The civil-military relation focuses on the relationship between the civil society and the military forces. There has existed an extremely strong civilian control in its subjective and objective forms since the World War II. After the September 11 attack, there was unity between both camps for the greater purpose of struggling with terrorist and fighting against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The bone of contention emerged after the invasion in Iraq where crude weapons of mass destruction were employed during the war. However, the extent of the disunity is not as grave as was experienced after the Vietnam War. The democrats and republicans in the military and civil societies had differing opinions about the use of military forces in Libya.
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Civilian control of the armed forces, as seen in the United States, has been there for a long time. However, it is not an assurance that the status quo will remain the same. Apprehension between civilian and military leaders has been mottled considerably. This is due to differences in their opinions on various issues. Soldiers, who volunteer their services, have had varied opinions and sentiments shared by most of the American people in regard to the age, education and gender. Junior officers are mostly younger as compared to the officers in senior positions, such as captains or majors. Those high-ranking officers, who hold high positions in the military, are mainly extremely conservative, more religious than their counterparts in the civilian front and are commonly the Republican Party members.
The theory of Huntington on subjective civilian control is strongly inclined towards common beliefs, values and views. If the beliefs are shared between the military and civilian counterparts, it implies that diversities among them will be greatly reduced. However, on the other hand, if the beliefs between them vary significantly, conflicts will probably arise. Non-military activities, which both camps undertake, also substantially influence the relationships between them. These activities include struggle against drugs, managing of environmental disasters, border patrols, peacekeeping within the nation and social welfare programs among others. If assigned to undertake these initiatives, relations between the civilian and military camps are strengthened in the real sense.
Drawing a distinction between the civilian and military area of expertise has been another key challenge. Lack of know-how on a particular subject may hinder understanding between the civilian and military officers. For example, if the military are sent out for non-military missions, controversies are bound to arise especially if they involve a political agenda.
It is highly probable that a breakdown of civilian control may take place in the US military system in the next decade due to the ongoing changes. As time elapses, more and more people become aware of the rights they are entitled to. Soldiers being recruited now are more educated than their former counterparts. Education changes the individual’s thinking mentality which, in turn, implies that views may start to vary again, thereby leading to conflict between them. In the end a constitutional form of government should be drawn up for the political involvement of the military officers. Global security issues are the matters of their concern. The American military must obey the constitution and accept the supremacy of their civilian counterparts for meaningful mutual understandings and beneficial relations. Thus, a policy concerning the civil society should not affect the military system in any way. The military leaders must critically evaluate the political constituent of warfare. This will be achieved through intense training and assignments in regard to the subject matter. Thus, the military leaders will be able to acquire particular skills in the political sphere and apply them in the work process.
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