Accession Number:



The Civil-Military Divide in a Weary and Partisan Nation

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Monograph]

Corporate Author:

US Army School for Advanced Military Studies

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Effective use of military power by a democratic government requires healthy relations between the people, their elected civilian leaders, and those in the military. This relationship enables and informs decisions that affect all aspects of military policy. Despite this-or perhaps because of it - civil-military relations have been a point of friction within American political culture since the US Constitutions adoption in 1789. At present, a generation of Americans has grown to adulthood largely untouched by the effects of a continuously committed military. The myriad distractions of the digital information age, combined with a polarized domestic political environment, have resulted in a generation of Americans wholly ignorant of their militarys basic organization, function, and role in supporting strategic national objectives. Military and national leadership must take deliberate steps to engage and inform this generation and forge an appropriate relationship between society and the military or risk increased instability for both the military and the republic. This monograph assesses the divide in the context of a war-weary and distracted nation disconnected from its military and long-term strategic direction. It ultimately provides recommendations to reconnect the military to both the American people and a much-needed grand strategy.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]