The Tanzanian People's Defence Force : an exercise in nation-building



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Following the 1964 Army Mutinies in East Africa, Tanzania alone among the three nations affected recognized the fundamental opposition between the colonial military structure and the post-colonial African state. Acting upon this consideration, Tanzania proceeded to dismantle its current colonial holdover armed forces and instead build a new, nationally representative, non-aligned military that could be integrated effectively into the post-colonial state. This military became the Tanzanian Peoples’ Defense Force and its construction remains unique among the African states. This dissertation contends that the TPDF and its innovative construction served as not only a stable and effective military exercise, but also as a nation building exercise, and that the lessons gleaned from its history may be used to combat both the praetorian militaries and weak national identities that continue to afflict Africa.