Changing of the Guard: Nation Building and the United States Military
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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This thesis examines the United States militarys move away from the Weinberger-Powell Doctrine. It assesses the evolution of Americas use-of-force doctrine by evaluating changes in post-Cold War national strategy documents and their context within the historical narrative. It further illuminates the relationship between the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the president as a lens through which to evaluate the changing nature of Americas civil-military relations. The analysis examines three time capsules the end of the Cold War and Desert Storm, hegemony before 911, and hegemony after 911. The results of this analysis suggest the presidents ill-defined role as commander-in-chief and Americas emergence as a global hegemon allowed the increased application of military force in the conduct of foreign policy. Despite the intent of the Goldwater-Nichols legislation to enhance military advice to the president by strengthening the chairmans position, the evidence suggests the chairmans role in determining when and how to use force has declined significantly since a peak under the leadership of Colin Powell. The final section of the study highlights inputs into the trend toward a military co-opted by a strong executive and addresses ways the institution can ensure its future leaders retain the capacity for independent thought grounded in the history of warfare.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations