Relationship between military and civilian leadership

Civilian control of the military - Wikipedia

relationship between military and civilian leadership

Introduction; Are United States policy makers too optimistic about the effectiveness of military power? How does the use of Drones in. Strategy and Policy: Civilian and Military Leadership in the 21st Century relationship between civilian masters and military subordinates and. Second, any problem with civil-military relations is something for the .. mutual respect and understanding between civilian and military leaders.

Feaver [88] [89] [90] laid out an agency theory of civil-military relations, which he argued should replace Huntington's institutional theory. Taking a rationalist approach, he used a principal-agent framework, drawn from microeconomicsto explore how actors in a superior position influence those in a subordinate role.

He used the concepts of "working" and "shirking" to explain the actions of the subordinate. In his construct, the principal is the civilian leadership that has the responsibility of establishing policy. The agent is the military that will work — carry out the designated task — or shirk — evading the principal's wishes and carrying out actions that further the military's own interests.

Shirking at its worst may be disobedience, but Feaver includes such things as "foot-dragging" and leaks to the press. The problem for the principal is how to ensure that the agent is doing what the principal wants done. Agency theory predicts that if the costs of monitoring the agent are low, the principal will use intrusive methods of control. Intrusive methods include, for the executive branch, such things as inspections, reports, reviews of military plans, and detailed control of the budget, and for Congress, committee oversight hearings and requiring routine reports.

For the military agent, if the likelihood that shirking will be detected by the civilian principal is high or if the perceived costs of being punished are too high, the likelihood of shirking is low. Feaver argued that his theory was different from other theories or models in that it was purely deductive, based on democratic theory rather than on anecdotal evidence, and better enabled analysis of day-to-day decisions and actions on the part of the civilian and military leadership.

Huntington concentrated on the relationship between civilian leadership and the military qua institution while Janowitz focused on the relationship of the military qua individuals to American society.

Agency theory provided a link between the two enabling an explanation of how civil-military relations work on a day-to-day basis.

Specifically, agency theory would predict that the result of a regime of intrusive monitoring by the civilian leadership combined with shirking on the part of the military would result in the highest levels of civil-military conflict. Feaver [88] suggested that post-Cold War developments had so profoundly reduced the perceived costs of monitoring and reduced the perceived expectation of punishment that the gap between what civilians ask the military to do and what the military would prefer to do had increased to unprecedented levels.

Concordance theory[ edit ] After observing that most civil-military theory assumes that the civilian and military worlds must necessarily be separate, both physically and ideologically, Rebecca L. Schiff offered a new theory—Concordance—as an alternative.

relationship between military and civilian leadership

Most scholars agree with the theory of objective civilian control of the military Huntingtonwhich focuses on the separation of civil and military institutions.

Such a view concentrates and relies heavily on the U. Schiff provides an alternative theory, from both institutional and cultural perspectives, that explains the U. While concordance theory does not preclude a separation between the civilian and military worlds, it does not require such a state to exist. She argues that three societal institutions— 1 the military2 political elitesand 3 the citizenry must aim for a cooperative arrangement and some agreement on four primary indicators: Social composition of the officer corps.

The political decision-making process. The method of recruiting military personnel. The style of the military. If agreement occurs among the three partners with respect to the four indicators, domestic military intervention is less likely to occur. In her book, The Military and Domestic Politics, she applied her theory to six international historical cases studies: Other civil-military relations issues[ edit ] Liberal theory and the American Founding Fathers[ edit ] At the heart of civil-military relations is the problem of how a civilian government can control and remain safe from the military institution it created for its own protection.

A military force that is strong enough to do what is asked of it must not also pose a danger to the controlling government. This poses the paradox that "because we fear others we create an institution of violence to protect us, but then we fear the very institution we created for protection".

relationship between military and civilian leadership

While armed forces were built up during wartime, the pattern after every war up to and including World War II was to demobilize quickly and return to something approaching pre-war force levels. However, with the advent of the Cold War in the s, the need to create and maintain a sizable peacetime military force engendered new concerns of militarism and about how such a large force would affect civil-military relations in the United States.

For the first time in American history, the problem of civil-military relations would have to be managed during peacetime. All were objects of concern because of the dangers each posed to liberal democracy and a free citizenry. While it is often impossible to "gauge accurately the intent of the Framers", [96] it is nevertheless important to understand the motivations and concerns of the writers with respect to the appropriate relationship between civil and military authority.

The Federalist Papers provide a helpful view of how they understood the relationship between civil authority, as represented by the executive branch and the legislature, and military authority. In his principal argument for the ratification of the proposed constitution, he argued that only by maintaining a strong union could the new country avoid such a pitfall.

Avoiding the Great Divorce: The Civil-Military Relationship

Using the European experience as a negative example and the British experience as a positive one, he presented the idea of a strong nation protected by a navy with no need of a standing army. The implication was that control of a large military force is, at best, difficult and expensive, and at worst invites war and division.

He foresaw the necessity of creating a civilian government that kept the military at a distance.

relationship between military and civilian leadership

James Madisonanother writer of several of the Federalist Papers[97] expressed his concern about a standing military in comments before the Constitutional Convention in June In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive, will not long be safe companions to liberty.

The means of defense against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people. Coming from a tradition of legislative superiority in government, many were concerned that the proposed Constitution would place so many limitations on the legislature that it would become impossible for such a body to prevent an executive from starting a war.

Hamilton argued in Federalist No. James Madison, in Federalist No. Finally, in Federalist No. Institutions must be in place to check incompetent or malevolent leaders. Most importantly, no single branch of government ought to have control over any single aspect of governing. Thus, all three branches of government must have some control over the military, and the system of checks and balances maintained among the other branches would serve to help control the military.

Hamilton and Madison thus had two major concerns: These concerns drove American military policy for the first century and a half of the country's existence. Until the s, the maintenance of a large military force by the United States was an exceptional circumstance and was restricted to times of war. Following every war up to and including World War II, the military was quickly demobilized and reduced to near pre-war levels. Civilian-military culture gap thesis[ edit ] Most debates in civil-military relations assumed that a separation between the civilian and military worlds was inevitable and likely necessary.

The argument had been over whether to control the gap between the two worlds Huntington or to minimize the gap by enacting certain policies Janowitz. Following the end of the Cold War inhowever, the discussion began to focus on the nature of the apparent gap between civilian and military cultures and, more specifically, whether that gap had reached such proportions as to pose a danger to civilian control of the military.

Part of the debate was based on the cultural differences between the more liberal civilian society and the conservative military society, and on the recognition that such differences had apparently become more pronounced than in past years. He was perhaps most influential with his definition of militarismwhich he described as the state of a society that "ranks military institutions and ways above the prevailing attitudes of civilian life and carries the military mentality into the civilian sphere.

What impact do such issues have on civil—military relations? Is military service an obligation of citizenship or something else? How are officers accessed and promoted? Is the accession and promotion of officers based on merit and achievement or political affiliation, social class, ethnicity, or religion? Obviously, such questions have been answered differently from state to state and even differently within a state at different times under different circumstances. Through most of its early history, the United States maintained a small regular peacetime establishment that mostly conducted limited constabulary operations.

During wartime, the several states were responsible for raising soldiers for federal service, either as militia or volunteers. Today the US military is a volunteer professional force. But even this force continues to evolve, as debates over such issues as women in combat and service by open homosexuals make clear Moskos et al.

Other states pursue different approaches. Finally, how effective is the military instrument that a given pattern of civil—military relations produces? All of the other questions mean little if the military instrument is unable to ensure the survival of the state.

If there is no constitution, the question of constitutional balance doesn't matter. Does effectiveness require a military culture distinct in some ways from the society it serves?

What impact does societal structure have on military effectiveness? What impact does political structure exert? Is the effectiveness of militaries in some developing states degraded as a result of their primary role in ensuring domestic security and regime survival? What impact does a given pattern of civil—military relations have on the effectiveness of strategic decision making processes Brooks ; Desch ? In general, there are two lenses through which to examine these questions. The first is the institutional lens, which focuses on how the actors in a polity, including the military as an organization, interact within the institutional framework of a given polity's government.

The most influential institutional theory of civil—military relations was advanced fifty years ago by Samuel Huntington in his seminal work, The Soldier and the State This lens focuses on the broad question of military culture vs. Israel, for instance, has little separation between the two and yet civil—military relations seem stable Schiff ; Questions of civil—military relations are complex.

It is unlikely that one analytical approach will provide anything close to the whole picture. Such a determination is of more than merely academic interest.

Civil–military relations - Wikipedia

It has implications for the very survival of a polity. As the civil—military problematique would suggest, the worst-case consequences of dysfunctional civil—military relations would include catastrophic failure on the battlefield leading to the defeat of the state in a war or the seizure of the government by the military itself.

But dysfunctional civil—military relations may generate other adverse outcomes short of the catastrophic ones. For example, poor civil—military relations may lead to failures in strategic assessment Brooks This is true during both war and peacetime. In the case of war, poor strategic assessment may contribute directly or indirectly to defeat on the battlefield because strategic leaders, both political and military, fail to share information or cooperate in other ways Snyder ; Brooks A case in point is the US war in Iraq.

Many observers have contended that most of the problems the United States faced in this conflict were the result of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's management style Herspringthe insulated nature of the Bush administration, or Rumsfeld's penchant for simply overruling advice that did not support his preferences. These pathologies resulted in oversight mechanisms that weakened strategic coordination Brooks In the case of peacetime, poor strategic assessment may lead to an overestimation of an adversary's capabilities, resulting in the wasting of resources on defense.

Criteria for judging the health of civil—military relations might include: In the case of liberal democracies, the absence of coups would seem to set the bar too low.

Most scholars focus on the extent to which civilian preferences prevail when there are differences between the civilians and the military Huntington Others equate healthy civil—military relations with the maintenance of civilian values and the lack of military domination of society Millett Of course, a critical measure of good civil—military relations is success in war.

Paradoxically, this may require civilian intervention in military affairs, generating significant civilian—military friction E. The two polar extremes of bad relations are militarism and de-bellicization. The former is the dominance of military institutions, values, prerogatives, attitudes and practices, etc.

relationship between military and civilian leadership

The latter is the denigration or even complete extirpation of military virtues from a society Huntington ; Guttman ; Sheehanthe most dangerous consequence of which is defeat in war. While some have suggested that the United States is moving toward one extreme or the other Lasswell ; Ekirch ; Bacevichthe evidence to support such claims is weak. The real civil—military relations issues for most polities, including developing states, concern the mutual influence of the civilian and military sectors of society.

Influences on Civil—Military Relations A number of factors influence the civil—military relations of a state. The first of these are its history and culture. But the substantial differences in patterns of civil—military relations between Prussia and Great Britain in the nineteenth century and between the United States and Israel today are directly attributable to differences in culture and history Craig ; Strachan ; Schiff The political institutions of a state also exert a strong influence on its civil—military relations by allocating relative power to civilian and military leaders.

Clearly, different regime types will exhibit different patterns of civil—military relations Janowitz Perlmutter ; S. The military may be dominant, subordinate to civilian control, or share power Brooks Even in highly militarized regimes, the military may only be one constituent part.

For example, in the Soviet Union, the military had to compete against the Communist Party apparatus and the state security system, the KGB, for influence Nichols In liberal democracies, civil—military relations are affected by the constitution of the state and the statutes and practices arising therefrom.

In such polities, civil—military relations are complicated by the vast array of players in both the civilian and military realms. The former consists of the executive and legislative branches of government, both of which are further divided. The fact that the interests of political appointees and career civil servants are not always the same and that the interests of both may differ from those of the uniformed military has an important impact on civil—military relations.

Nor are legislatures monolithic, consisting as they do of members from a number of political parties. Structure matters as well. The national legislature of the United States is bicameral. In the United States, as in most liberal regimes, the legislative branch does most of its business in committees. The same goes for the military realm, which usually includes a number of uniformed services. For many years in the United States, the services were the main players on the military side.

This extreme manifestation of interservice rivalry played out not only within the newly formed Department of Defense, but also in Congress and the press Caraley ; Keiser ; Boettcher While competition among separate services for mission and resources may contribute to civil—military pathologies, such competition may also have some beneficial effects, e.

Nonetheless, the individual services still exert a great deal of influence on US policy. Previously, CJCS was merely the spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a corporate body consisting of the four service chiefs, who in their collective capacity were the source of military advice to the president.

But Goldwater-Nichols made the Chairman, not the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a whole, the primary military adviser to the president and the secretary of defense. Along with the large Joint Staff, the Chairman per se has become a major player in civil—military affairs, despite the fact that he is not in the chain of command.

Precedent is also important. In the case of the United States, the principle of military subordination to civilian authority seems to have been internalized by each generation of officers based on the precedent set by George Washington at the end of the American Revolution.

But the low likelihood of a coup in the United States does not mean that military actors cannot still find other ways to undermine balanced civil—military relations. However, precedent is not always determinate. The military establishments of India and Pakistan were both shaped by the British military tradition, but the civil—military relations of the two countries are vastly different Schiff Changes in the international security environment also influence civil—military relations, although writers have disagreed about the direction of that influence.

Michael Desch, on the other hand, has argued that states facing high external threats and low internal threats have the most stable civil—military relations Desch Technology has an impact on patterns of civil—military relations. For instance, the destructive power of nuclear weapons not only increased the role of civilians in the development of strategy, but also reduced the leeway of the military in operational and even tactical matters Feaver In the countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin Americaby contrast, the military leaders have often also been the leaders in modernization.

As a result the army often became the most modern and effective institution in the society and its leaders the most ardent exponents of modernization, nationalism, and progressive reform. In these circumstances the military frequently possessed advantages over other groups and institutions because of its greater organizational coherence and discipline and hence its ability to get things done; its identification with society as a whole and its concern with national goals rather than with the parochial interests of class, party, ethnic, or communal group; and its technical expertise in terms of literacy, education, and engineering and mechanical skills.

Thus, the Young Turks who seized power in the Ottoman Empire in came out of the Westernized military schools that the sultans had created in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Similarly, in the post- World War II era the military overthrew more traditional oligarchical regimes and seized the leadership in modernization in such countries as Egypt and Iraq.

In former colonies the military often seized power shortly after the achievement of independence, ousting what it held to be corrupt party regimes of civilian politicians and attempting to organize the society for more effective modernization for example, in the Sudan, Pakistan, and Burma in ; in South Korea in ; and in South Vietnam in In Latin America the relation of the military to modernization was somewhat more complex.

During the nineteenth century neither effective political institutions nor professionalized officer corps existed in most Latin American countries. During the first part of the twentieth century the military officers became increasingly professionalized, increasingly middle class, and increasingly in favor of progress and reform.

This led to a new period of military interventions in politics beginning in the s. In Latin America, as in Asia and Africa, however, military interventions in politics may produce short-run gains in terms of modernization at the expense of continued long-term weakness of civilian political institutions. Only those countries that either have inherited strong political institutions parties and civilian bureaucracies from the colonial era for example, India or have been able to create effective modern political institutions through revolution Mexico or reform Uruguay have been able to minimize the military role in politics and to maintain nonpolitical professional military forces.

The phenomenon that amazed Mosca was the product of the emergence of constitutional consensus in the modern state and the increasing differentiation of the military from other social groups. In all societies military men differ from nonmilitary men by the possession of arms. In primitive tribes and in the nation in arms, this difference in theory is eliminated in fact by dispersing military functions among the citizens at large. In more advanced and differentiated systems only a portion of the population bears arms.

Prior to the development of the professionalized officer corps in the nineteenth century, however, few inhibitions prevented such military forces from exploiting their monopoly of violence for their own advantage.

Civil–Military Relations

The military could use its arms for purposes contrary to those of the acknowledged leaders of the polity or the dominant groups in the society. In traditional societies the problem of minimizing the role of force and violence and, hence, the dominance of the military in politics was the major continuing problem of civil—military relations. In the modern state, however, the line between politics and military affairs is much sharper, and the officer corps is a distinct professionalized body whose leaders devote their careers to the study and practice of the management of violence.

The role of violence in the political order is latent; only during constitutional crisis and intense social conflict does force become the arbiter of politics. The more pervasive problem of civil—military relations concerns not the role of force in politics but the role of expertise in politics. The parallels to the modern problem of civil—military relations are to be found not in the Praetorian Guard but in the relations that exist in modern states between political leaders, on the one hand, and such specialists as diplomats, civil servants, scientists, and economists on the other.

This concern may be attributed to a variety of factors. First, among many civilian groups there is a legacy of fear concerning past military participation in politics. Military officers and the armed forces are seen as alien and sinister in a way in which the other expert groups are not. Second, the organizational coherence and discipline of the armed forces contrast with the more egalitarian and voluntaristic organizational patterns characteristic of constitutional democracies.

The military often seems to have a potential for disciplined political action not possessed by other groups. Third, in times of war and of prolonged international crisis the military may exercise control over a substantial portion of the resources of society. Forty per cent of the American gross national product during World War II and about 10 per cent during the cold war years from to was devoted to military purposes; the Soviet Union allocated about 18 per cent of its gross national product to military purposes in the latter period.

Finally, the military is often identified with war and is viewed as the major protagonist of war. Actually, in most modern societies, including the United States, the officer corps and its leaders have played a moderating, restraining role in the conduct of foreign policy. Bellicosity has been far more typical of civilian groups and political movements than of the professional military.

Nonetheless, the traditional identification of the military with war has lingered on and has manifested itself in the view that more political power for the military and the allocation of more resources to the military will increase the probability of war. These traditional attitudes toward the military are found, in varying degrees, in most Western societies. In other ways, however, the image of the military has changed significantly. The creation of a professionalized officer corps has been generally accompanied by a long-term decline in the prestige and general status of the military.

In eighteenth-century European society the military and the aristocracy were closely linked in fact and in image. Since then in most modern societies first upper-middle-class and then lower-middle-class elements have increasingly made their appearance in the officer corps. The result has been to break the identification of the military with the ruling class. The decline in social status has been accompanied by increasing technical expertise.

The aristocratic image of the officer has, in large measure, been replaced by the expert image. In many instances military leaders have elaborated upon and employed the complexities of modern military science to erect a defensive wall against pressures from civilian politicians and to invoke the authority of esoteric knowledge to buttress their policy recommendations. During periods of rapid change in warfare, however, military leaders, committed to the truths of another day, may lag behind civilians in adjusting military concepts and techniques to drastically changed conditions.