Healthy Worry About Healthy Civil-Military Relations

CJCS Armed Forces Welcome Ceremony

“Civil-military relations” is a term that covers a multitude of sins. Scholars of civil-military relations write on topics ranging from recruiting and retention to military coups to norms of professional military behavior. This week’s Horns of a Dilemma speaker, Dr. Kori Schake, argues that civil-military relations in the United States have historically been strong and stable. So why are U.S. civil-military relations an important topic of study and debate? As Schake observes, Americans tend to put off addressing potential problems until they are worried about them. So, especially in light of challenges to the norms of strong and stable civil-military relations associated with a highly polarized partisan environment, worrying about healthy civil-military relations is … healthy. This talk was delivered at the Clements Center Summer Seminar in History and Statecraft held in Beaver Creek, Colorado in July.

Photo: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Washington D.C, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons