The field of civil-military relations arguably began on the day that the first army was created, but it has burgeoned as a field in the past sixty to seventy years. It is, quite axiomatically, how civilians and the military relate. Within that study, a number of research lines have developed, one of which, led by, amongst others, Professors Ackerman and Mazur, being whether Congress or the President can fully function in their Constitutionally mandated roles if they possess a military mindset. That is, what if a Congressman is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War, or if they served in Afghanistan? Are they more or less likely to vote with a military appropriations bill based on that personal experience? What about the executive? The President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief. What if, as was the case with President Eisenhower, he has significant military experience?
While the crossing of executive and military purpose isn't likely to cause total protonic reversal, as Dr. Stantz warns will happen if streams cross, it does pose an important question - can the Executive serve its constitutional mandate and function as the overseer of the military if there has been a taking over of the military and para-military institutions such as the Department of Defense (DoD) that are responsible for military oversight. Over the next few weeks, I'll examine ideological assimilation, its potential role in the current administration, and why it is significant.
Part 1 - Take Charge of This Post: GEN (ret) Kelly's first day as White House Chief of Staff
Part 2 - Who Leads? The Military Presence in the Executive
Part 3 - Yes Men?: The Identity and Influence of Military General Officers
Part 3b - Yes Men?: A Post-Charlottesville Analysis
Part 4 - Politicization of the Military