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Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan's Military Economy Paperback – June 20, 2007
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The author starts with a structural premise that defines the phenomenon of "milbus" as "military capital used for the personal benefit of the military fraternity, especially the officer cadre, which is not recorded as part of the defence budget." She then goes on to situate this concept within the larger literature on the military industrial complex. Her lucid prose is also augmented by clear, tables, organizational charts, graphs and Venn diagrams. Her findings are staggering: for example, the amount of land owned by military officers through subsidized schemes amounts to $4.6 billion. The military pensions being offered are five times the amount for civilian officers. The role of the Fauji Foundation and other military organizations in running commercial enterprises that range from cereal manufacturing to running schools is astounding.
The usual argument given by proponents of milbus is that the military is the most disciplined organization and can do everything more efficiently.Read more ›
Well written, and a brave effort.
The background for the book is the theory, originating among US academics, that the military is the most modern institution in developing societies, and that a politically strong military will therefore develop a country. This view is associated with Morris Janowitz and Samuel Huntington. Being Pakistani, Ayesha Siddiqa has noticed that their theory has not worked. She explains why in this book.
The book covers: the theoretical concept of Milbus, which she introduces; the Pakistani military; the political history of Pakistani; the four foundations that run the major investments of the Pakistani military; diversion of state land to private purposes in the interest of senior military officers; the cost of Milbus; and some speculations about its likely impact on the future of Pakistan. These appear sound to a non-expert on the Pakistan army.
If asked to state her general thesis, I would use a metaphor that she does not, and say that the suggestion that the military can develop a developing country in effect casts it in the role of a Marxist vanguard party. It has some advantages in this role, notably including greater administrative competence than a Marxist vanguard party usually has. But it lacks a concept of the revolutionary transformation of society, and it has a entirely different mission from social development, which is national defense. It is subject to the same tendency to corruption as a Marxist vanguard party.Read more ›
I have divided this book into three sections:
1. Military, Inc. financials—I find the financial irrelevant. Referenced Military, Inc. is a publicly traded company and pays taxes.
2. Historic facts—Dr. Saddiqa is downright wrong per other evidence provided.
3. Author’s opinion and research behind what should Pakistan Military’s role be and the impact of Milbus on Pakistan—Dr. Siddiqa is entitled to her opinion, provided evidence is factual.
My focus is #2, the historic events—what Dr. Siddiqa claims, are not factual. I reason it by sharing what other authors have written. Also, it is not an objective read.
Dr. Siddiqa’s research is very narrow--we now know the dollar value of "Milbus," and all its ills that she has claimed. There are no solutions provided and what benefit “Milbus” brings to the retired soldiers is overlooked. When it comes to the Army's various organizations out to make a buck, Dr. Siddiqa is quite right. These are tax paying organizations and are profitable organizations, but who is the beneficiary of revenues from acts of "Milbus"? These are the shareholders the retired men and women and the families of the arm forces--this other side of "Milbus" need mentioning in her book. In the U.S., we have veterans set aside quotas too for veteran's benefit—that balanced view is missing from her book. Milbus could also have been presented as the army's "Welfare Program" and a transitioning of a retired solder into corporate environment, which an author with a balanced approach would not have missed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sadly, I was unable to finish this book because the English used in it is so tortured. Ms. Siddiqa may have good points, but I couldn't learn them because the book was so painful... Read morePublished on January 3, 2014 by SG
This book provides a good history of how military controls Pakistani politics, but more important, how it controls the economy. Full of facts and data.Published on April 23, 2013 by Reads a Lot
Dr. Ayesha is one of my favourite authors. And she writes with conviction and detail. It is impossible not to laud this book. Read morePublished on March 24, 2011 by Ameer Hamza Adhia
Good, well researched and lucidly written book on the subject of Pakistan military run business enterprises, which in sum form a significant part of the national economy.Published on October 16, 2009 by PShome
Let me start by saying this is a great book. It has a very detailed explaination of how the army and the politicians have always been working together to achieve their individual... Read morePublished on November 26, 2007 by UL
Every army in the world is different. The one we have sure knows who to do things. "INC" I dont know but for sure they are the strongest army in the muslim nation. Read morePublished on June 1, 2007 by Muhammad Malik