Political analysts during the early 60's tended to look upon this develop- ment as something not only inevitable but perhaps also beneficial: the military was seen as the one and only instrument for modernization. The military came into power not because it represented physical coercion, i.e. 'power', but because it frequently represented the only organized force within the new states when political parties lacked cohesion or programmes and political institutions were inefficient or without legitimacy in the eyes of the peoples. The armed forces were then called upon to open up the road for the 'revolution' as President Nasser said.
This appreciation was challenged, however, by Samuel Huntington whose 1965 essay on 'Political Development and Political Decay', through careful scru- tiny of the terms 'development', 'modernization' and 'institutionalization', argues that there is no substitute for political parties and political institutions. While the armed forces in political power may contribute to social mobilization and to modernization the evidence does not support the notion of the military as pro- moter of political development and institutionalization. 17
Huntington's views have not been unchallenged and that viewpoint is still represented which maintains that the military regimes in the new states should be seen as 'care-takers', holding the ring while new political structures are being cemented and the groundwork for a stable political order being laid. From a Marxist point of view " the army can emerge as a kind of holding institution until the revolutionary party gathers strength". 18
One may thus suggest a parallel here between the functions that the metro- politan armed forces in the greater number of cases fulfilled during the decoloni- zation process, that the UN peacekeeping operations have tried to fulfill, and that the military regimes in the new states have been ascribed: the 'care-taker' role. Beside the fact that this observation may be said to cover the obvious - all (po- litical or other) authority could be described in terms of 'care-taking' functions (and has been thus legitimized since Plato) - it may also imply an interpretation of post-colonial development that is overly optimistic.
The present arms race in the third world, the emergence of new centers of international power, and new patterns of local and regional conflicts as well as conflict on a global scale (the 'North-South confrontation') may suggest a line of development diverting the energies of the third world regimes from domestic and political development (as defined by Huntington) to increasingly conflict prone foreign relations. The military and the militarization of the society may then appear as an end in itself.
The decolonization process is still part of our present reality. It is at the same time past, present, and future, and our standpoints tend to be conditioned by emotions and prefabricated ideological formulas. The systemic ramifications