Small Wars Journal

civil-military relations

Civ-Mil Relations: 6 Lessons from a Tweet

Despite the dangers of the current dynamic, observers say, retired officers should be free to express their views and policy ideas in a way that is respectful of the commander in chief. "Americans want and, really, need to be able to consider the views of those who served, along with others with expertise," Mr. Dunlap said. "It should be the brightness of their ideas, not that of the stars they previously wore, that should carry the day."

About the Author(s)

Win Friends, Kill Enemies: An Unyielding Call for Warrior-Diplomats in Modern Warfare

The uncomfortable truth that many in modern western society do not want to face is that war, by its very nature, will kill people and break things. However, in the midst of that truth is a second truth that many seem to forget: Namely, that the United States of America, more so than any other nation, expends great resources to develop and implement the means of mitigating the effects of the first truth on noncombatants and infrastructure in the war zone. No other nation in the history of the world has so earnestly sought to conduct military operations while simultaneously striving to minimize the killing and breaking.

About the Author(s)

The Danger of Military Partisanship SWJED Sun, 07/01/2018 - 3:19pm
Throughout most of human history, societies and governments have failed to maintain the balance between liberty and security. It is not something we should take for granted. If we do, we once again will have realized the worst fears of the Framers and that would be a “dire” consequence indeed.
Book Review: Civil-Military Relations and Shared Responsibility SWJED Sun, 01/22/2017 - 2:32pm

A valuable and deeply researched source that provides a rarely-so-comprehensive comparative analysis of civil-military relations across four distinct nations; Canada, Russia, Germany, and the U.S.

Did Obama Snub the Joint Chiefs on Afghanistan? Peter J. Munson Tue, 05/28/2013 - 3:30am

If the Joint Chiefs only learned about the withdrawal scheme a mere few hours before the State of the Union was given, then it is appropriate to question whether the state of civil-military relations is as strong as it should be.

Capo-Militaries: An Illicit Modus Operandi of Armed Forces and Intelligence Services in Peru, Mexico, and Venezuela Peter J. Munson Mon, 02/18/2013 - 3:30am

Capo-militaries, by their diverse portfolio of activities, such as the use of sophisticated weapons, logistics, and tactics, have become threats to national and international security.

Book Review: Democracy, Islam and Secularism in Turkey Peter J. Munson Thu, 08/30/2012 - 5:30am

A look inside the increasingly pivotal nation.

The Militarization of the Ivy League?

COL Gian Gentile, currently a professor at West Point but with extensive operational leadership experience - with extensive combat command time - asks why GEN Stanley McChrystal (Ret) is teaching an off the record course at Yale.  The essay is posted at The Atlantic.

 

By the late 1960s, the left-leaning ideological mindset that Buckley criticized no doubt encouraged the widespread opposition at Yale to the Vietnam Conflict --opposition that turned out to be justified by the facts on the ground in Vietnam. During those days, any notion that an American four-star general involved in the Vietnam debacle, someone like General William C. Westmoreland, should teach a course on leadership at Yale would have been dismissed out of hand as utterly ridiculous.

Fast-forward to 2012 and reality has been turned on its head. ...

 

McCyrstal is quoted as saying "the only reason I'm here to teach," compared with "somebody who's got a Ph.D., is because I've been through it."

McChrystal must have been through something ominous because, according to Elisabeth Bumiller's  Timesarticle, Yale University imposes restrictions on students who sit in McChrystal's classes, demanding that they take notes on an "off the record" basis -- i.e., not for attribution.