The Limits of Military Officers' Duty to Obey Civilian Orders: A Neo-classical Perspective
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA STRATEGIC STUDIES INSTITUTE
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This monograph offers a neo-classically republican perspective on a perennial problem of civilianmilitary relations limitations on military officers obligation to obey civilian authorities. All commentators agree that military officers are generally obliged morally, professionally, and legally to obey civilian orders, even as they agree that this rule of obedience has exceptions. Commentators tend to differ, however, on the basis and breadth of these exceptions. Following Samuel Huntington s classic analysis in The Soldier and the State, Mr. Robert Atkinson shows that disagreement about the breadth of the exceptions tends to assume that their bases moral, professional, and legal are incommensurable. This monograph suggests, to the contrary, that all defensible exceptions to the rule of military obedience, like that rule itself, derive from a single neo-classical, Huntingtonian standard binding on civilian authorities and military officers alike the common good. This perspective promises significantly to reduce the range of disagreement over the limits of military obedience both in theory and in practice.
- Sociology and Law
- Military Forces and Organizations