By Herbert C. Huser, National Defense University. Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies
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Extra info for Argentine civil-military relations: from Alfonsín to Menem
84 Governance, then, has not been concerned primarily with the elaboration of civil rights, the achievement of compromise, or the rule of law. The explicitly political tradition emanating from the Hispanic political legacy, with its focus on acquiring and maintaining political power and control of the state, motivates political actors, including those involved in the civil-military relationship. The Hispanic political tradition of the colonial era (1536–1810) in Argentina offers no reinforcement of civic culture or mitigation of political culture as the primary motivation for the activity of the state.
112 The military commonly employed the language of organicism to justify and explain its actions, a vernacular common among many institutions organized along corporate lines. ” 113 The cancer was thought to be so severe that any means used to arrest it were noble. In practical terms, this meant that the military would employ all means necessary, which included kidnapping, torture, and murder, to liquidate the guerrillas and those considered their sympathizers (collectively called subversivos). The military saw this approach as meeting the guerrillas, especially the ERP, on their own terms, as they had not hesitated to attack military personnel as well as to kidnap and assassinate them in pursuit of their goals.
The Perón Era World War II strained the marriage of the military and the traditional conservative elites to the breaking point. Another logia, the Grupo de Oficiales Unidos, was formed; among its leaders was Colonel Juan Domingo Perón, the one man whose political shadow would rival that of the military institution itself. Perón created a segundo movimiento, expanding his part in the coup of 1943 and the military government that followed into a major political role based on his mobilization of urban labor.