Disengagement was desired and supported within the civilian and military establishments alike. The relatively limited direct role the Colombian and Ivorian militaries have played in national politics may accordingly reflect, in part, the healthier economies of their respective states. Colombia and Cote-d'Ivoire have been economic success stories. Colombia provides some support for the hypothesis that armed forces both small in size and limited in social prestige have little incentive to become politically active. Colombia has been racked by civil war, unfettered rural violence, and sharp political partisanship. For Colombia, however, the officers who brought independence were either killed off or relegated to political obscurity because of their class origins. Once independence was achieved and the initial round of federal-central confrontation completed, Colombian political leaders lost little time in severely cutting back the size of the military. Political legitimacy in Colombia had been provided by the Conservative and Liberal parties.