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The Inkatha Freedom Party believes that in order to defend its sovereign territory, South Africa is constitutionally obliged to maintain a professional and technologically sophisticated core peace-time defence capability, which is accountable to the people through a democratically elected Parliament.

Rationale Behind Defence Policy

Defence policy should be formulated by the Cabinet in response to inputs from the various ministries (including the Intelligence Services and the Department of Trade and Industry) regarding perceived threats and foreign policy goals.

Defence policy and government expectations must be clearly communicated to the armed forces and other concerned agencies, such that they are thus able to formulate the strategies necessary to effect the tasks that are likely to fall to them, and hence determine their budgetary requirements.

Only when a proper defence policy is in place and appropriate budget allocations have been made, can the defence force, in turn, inform foreign policy makers of the country’s military capabilities and weaknesses.

Without a clear understanding of the country’s military capabilities, the Department of Foreign Affairs may inadvertently implement foreign policies that place the country in danger.

Domestic Role of Armed Forces

The primary responsibility of the core defence capability must be to defend the nation against external threats.

The deployment of the defence force in an internal security role against its own people is highly undesirable.

External Role of Armed Forces

The IFP cautions against the extensive deployment of the defence force in external peacekeeping missions, and unconditionally rejects any international peacemaking role for the defence force.

Any external defence force role must be premised on a comprehensive and consistent foreign policy, and a well-structured and constitutionally regulated intelligence capability.

Arming the Defence Force

TThe defence force must be empowered to fulfil its constitutional mandate by adequate state resourcing of a long-term defence acquisition programme. However, this defence acquisition programme should take into account the socio-economic realities of South Africa’s society, its position in the sub-continent and its economic, ecological and maritime responsibilities.

Defence Force Restructuring

The IFP recommends the fundamental restructuring of the government’s defence and security capabilities, in order to ensure that surplus capacity is transferred to the police services, or to a new paramilitary public order and border protection agency under civilian control.

Readiness for War

In anticipation of any serious threat to South Africa’s security, the defence force must be maintained, within its core limitations, in readiness for the rapid transition to a war footing.