth research to understand, analyse and align future responses to situations of human insecurity, such as protracted armed conflict. The lingering conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a case in point. This study aims to provide a critical analysis of the strategic military lessons to be learned from the Republic of South Africa Battalion (RSA BATT) deployed under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) as a troop-contributing country of the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB). This study looked at the contemporary approach to addressing human insecurity in the DRC from a military perspective by discussing the RSA BATT’s contribution from 2013 to date. This study found that the RSA BATT’s contribution is driven by the South African Army Infantry corps’ strategy and philosophy, which, regardless of numerous limitations, strives to provide a tailored combat-ready user system (CRUS) to meet operational requirements within a complex African battlespace. Accordingly, this study analysed the SA Army infantry corps’ strategy by focusing on the ends, ways andmeans available to the RSA BATT in the DRC and the possible risks posed in achieving operational requirements. Few studies have provided an in-depth analysis such as this academic contribution. Therefore, this study joins the pool of understanding of contemporary multilateral military-strategic thinkers, which provides the audience with a South African military viewpoint on addressing contemporary and future multinational peace support operations (PSO).
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    An analysis of the maritime domain governance architecture in Southern Africa
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Mkhonto, David Maningi; Blaine, Mark; Ramokgadi, S. B.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Military Science. School for Security and Africa Studies: Military Strategy.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Southern Africa's maritime domain covers a vast territory which covers 16 seaboard and island state countries in the SADC region. This territory offers numerous blue ocean economy opportunities for these states in their Exclusive Economic Zones. However, in addition to potential blue ocean economy opportunities in this maritime domain, the vastness of the territory exposes these seaboard and island state countries to a number of maritime security threats which are transnational and multidimensional in nature. This causes complexities that could only be best addressed through multilateral and regional cooperative policy architectures. To address the issue of maritime threats and benefit from the blue ocean economic opportunities, a number of agreements have been entered into by different governments in the region. The result has been the signing of approximately nineteen policies. However, the Maritime Domain Centres are not linked and operate independent of each other without coordination. This results in fragmented and duplicated effort and inefficient use of resources. Accordingly, while the potential for developing a regional cooperative architectural regime exists, it is not being realised as the policies agreed on the state level are not being implementation. The criticality of policy coordination through a regional cooperative architectural regime is heightened by an increase in the activities of transnational organized crime within the maritime domain of these Southern African states. Therefore, the need to establish why policies for a coordinated effort agreed on the state level are note being implemented is critical. This research analyses the maritime domain governance architecture in Southern Africa and evaluates the presence of governance architecture, as well as its challenges, implementation, and efficacy.
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    In the eye of the public: Military-media relations in South Africa
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Theunissen, Jacobus Danie Johannes; Esterhuyse, Abel; Jordaan, Evert; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Military Science. School for Security and Africa Studies: Political Science.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The conflict of interest between the military and the media originates from the inception of professional journalism. Militaries are as old as humanity and throughout history required various aspects to be victorious. The most important of them being operational security. The media on the other side want to provide an account of what occurred in a truthful and factual manner. Historically the relationship between these two entities have been strenuous as the military needs total control over information and access to conflicts as opposed to the media who required access in order to be able to provide an objective narrative. In the first 10 years of democracy in South Africa there was a congruent relationship between the military and the media. This relationship steadily deteriorated over the years where it is considered to be non-existent at present by certain journalists who regularly interact with the military. The media is of the opinion that the military does not communicate intentionally, timeously, and courteously by taking editorial processes into consideration. From the media’s side the level of professionalism in journalism has dwindled due to the juniorisation of its editors and journalists who no longer understand the military. Up to 2004 corporate communication officers in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) were highly specialised and had many years of experience in dealing with the media. The media liaison function was decentralised and there were continuous liaison between the different management levels of the military and the media. This changed when media liaison was centralised to the Defence Headquarters in 2000. Since then officers without corporate communication qualifications and experience have been appointed in various senior corporate communication and media liaison posts. The Policy on Corporate Communication in the Department of Defence details the role of corporate communication functionaries and their responsibilities to ensure a positive public image on behalf of the command cadre. It is an extensive document addressing the command and control of the discipline on all the management levels as well as the education, training, and development aspects for the discipline. In South Africa it seems as if reporting on the military by the media is either predominantly of a negative nature or there is very little coverage of substance on the SANDF. The purpose of the study is to determine and explain what underpins the relationship between the military and the media in South Africa. The public needs to know what the military does, and the most effective way for the military to communicate with its stakeholders is using the media as a mass communication tool. Communication plays a pivotal part to ensure that the role, functions and activities of the SANDF is presented to ensure a positive public opinion.
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    The appropriate and optimal role and function of special forces in peace missions
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-04) Bester, Louis Andries; Esterhuyse, Abel; Stellenbosch Universty. Faculty of Military Science. School for Security and Africa Studies. Dept. of Political Science. (Mil)
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The fascination with special forces, which is especially prevalent in books, movies and news articles, could be ascribed to the prominence of their use in contemporary conflicts across the globe. The public’s imagination of special forces has become linked with military actions and the armed struggles in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Special forces are also strategically very appealing to policymakers for a number of reasons. The political confidence vested in special forces is clearly demonstrated in the creation of specialised commands across the world. This goes hand in hand with an increase in operating budgets, manpower and supporting structures for special forces operations. There is, however, a paradox of employing such a highly lethal force in order to pursuit peace. With peacekeeping evolving parallel with the strategic environment, especially in Africa, the trend towards more robust interventions has become prevalent since the end of the Cold War. As such, the requirement for accurate and timely intelligence in peace missions has become crucial. Admittedly, special forces would not necessarily be the soldiers expected to wear blue berets and participate in peace missions. It may come as a surprise to the uninformed, though, to learn that special forces have indeed participated, and are still involved, in peace missions across the globe. The dichotomy of this phenomenon leads one to enquire as to what gave rise to elite military forces, renowned for their rigorous training, specialised skills, and sophisticated equipment to be employed in peace missions.
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    The military-strategic implications of the decline of South Africa’s Defence capability
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-12) De Jager, André; Olivier, Laetitia; Van der Waag-Cowling, Noelle; University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Military Science. School for Security and Africa Studies. Dept. of Military Strategy.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The decline of South Africa’s defence capabilities is a well-documented and politically acknowledged situation that inspired the review of the South African defence policy since 2010. The Defence Review 2015 was promulgated with a detailed strategic approach to restore the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF) credible military capacity to fulfil South Africa’s defence ambition. The Defence Review 2015 process continued for five years with a deliberate focus to achieve consensus on South Africa’s defence ambition. The implementation of this policy is yet to be financed by the South African government. This inspired a critical look at the decline of South Africa’s defence capabilities through the contemporary lenses of the concepts of military security and strategy. A contemporary theoretical discussion of the concepts of military security and strategy in the post-Cold War era demonstrated that military security and the role of militaries in nations’ and regions’ security requirements remain a central concern for polities, yet within a broader and wider security discourse academically and as security policy advice. The concept of strategic context provided the study with a framework to discuss and analyse literature related to South Africa’s declining defence capabilities with the purpose to understand this reality in a strategic context and what it means for South Africa’s military security. A qualitative, interpretive, and thematic approach extracted thematic insights into South Africa’s declining defence capabilities in a strategic context to obtain a deep understanding of the reality since 1994. An analysis of government directives for defence since 1994, using contemporary understanding of military security and strategy, demonstrated that defence directives and policy thinking in South Africa continue to reflect enduring and developing military security and strategic thinking for the military establishment. South Africa’s declining defence capabilities, in a strategic contextual discussion and analysis, however showed significant contestation in the South African defence debate since 1994. The study ascribes the lion’s share of responsibility for South Africa’s declining defence capabilities to a deliberate political and bureaucratic demilitarisation of South Africa through disinvestment and defunding of the defence function, with a commensurate growing decline in political and academic interest in South Africa’s military. Politics leads in the approach of demilitarisation due to its prominent and dominant position to decide and fund. An idealistic academic perspective fuelled the process from a trusted position of advice. With non-offensive defence (NOD) principles coded in the Constitution of 1996 and all subsequent government legal and policy provisions, the scene was set to implement the deliberate demilitarisation of South Africa. The disconnect between the NOD military approach, which holds human security as the most appropriate approach to national security, and the strategic truth that a nation utilises its military to maintain the monopoly on force (organised violence) for defence against coercive threats should after two and a half decades of the existence of the SANDF be put to bed. The South African polity must honestly ask the question: What has South Africa gained from its broad and wide security approach of human security?