January 13, 2021

Now Is a Bad Time to Weaken Civilian Control Over the Military

By ​Jim Golby

From the election of Abraham Lincoln that preceded the U.S. Civil War until last Wednesday, Americans were able to take the peaceful transition of power between presidents for granted. The value of a nonpartisan military under democratic civilian control seemed abstract and theoretical, something for other nations to worry about. The mob attacks on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 are a sudden reminder of just how vital a nonpartisan military really is—even in the United States.

The mob attacks on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 are a sudden reminder of just how vital a nonpartisan military really is—even in the United States.

President Donald Trump has largely ignored the laws and traditions governing U.S. civil-military relations. But problems in the relationship between the military, politicians, and the public began well before Trump’s tenure and will remain after he is gone. If the United States does not reverse these trends soon, it will likely find itself in an even more dangerous situation in the coming decades.

Read the full article from Foreign Policy.

  • Commentary
    • INKSTICK
    • March 12, 2021
    The Trans Ban Is Gone but More Needs To Be Done

    Simply lifting the ban isn’t enough to counteract the discrimination transgender service members and veterans continue to face....

    By Nathalie Grogan

  • Commentary
    • Task and Purpose
    • December 16, 2020
    How to build more resilient and innovative US special operations teams

    The military is looking for the wrong solutions to support the force....

    By Lt Col Kaveri T. Crum & Emma Moore

  • Commentary
    • December 16, 2020
    Sharper: 2020

    2020 featured an ever-evolving series of national security challenges....

    By Sam Dorshimer, Nathalie Grogan, Emily Jin, Chris Estep & Cole Stevens

  • Video
    • December 13, 2020
    On GPS: Why civilians run the Pentagon

    The University of Texas, Austin's Jim Golby joins Fareed to look back at why generals have historically been kept away from serving as Secretary of Defense. Watch the full int...

    By ​Jim Golby

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia