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.

  • Video
    • August 2, 2022
    National Guard offers signing bonus amid recruitment hurdles

    Military readiness expert Kate Kuzminski speaks to NewsNation about the effects that today's recruiting challenge will have on future readiness. Watch the full interview from...

    By Katherine L. Kuzminski

  • Video
    • July 20, 2022
    U.S. military facing biggest recruiting shortfall in decades

    The U.S. military is facing a recruiting shortfall, with officials saying there are not enough people signing up to serve. Katherine Kuzminski, Senior Fellow and Director of t...

    By Katherine L. Kuzminski

  • Commentary
    • Lawfare
    • June 19, 2022
    Overturning Roe: What Might This Mean for Military Culture?

    With the repeal of Roe, women stationed in states that either have a trigger law or are poised to enact more stringent abortion bans will be faced with sharp reductions in the...

    By Dr. Kyleanne Hunter

  • Commentary
    • June 7, 2022
    Sharper: Pride in National Security

    In order for the United States to maintain its strategic advantage, the national security community must be able to access the nation's top talent and draw from their strength...

    By Anna Pederson, Nathalie Grogan & Katherine L. Kuzminski

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia