The Many Questions Trump’s Pardons Raise About Civil-Military Relations

President Donald Trump addresses members of the military during a surprise Thanksgiving Day visit to Afghanistan, Bagram Air Field, Nov. 28, 2019 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).
President Donald Trump addresses members of the military during a surprise Thanksgiving Day visit to Afghanistan, Bagram Air Field, Nov. 28, 2019 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).
SUBSCRIBE NOW
Free Newsletter

When President Donald Trump granted pardons to two Army officers—one convicted of war crimes, the other accused of them—and reversed the demotion of a Navy SEAL who was convicted of posing with the corpse of an enemy combatant, he exposed several troubling ambiguities about civilian-military relations in the United States. Civilian and uniformed defense officials feel most at ease when the dynamics of their relationship are clear-cut, with formal and tacit assignments of roles and responsibilities that leave little room for uncertainty. In practice, though, things are rarely so black and white. There is only one certainty so far in […]

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