Accession Number : ADA546358


Title :   Civil Discourse or Civil War? The Influence of Civil-Military Relations on Iraq and Afghanistan War Strategy


Descriptive Note : Research paper


Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT


Personal Author(s) : Robb, Douglas A


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a546358.pdf


Report Date : 04 May 2011


Pagination or Media Count : 33


Abstract : Strained relations between U.S. civilian leaders and operational commanders have hindered the development of a coherent policy for Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM (OIF/OEF) in Iraq and Afghanistan. To demonstrate a connection between failed civil-military relations and its resultant impact on strategy, this paper will describe the state of civil-military relations during the preliminary and execution phases of the two most recent wars in the Middle East. It will then analyze how those relations have hindered the United States' ability to formulate war strategy. Little research has been conducted to examine how the civilian-military relationship influences the formulation and execution of strategy and policy. In the United States, strong civil-military relations depend on four core principles: the recognition of military subordination to civilian leaders; the willingness of military leaders to offer candid advice; the ability for civilian and military leaders to engage each other in a respectful, professional manner; and an environment that fosters trust and collaboration. Moreover, civil-military relations can negatively affect strategy in five ways: if there exists a broad line of demarcation between civilian and military leaders; if service cultures influence the collaborative process; if statutory changes, such as those brought about by Goldwater-Nichols, inherently alter the civil-military relationship; if politicization of the officer corps forces a disconnect in the upper echelons of leadership; and if a breakdown in policy cooperation occurs. Drawing on examples from OIF/OEF, civilian leaders and operational commanders should realize that the nature of their interactions has a real, measurable effect on the policies they produce. Recommendations for bridging the civilian-military divide -- with the goal of creating stronger policy -- are discussed.


Descriptors :   *IRAQI WAR , *AFGHANISTAN CONFLICT , *COMMUNITY RELATIONS , *CIVILIAN PERSONNEL , *MILITARY STRATEGY , *MILITARY COMMANDERS , *POLICIES , COOPERATION , GENERAL OFFICERS , DEPARTMENT OF STATE , CONFLICT , DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE , CONGRESS , PRESIDENT(UNITED STATES)


Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
      Military Forces and Organizations
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE