Military Politics and Democracy in the Andes seeks to explain army mission performance in Peru and Ecuador from the 1980s until 2009. Attention is focused on “sovereignty missions” (border defense, counterinsurgency, army training) and “police missions” (anticrime, contraband/weapons interdiction, protest control, antinarcotics, oil security, peacekeeping). Maiah Jaskoski argues that variables usually mentioned in the literature on civil-military relations — maintenance of professional status (by performing war-fighting missions), public legitimacy (in part by carrying out constitutional and statutory missions), and resource maximization (by generating larger budgets) — do not fully explain mission performance. Rather, what most directly explains mission performance are “mission beliefs” (institutional beliefs about “what missions the army should perform”) and “a drive to maintain predictability for patrols on the ground” (pp. 13, 207).

Jaskoski's conclusions are based on interviews in 2005–2006 with over 150 active and retired Ecuadorean and Peruvian...

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