Venezuela used as excuse for remilitarization of Guyana

A section of the GDF officers at base Camp Stephenson. [iNews' Photo]

By The Piper

The PiperThe announcement by President David Granger that Guyana has adopted a new national security strategy has gone almost unnoticed in the usually attentive Guyanese public and press corp. All eyes and ears have been on the pay-raise scandal, and while that is certainly understandable, we need pay closer attention to the ‘Total National Defence’ (TND) strategy.

In theory, TND is based on some sound concepts of national security. The changes are both at the level of defence doctrine and operational principles. In terms of doctrine, the TND framework integrates military and civilian components of society in a comprehensive way.

Operationally, TND also means inter-agency integration, force structure and deployment innovations, as well as defence and diplomacy reconciliation. President Granger himself stated that the intended outcomes of the reforms are to be reflected in enhanced personnel, readiness, infrastructure, morale, and equipment.

President Granger will also re-establish the People’s Militia and the National Cadet Corp. The idea is to get high school children involved in the national defence of the country. This is where the problems begin because the new model is actually an old model going back to the depressing years of the 1970s. In that old model, civil society was not only penetrated by state power, but it was also heavily militarized.

To understand the militarization of society we need to understand the process of securitization. Securitization is a concept that allows us to make sense of the ways in which the state uses power to construct social, cultural, economic, and political problems in the language and idioms of national security.

By framing our problems in terms of national defence, President Granger and the APNU+AFC are devising the institutional capture of large segments of civil society.

The real intent behind drawing in students into so-called national defence is to get them to be obedient to the state and the current government. Do not be surprised if you start to see fifteen and sixteen year old boys and girls marching military style all over the country.

Anyone who knows anything about military security will know that these little boys and girls will be absolutely useless in any kind of military confrontation. Can anyone in APNU+AFC say with any specificity what exactly the students will defend and how?

What is more likely is that the students and ‘youths’ will form a cadre against those who legitimately oppose government policy. I am not suggesting that we will see indoctrination of the Chinese Cultural Revolution type.

What I am saying is that national defence will be used as an excuse to get young people to support the current government, something quite reminiscent of National Service.

During the 1970-1980s Guyana had among the highest militarization rates in the whole world, and this despite real challenges in the economy. The current economic situation is bleak.

Instead of pumping money into a political project for the next elections, it would be better to use the funds to support small businesses. Moreover, instead of transforming students into pretend soldiers, we should give them scholarships which are real investments in their future.




  1. The people of the Caribbean must not be militarized.We are not the US who has to police the world or Israel who has to fend off the whole darn Middle East. We must be free to work and enjoy our liberated lifestyle always. Hopefully this does not lead to that nonsensical return of mandatory national service before you can further your education.So many damaged young women from that era.

  2. Mr Piper please stop the lies and scare tactics,i’d rather see young people as cadets any day than in you see the state of Guyana with all that crime..its part lack of direction for the kids..we tried the PPP way for 23 years ..and see now we have a generation of criminals…lets try something else.

  3. I agreed on everything you said,the piper just reflect on his or her own opinion,prepared the children for the future,

  4. What do we do then? Sit and allow even Suriname to boss us around? What I noticed is that Indo Guyanese are the ones against serving this country in the line of dying for it. Whats wrong with you? We cannot continue to be a poor cake shop rice eating country, always begging someone else to fight for us.

    I see nothing wrong with having a strong defense force as a deterrent. Guyana remains poor and defenseless because diplomacy takes years to work, it takes time that a small country like ours do not have.

    I support David Granger in his quest and I hope that the PPP never gets back in office until this goal is reached. It is time Indians decide that Guyana is the only thing they have and not India.

    Do not leave Afro Guyanese alone to defend this land because when we do defend it, we will have no alternative but to claim it for us alone, that is our right.

    Guyana needs a new defense strategy, a new and modern defense force, with or without the support of the PPP and Indo Guyanese. 400 years of enslavement dictates that we as a people who were former slaves and a part of Guyana ensure we are not weakened to be slaves again, not to Suriname or Venezuela.

  5. Grange and his military cabal are spreading their tentacles among impressionable young people. He is using the failed Burnham playbook to solidify power and build allegiance to the party. It will fail again.

  6. Well said sir well said this piper who he or she is. Can remeber the burnham days you sir are100% right look at Israel and america in the schools in the usa the military from army navy airforce visits all the schools to incourage the youths to serve in the nation’s military so let piper just keep piping

  7. the problem with military thinking is that once the top gives an order, everybody must follow weather wrong or right and if you question such then you must be cut off for insubordination, guess what in a civilian government everybody argues infact it is all about debating every issues and the leader is more of the moderator.a concept which the present set up would find difficult to comprehend.

  8. On a positive note I do agree we need to sure up our defence force and bring back the Militia to help in civil defence situations such as floods etc.

  9. I think ‘The Piper’ is out of tune and has pie on his face. Hopefully the children don`t follow your lead! I am sure the cadet corps will teach those kids some good life skills, such working with a team, decision makin, leadership etc. You have mention China as the only country with these sort of corps for kids, but maybe you have not travelled a lot beyond the boundaries of Guyana. Across Europe and North America you will find there are Corps for fire service, air force, Army, navy and even the police where kids as young as seven are trained in different skills in relation to the discipline. I know a friend of mine was in the Air corps and he was flying gliders and small aircraft as a Kid. Kids in the Fire service corps were learning about fire, climbing ladders etc. It about giving the kids some focus, getting them off the street at weekends. So Piper, you can spin this however you want; a negative or positive spin; If used correctly, will benefit the kids in the long term. Anyway the Kid of the 70s were a lot more disciplined than those you have now!


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