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The Coming Revolution in Civil Military Relations
by Dr. Tony Corn, Small Wars Journal
The irrelevance of International Relations theory to the conduct of foreign policy has received renewed attention since 9/11. Though lamented by a few, this state of affairs has been on the whole lauded by a profession by now unreflexively committed to evaluating the degree of originality" of any academic research on one criteria only: its degree of policy irrelevance.
Much less has been written on the irrelevance of civil-military relations theory for the conduct of military policy -- and for a good reason: outside of military circles, few people are even aware of the existence of this obscure sub-field which has been an intellectual backwater for the past generation. If you like the proverbial insularity of IR theory, you have to love the intellectual in-breeding permeating a field cultivated by two dozen practitioners mono-maniacally obsessed with the civilian control of the military," and who keep plowing their ever-shrinking plot seemingly unaware of the law of diminishing returns.
In the academic pecking order, specialists of civil-military relations rank toward the bottom - somewhere between sports sciences and gender studies; yet, over the years, this little-known academic tribe has managed to yield a disproportionate influence on military culture through its role in the equally little-known domain of professional military education (PME).