Are Service Senior Level Colleges Preparing Senior Leaders to Engage Effectively in Political, Civilian-Military Disputes?
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Senior military leaders at the operational level and above must be equipped to engage effectively in high-stakes dialogue with senior civilian leaders. Ineffective communication and unresolved disputes can lead to harmful, public expressions of military dissent. Incorrect application of dissent can lead to ruinous outcomes in global conflicts. This paper presents examples of dissent and the ramifications of dissent to national security. The research assesses the standards, learning areas, and objectives for senior level colleges Joint Professional Military Education programs to determine how well they address civilian-military relationships in their curricula. This paper also seeks to determine if future military and civilian leaders are prepared to perform in high-level policy and command and staff responsibilities, particularly whether they exhibit those skills necessary for expressing effective and acceptable dissent. Civil-military relationship models and theories are presented and discussed briefly. The research extracts and summarizes information on the current state of civilian-military relations from both recent Congressional testimony and scholarly articles. Finally, this paper draws conclusions on the adequacy of civilian-military relationship education at the senior college level and provides recommendations.
- Government and Political Science