January 09, 2017

Civilian Control – How Trump Can Reverse the Trend of Failures in Recent Conflicts

By Christopher D. Kolenda

On the campaign trail, President-elect Donald J. Trump lambasted American generals for their failure to win wars. Now he has selected from their retired ranks to fill key cabinet level positions.

As confirmation hearings begin, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and others fear that civilian control of the military could be eroded if retired General James Mattis becomes Secretary of Defense.

The important discussions about whether to waive the 7-year cooling off period for Mattis tend to miss an even bigger civil-military challenge: America’s track record since World War Two has been terrible. Reverence for the military by a disengaged public has masked this problem and eroded accountability. Continued failure to win wars has the potential to badly damage civil-military trust – and America’s credibility in the world.

Read the full article at Kolenda Strategic Leadership.

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Affairs
    • October 15, 2019
    The Nonintervention Delusion

    Richard Fontaine addresses the most frequently expressed concerns about U.S. military interventions and concludes that the use of military force will remain a key component of...

    By Richard Fontaine

  • Commentary
    • Business Insider
    • October 12, 2019
    3 winners and 3 losers from a melting Arctic

    The Arctic Ocean is projected to have its first ice-free summer by 2050.While most would justifiably consider this a tragic consequence of climate change, some countries and i...

    By Brent Peabody

  • Commentary
    • Task and Purpose
    • October 1, 2019
    The Army may have hit this year's recruiting goal, but the service still has a long way to go

    A year after missing its recruitment goals for the first time in more than a decade, the U.S. Army announced on Sept. 17 that it will meet its target of 68,000 new soldiers fo...

    By Emma Moore

  • Commentary
    • The Hill
    • September 23, 2019
    VA treatment should be based on evidence, not political pressure

    Last week, lawmakers introduced legislation that would require the VA to make hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) available to any veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PT...

    By Kayla M. Williams

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia