South Africa’s foreign policy since 2009 : a case study of the South African National Defence Force

20 Nov 2018

This paper analyses the role of military as an instrument of foreign policy in SA since 2009. Thereafter examines how the military is utilised in different roles other than fighting battles with an aim to protect the national interests. The primary research question of the paper is: what is the role of the South African military as an instrument of foreign policy, and how does this role play out in the dichotomy between foreign policy formulation and foreign policy implementation? The theoretical framework applied to the study is idealism. Idealists believe it is possible for humans to live together in harmony of (interest) if proper measures are taken of which that is what inspires SA’s foreign policy. The methodology utilised for this paper is the qualitative approach as it is fundamentally descriptive in nature and it assists in providing complex contextual description of the formulation and implementation of both the military and the foreign policy. We argue that the military has become one of the state instruments whose utility has gained momentum since 2009; especially in Africa. This is directly in support of the foreign policy of South Africa. Last and most importantly, this paper contributes to the on-going debate on how SA’s military of late has become an image of foreign policy in Africa. Keywords: Foreign policy, Idealism, International Relations, Military