Economic Reform and the Military in Poland, Hungary, and China

by Keith Crane, K. C. Yeh

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This report compares the extent to which economic reforms in Poland, Hungary, and China significantly improved the operation of their economies. It also evaluates the reforms' effects on these countries' militaries, and vice versa. In general, reforms improved economic efficiency, but the improvements were most notable in the private sector; improvements in the state-owned industrial sector were marginal. All three militaries had more difficulty attracting personnel after the introduction of the reforms — private-sector opportunities became more attractive than military careers for more individuals. Increased pressures to reduce military budgets and operate the militaries more efficiently also accompanied the reforms. The militaries, in turn, affected the course of the reforms. In Poland and China, military intervention in politics retarded the implementation of the reforms.

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