Accession Number:

ADA523125

Title:

Military Advice and Civil-Military Relations

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-05-01

Pagination or Media Count:

44.0

Abstract:

As the United States leads the world into the 21st Century, military leaders must gain and maintain the trust of the President and the Secretary of Defense by understanding and influencing the manifold variables that affect the civilian-military relationship. This monograph looks at two time frames during Americas history -- the Vietnam War 1965-1968 and Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003-present -- in which the American military perceived that civilian leaders ignored its advice. In both of these instances, for a myriad of reasons, the advice of the military was not heard or was marginalized by either the President, the Secretary of Defense, or both. There are several variables that influenced the relative deafness of the civilian leadership during these two times of war. Of concern here is the extent of military service that resides in the civilian leadership, military leaders political expertise, and the environment of service parochialism. The author concludes that the lack military experience on the part of civilian leaders does not detract from the military security of the nation, the effects of military leaders political expertise largely depends on the type of conflict the nation is engaged in, and service parochialism is a factor of civilian leaders receptiveness to military advice. In the aggregate, politicians will only hear and listen to military leaders if several things manifest themselves simultaneously. First, regardless of the civilian leaderships experience in the military, the political administration must respect military culture. Second, military leaders must have political experience to understand the ancillary functions of irregular warfare. Finally, there must exist a service culture that is divided enough to offer different opinions and alternatives, but not so divisive that it appears ineffectual and incoherent.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE