Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Civilian-Military Interaction

Over the weekend, El Universal ran a note about a recent military event at a facility near Mexico City called, "The great force of Mexico". The gist seems to be that civilians could get a closer look at what the military does, and kids could play with a whole bunch of cool crap.

The Mexican military's isolation from the population at large, and especially the middle and upper classes, is striking to someone who grew up in the US. (Or, at the very least, it is to someone who grew up outside Washington.) That isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world, given the military's traditionally narrow mandate in Mexico, but as long as the armed forces are going to be out among the people performing domestic security tasks, the military should try to close the gap between themselves and the general population. Of course, a big part of any image-enhancing effort should be an end to the periodic shootings of civilians, and the swift and open investigation of such events when they do occur. Without that, the PR impact of friendly events on military bases is going to be limited.

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