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Colombia Table of Contents


The Development of the Modern Armed Forces

The national exhaustion from the violence of the long civil war helped form the basis for the establishment of a modern, professional military. The administration of Rafael Reyes, who came to office in 1904, included plans for the reorganization of the armed forces among its early initiatives to revitalize the country. The government's stated objective was to provide for national defense, a need that appeared pressing in 1905 when border tensions with neighboring Venezuela escalated. An equally important though less publicized goal was the creation of a nonpartisan professional institution that would be capable of maintaining domestic peace. Reyes's efforts to build a professional institution helped consolidate bipartisan support for the government and contributed to the maintenance of political stability.

Data as of December 1988