How Trump Damaged U.S. Civil-Military Relations—and How to Repair Them

President Donald Trump departs the White House to visit St. John’s Church with then-Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, middle, and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, right, in Washington, June 1, 2020 (AP photo by Patrick Semansky).
President Donald Trump departs the White House to visit St. John’s Church with then-Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, middle, and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, right, in Washington, June 1, 2020 (AP photo by Patrick Semansky).
SUBSCRIBE NOW
Free Newsletter

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 […]

TO READ MORE

Enter your email to get instant access to this article and to receive our free email newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Become a member now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Weekly in-depth reports, including features on important countries and issues.
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.

And all of this is available to you — right now for just $1 for the first 3 months.

More World Politics Review