Abu Muqawama: No Crisis in Wartime U.S. Civil-Military Relations

By Andrew Exum, on , Column

Last week, I noted one of the ironies of the U.S. effort in Afghanistan since 2009: From the perspective of civil-military relations, the process worked. Regardless of one's opinion of the Obama administration’s strategy in Afghanistan and despite the high degree to which the U.S. government and its allies have struggled to implement that strategy, the division of labor between civilian officials and military officers in formulating the strategy itself functioned more or less according to design.

In light of the reaction the column generated, I’d like to examine civil-military relations in the United States more broadly. Today, I will discuss some of the literature that informs our thinking on civil-military relations, and next week, I will offer my thoughts on the state of civil-military relations in the United States today and offer policy recommendations to improve them. ...

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