Military Dissent: What are the Ethical Implications of Tensions in U.S. Civil-Military Relations?
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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This study illustrates that there are varying degrees and dimensions causing tensions in civil-military relations. The primary factor identified in this study as the main cause of most frictions in civil-military relations is the civilian policymakers propensity to ignore and marginalize military professionals when the counsel they provide runs counter to their thinking. Successful civil-military relationship requires partnership with each member performing their parts and responsibilities. This study finds limited experience in politics, lack of strategic depth, gaps in professional education, varying personality traits, and individual temperament by military professionals impact the quality of civil-military relations. It is essential to realize that U.S. civil-military relationship does not merely entail civilian control of the military. Civilian control is already firmly established in the United States and is fully accepted without question by military professionals. The more important topic in U.S. civil-military relations is how to guarantee the effective use and employment of the military when pursuing national strategic policies. To ensure this happens requires putting in place a deliberate system, disciplined process, and constant dialogue between civilian policymakers and military professionals. Crosstalk between the two must not penalize the latter when the opinion they provide runs counter.
- Administration and Management
- Military Forces and Organizations