THE GENERAL OR ADMIRAL OF MILITARY SERVICE: AN ANALYSIS OF HIS ROLE AS A PUBLIC OPINION LEADER--CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS.
BOSTON UNIV MASS SCHOOL OF PUBLIC COMMUNICATION
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The thesis is a study on the proper role that our generals and admirals should fill as military public opinion leaders. The study reveals a role which is compatible with our democratic principles establishing a proper accord and balance between the responsibilities and authority of our political and military leaders during the present protracted conflict. The military public opinion leader role fosters the right for freedom of expression, the need for a knowledgeable citizenry, and preserves the principle of civil supremacy over the military. The limitations to the scope of the role are set by our democratic principles and by the limitations as defined by national security in our national interest. Their role fits our contemporary needs and has been established by evaluating the mistakes of civil-military affairs in our history as well as the histories of Prussia-Germany, Japan, Great Britain, Russia, and France. In this analysis tradition was found to serve and foster conformity and was used as a justification for the continuance of present malpractices. Preconceptions and stereotyped beliefs, opinions, and attitudes have clouded the judgment of our political and military leaders as well as our citizenry in political-military affairs. The study shows that we have neither learned nor appreciated the lessons history reveals.