16: Conclusion: Asian Military Evolutions as a Contribution to Civil–Military Relations Thought

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This closing chapter attempts to plumb an Asian contribution to civil–military relations by revisiting the research questions set out in Chapter 1. Chiefly, the idea of melding civilian progress and material well-being in a defence statement is an Asian formulation that echoes across the 13 country studies in this book. Three big themes emerge: the enduring impact of colonialism by foreign powers and other legacies of the past, civil–military fusion and its links to development and political guardianship of the nascent modern Asian state and lastly, civil–military relations and its connection with defence diplomacy and MOOTW. Asian military evolutions are revealing of cumulative and synthetic slow-motion phenomena unfolding across the region’s politico-security landscape, but it will prove rewarding to study them if one does not always associate the Asian military in stark formations like authoritarianism versus democracy.

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