Accession Number : ADA515382


Title :   Six Against the Secretary: The Retired Generals and Donald Rumsfeld


Descriptive Note : Research paper


Corporate Author : AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL


Personal Author(s) : Deary, David S


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a515382.pdf


Report Date : 23 Feb 2007


Pagination or Media Count : 96


Abstract : The nature of civil-military relations in the United States is characterized by tensions resulting from a variety of competing principles including autonomy and subordination, self-interest and communalism, and loyalty and freedom. These tensions sometimes manifest themselves in conflict between institutions and individuals, but the disputes rarely capture the attention of the American public. Last year one such conflict garnered widespread media coverage. Beginning in the spring, six retired general officers spoke out in very quick succession and in very public ways against the performance and policies of Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. This paper examines the conduct of these officers and reluctantly concludes that, despite their contribution to the public discourse on the Iraq war, this group eroded the nation's civil-military relations. More broadly, the paper seeks to define the circumstances in which and methods by which it is proper for retired generals to openly oppose elected and appointed civilian leaders; it finds the bounds of legality regarding their speech to be highly permissive but the bounds of propriety to be rather limited. The paper begins by detailing the events that constitute this so-called revolt of the generals: their initial media appearances in March and April of 2006, the reaction of the administration, subsequent media appearances throughout the summer and fall, and the resignation of Rumsfeld in November and its immediate aftermath. Having outlined the events of those 8 months, the paper then compares the generals' words and actions to standards in the law and the writings of classical civil-military relations theorists such as Samuel P. Huntington and Morris Janowitz, as well as to the ideas of more recent commentators. It then synthesizes these ideas into a specific evaluation of the conduct of these officers and proposes standards of propriety applicable to all retired general officers.


Descriptors :   *DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE , *IRAQI WAR , *POLICIES , *CONFRONTATION , *COMMUNITY RELATIONS , *MASS MEDIA , *GENERAL OFFICERS , *CIVILIAN PERSONNEL , VERBAL BEHAVIOR , LEGISLATION , PERCEPTION(PSYCHOLOGY) , RETIREMENT(PERSONNEL) , PERIODICALS , PERFORMANCE(HUMAN) , REACTION(PSYCHOLOGY) , WORDS(LANGUAGE) , STANDARDS , BIBLIOGRAPHIES , THEORY , PUBLIC OPINION


Subject Categories : Sociology and Law
      Personnel Management and Labor Relations
      Military Forces and Organizations


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE