The Political Effects of Military Programs

Some Indications from Latin America

by Charles Wolf, Jr.


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A study to formulate as verifiable hypotheses some of the views that have been advanced in public discussion of the political consequences of military aid to underdeveloped countries. The several hypotheses are then subjected to various crude tests on the basis of rough data dealing with the Latin American countries. Although important qualifications and reservations must be attached to these data, and hence to tests that use them, the study suggests that there are no significant relationships in general terms between (1) either the scope of authoritarian institutions and practices or the changes in them, and (2) the size of U.S.military assistance programs or of domestic defense programs in these countries.

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