Civil Miltary Relations

The study of civil-military relations examines how democratic governments can effectively exercise control over the military without undermining the latter.   The civil-military construct permeates all aspects of the military’s functions and operations.   A thorough understanding of the prevailing theories creates an understanding of the basis for political positions and decisions. An examination of the military historical figures and their relationship with political actors provides a basis for understanding the application of those theories and the consequences for the military officer when the balance of the civil-military relationship is titled in either direction.   Cumulating with the defense budget process that provides funding for the military as determined by Congress; in turn the budget determines the size, structure and equipment that the military will have to execute its functions. Understanding the military institution and its relationship in terms of its social and political setting with the American civil population is critical in presenting the military services message. Therefore, a Field Officer’s professional military education would not be complete without a thorough examination of the American civil-military relationship.
The prevailing theories for American civil-military relations begin with Sun Tzu and Carl von Clausewitz who argued that military organizations were primarily the servants of the state. In 1957 political scientist Samuel P. Huntington published The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations. The book remains as a foundation for discussions of military professionalism, civil-military relations and civilian control of the military. Huntington asserts the role of the professional military officer that by increasing the professionalism could and would separate the military from politics and render civilian control more effective.
Morris Janowitz in The Professional Soldier established the study of...