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Old 11-25-2020, 02:14 PM
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Arrow How Trump Damaged U.S. Civil-Military Relations—and How to Repair Them

How Trump Damaged U.S. Civil-Military Relations—and How to Repair Them
By: WPR World Politics Review & News - 11-25-20

The U.S. military has played a prominent role in Donald Trump’s presidency, at times serving as a prop to flatter his ego, at others as a tool for political gain, but also often as a punching bag to deflect blame. In the early days of his administration, Trump filled his Cabinet and White House staff with retired generals, only to successively fire them or watch them resign over policy differences. Later, his repeated pardons of U.S. soldiers convicted by military courts of war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan drove a wedge between himself and a military leadership committed to upholding discipline and the international laws of war. Most recently, his attempt to deploy the military to quell protests against racism and police brutality in cities across the U.S. ultimately led to the firing of his third defense secretary, Mark Esper.

It is perhaps no surprise that Trump’s disregard for norms and the rule of law would extend to his approach to the military, with serious implications for the relationship between the military and the civilian leadership at the top of the chain of command. This week on Trend Lines, Risa Brooks joins WPR editor-in-chief Judah Grunstein for a discussion on the damage Trump’s presidency has done to civil-military relations and what it will take to repair them. Dr. Brooks is the Allis Chalmers associate professor of political science at Marquette University, a nonresident senior associate in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and an adjunct scholar at West Point’s Modern War Institute.

Another topic of interest:

America’s Political Turmoil Is Threatening the Norms of Civil-Military Relations
By: Steve Metz - World Politics Review

In 1992, the U.S. Army War College’s journal Parameters published a provocative article entitled “The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012,” which critiqued the state of U.S. civil-military relations by imagining a fictional future military takeover of the government. The premise was that political leaders had essentially provoked the military to intervene in the political system by failing to respect their professionalism. The article caused a stir in part because its author, Charles Dunlap, was a serving U.S. Air Force lawyer, but mostly because the idea of a military intervention in the American political system was so inconceivable. Coups happened in other countries, but not in the United States.

It is true that American civil-military relations normally have been cordial. The military unquestioningly accepts the civilian control of the military codified in the Constitution. And—again normally—civilian political leaders respect the military’s apolitical professionalism and go to great lengths to avoid politicizing the armed forces. ...
This will be up to Biden to resolve our issues at home!


O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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