The Ecuadorian Army: Neglecting a Porous Border While Policing the Interior

Maiah Jaskoski – Author
This article challenges two prominent explanations for military
behavior: militaries, like other bureaucracies, will seek to maximize
their budgets; and in the interest of maintaining professionalism,
militaries will perform sovereignty missions—external defense and
counterinsurgency—more intensively than policing functions. Running
counter to these expectations, since 2000, Ecuador’s army has
neglected its professional, lucrative mission of northern border
defense, instead focusing on police work. The analysis applies
organization theory to argue that the army’s minimal border defense
efforts have been a way to maintain predictability for patrols on the
ground, the part of the army that most directly performs the army’s
core function of security. Specifically, the article traces how a contradiction
has emerged in the army’s border mission. The contradiction
has meant anything but predictability for the work of troops
patrolling the border, compromising the mission. Read Article

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