Essays academic service


Memorandum for the under secretary of state for political affairs subject civil military challenges

Forces—Afghanistan Assistant Commandant, U. Marine Corps Admiral Jonathan W. He advised military leaders to work effectively with other elements of the executive branch in employing the instruments of national power—diplomatic, informational, military, and economic—to protect U. In doing so, he would recommend prioritization and specify resourcing requirements for defense capabilities. In an August 2015 interview with Defense News prior to his September retirement, Admiral Greenert focused on two main points.

Civil-Military Relations in Transitions: Behavior of Senior Military Officers

Accordingly, the uncertainty of funding for training and maintenance as well as investments for modernization would affect not only current capacities but also future capabilities. Second, while acknowledging the security challenges of potential acts of terrorism by ISIL and al Qaeda, Greenert expressed concern about the potential threats of Russia and China that would require strong U.

Perhaps the most contentious recent civil-military issue arose among the executive and legislative branches and Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno.

Odierno had frequent interactions with both. I have no issue with debate and disagreement with Congress. That is part of the system. So we are getting after that now.

  1. Marine Corps Admiral Jonathan W. The Free Press, 2002.
  2. Accordingly, the uncertainty of funding for training and maintenance as well as investments for modernization would affect not only current capacities but also future capabilities.
  3. For example, former Under Secretary of the Army Brad Carson withdrew from consideration as Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness after waiting a year for Senate approval. I would advise future leaders that friction and disagreement in decisionmaking is not a negative.
  4. Truman Library and Museum.
  5. What they often got.

Understandably, points of friction are inherent in civil-military relations. Friction is evident in formal statements and unofficial leaks across agencies of the executive branch. In such cases, military leaders may speak out to provide pushback on current policies and strategies. They may seek to influence and potentially shape the discourse on emerging policies and strategies. Or, in the absence of clear policy guidance, they may press for decisions. In any event, they must advocate for resources commensurate with missions and established priorities of their civilian leaders.

Public and scholarly discourse commonly cite the tensions in civil-military relations, which often involve issues of authority, autonomy, and accountability. Authority is established in legal documents such as the Constitution of the United States; Title 10, U.

Code; and policy directives within the executive branch. As leaders in the profession of arms in accordance with the Huntingtonian constructs of expertise, responsibility, and corporateness, senior military leaders expect autonomy in their conduct of military operations.

Accordingly, trust and confidence are essential elements for developing effective and healthy CMR. Civil-Military Relations This article traces the evolution of civil-military relations through selected cases in U.

It has examined transitional behavior of the cohort of senior military leaders in the final term of the Obama administration.

U.S. Department of State

This review has illustrated aspects of civil-military relations and provided themes for consideration. In view of current tensions and the consequences of inappropriate behavior of some senior uniformed leaders, continuing education is essential to ensure senior military leaders do not unduly complicate and impair U.

Accordingly, they have served in diverse joint assignments, have spent time in the Pentagon observing the interaction between senior civilian and uniformed defense leaders, and have participated in professional development programs that include analysis of civil-military relations.

Perhaps most important, they have witnessed contentious and problematic civil-military relations behavior in the 21st century as documented in the works of journalist Bob Woodward and of former Defense Secretaries such as Rumsfeld, Robert Gates, and Leon Panetta.

  • Nora Bensahel offered sage advice to military leaders for the then-pending transition period of a new Presidential administration;
  • Senior military leaders must demonstrate the experience, expertise, and judgment that should be provided with candor to inform the decisions of our national policymakers;
  • To provide and maintain a Navy;
  • In such cases, military leaders may speak out to provide pushback on current policies and strategies.

They have observed the successes and challenges of CMR over periods of stress and turmoil with deliberations on the surge in Afghanistan, the declared end of combat operations in two theaters of war, and the shifting of strategic priorities. Arguably, JCS leaders have taken those lessons to heart. What they often got. While anecdotal reports of strained relations between the White House and the Pentagon surfaced, the behavior of this cohort of senior military officials was appropriate. Vigorous discussions and exchanges enabled them to provide the best military advice to civilian leaders as they determined policy objectives and approved plans as well as evaluated specific courses of action to address strategic issues.

President Obama selected and nominated each of these officers, and their appointments were confirmed by the Senate. As such, their prior performance and reputation established a baseline of trust and confidence with the civilian masters in the executive and legislative branches of our governments. An example of such Presidential trust was offered by General Dempsey: But you are here and I want your view on the strategic issue that has national security implications.

So direct evidence of military dissent with Presidential decisions and policies in congressional engagements is not readily available.

Congressional hearings may in some cases challenge Presidential policies rather than assess the effectiveness of military operations.

This kind of partisanship has also led to delays in considering Presidential appointees, impacting civilian appointees more than military ones.

For example, former Under Secretary of the Army Brad Carson withdrew from consideration as Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness after waiting a year for Senate approval.

Additionally, the approval of Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning took 6 months, as the Senate delayed to consider presidential remarks on an unrelated subject. They also seek authorization and appropriations for defense programs for weapons system acquisitions; they likewise rely on the Base Realignment and Closure process to deal with excess infrastructure and to use Federal funding more effectively.

Although some scholars express concern about apparent conflicts between Congress and Pentagon leaders, General Dempsey offers a valuable perspective: I would advise future leaders that friction and disagreement in decisionmaking is not a negative. In general the person at the table with the most persuasive arguments tends to prevail in those environments.

  1. The Joint Staff, June 2015.
  2. Princeton University Press, 2003. Authority is established in legal documents such as the Constitution of the United States; Title 10, U.
  3. While anecdotal reports of strained relations between the White House and the Pentagon surfaced, the behavior of this cohort of senior military officials was appropriate.
  4. As such, their prior performance and reputation established a baseline of trust and confidence with the civilian masters in the executive and legislative branches of our governments.
  5. That is part of the system.

Notably, Presidential appointees to senior defense positions and those elected to Congress currently fewer than one in five have limited military experience and thereby rely on the assessments provided by their military advisors. Arguably, trust and confidence may be extended initially to senior military leaders, but they are continually tested throughout the CMR.

Nora Bensahel offered sage advice to military leaders for the then-pending transition period of a new Presidential administration: This is a period when civil-military gaps may be greatest. For the Army, civil-military relations are an important part the curriculum at the U. It is equally important for civilian officials to learn about CMR.

These officials develop policies, craft laws, and ultimately make decisions involving the use of military force. Accordingly, CMR education should be provided to Presidential appointees, the National Security Council Staff, and to members of selected congressional committees.

By their very nature, CMR are necessarily dynamic and messy; they should be constantly monitored. The legacy of the last cohort of JCS members has provided a foundation for their successors. The current cohort, in turn, will, according to their own predilections, shape the future of CMR through engagements with the new Presidential administration.

Over the coming years, President Trump will select his own senior military officers for the Joint Staff. Senior military leaders must demonstrate the experience, expertise, and judgment that should be provided with candor to inform the decisions of our national policymakers.

An exchange relationship is inherent in such discourse in which senior military officers are the agents who act on the behalf of civilian principals. This relationship must be based on trust and confidence. Despite the inevitable tension, balance that facilitates proper CMR is possible. To declare War, To raise and support Armies.

To provide and maintain a Navy. Truman Library and Museum. Brands, The General vs. Harvard University Press, 1957. The Free Press, 1960. The Free Press, 2002. Princeton University Press, 2003.

Army, June 10, 2003. The Joint Staff, June 2015. Department of Defense, 2014. Global Leadership, January 2012. An Interview with Martin E. A Memoir New York: Penguin, 2011 ; Robert Gates, Duty: Memories of a Secretary at War New York: Penguin, 2011 ; and Leon Panetta, Worthy Fights: Campbell and David R.

Georgetown University Press, 2015. Tales from the Pentagon New York: