Our Army: Soldiers, Politics, and American Civil-Military Relations

Our Army: Soldiers, Politics, and American Civil-Military Relations

by Jason K. Dempsey
     
 

"Interesting and important. Dempsey presents a wealth of original survey data on the views of army personnel. He shows that soldiers hold views that are not dramatically different from those of the American people as a whole, but that differences between officers and the general public exist on many issues. Dempsey points to the dangers of having the military aligned… See more details below

Overview

"Interesting and important. Dempsey presents a wealth of original survey data on the views of army personnel. He shows that soldiers hold views that are not dramatically different from those of the American people as a whole, but that differences between officers and the general public exist on many issues. Dempsey points to the dangers of having the military aligned to one political party."—Ole R. Holsti, professor emeritus, Duke University

"This is the only analysis of a random-sample survey of the U.S. Army that probes in some depth the political attitudes of army personnel. Dempsey shows that the army as a whole is more conservative and Republican than comparable civilian cohorts but, because of the large number of African Americans and a blue-collar enlisted ranks, is not overwhelmingly conservative and Republican. This is a valuable book with one-of-a-kind data that will be a great resource and stimulus for research and debate."—Peter D. Feaver, coauthor of Paying the Human Costs of War

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691142241
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
12/07/2009
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi
List of Tables xiii
Preface xv
Acknowledgments xvii

Chapter 1. Introduction 1
Citizenship and Service: A 2004 Survey of Army Personnel 5
The 2004 West Point Preelection Survey 7

Chapter 2. Soldiers and Politics 10
Historical Overview 10
From the Revolution to Civil War 10
Post-Civil War 13
Post-World War II 15
Post-Vietnam 20
After the Cold War 23
Implications for Civil-Military Relations 27

Chapter 3. An Overview of Army Demographics 34
The Army's Rank Structure 34
Gender, Race, and Ethnicity 35
Education and Income 38
Family and Region 40
The Virtual Army and Virtual Officer Corps 42

Chapter 4. Social and Political Attitudes 45
Reasons for Joining 45
Views of the Army 47
Use of Military Force 48
Defense and Foreign Policy Spending 52
The Economy and Domestic Spending 54
Social Issues 60
Attitudes toward Issues of Gender and Race 63
Trust and Efficacy in Government 65
Conclusion 68

Chapter 5. Conservatism 70
Self-Identification 70
Opting In and Opting Out? 82
Social and Economic Dimensions of Conservatism 85
Conclusion 92

Chapter 6. Party Affiliation in the Army 95
Deriving Party Affiliation 95
Generic Party Identification 98
Identification with the Republican and Democratic Parties 101
Determinants of Republican Identification 105
The Meaning of Party Affiliation in the Army 109
Soldier and Officer Differences 111
Military and Civilian Differences 111
Republican-Democratic Differences 115
Party Affiliation and Foreign Policy 119
Conclusion 124

Chapter 7. Political Participation 127
Voting 129
Displaying Support 131
Donating Money 131
Determinants of Political Activity 132
Mobility and Ease of Voting 137
Efficacy and Political Participation 139
Partisanship and Political Participation 140
Army Culture 144
Self-Selection Effect 146
Conclusion 149

Chapter 8. The Army's Next Generation 152
Existing Research on Cadets and Socialization 153
Self-Selection 154
The Limits of Socialization 155
Shaping Political Attitudes? 157
The 2004 Cadet Preelection Survey 160
Cadet Demographics 161
The Composition and Role of West Point Instructors 164
Ideology and Party Affiliation 165
Indoctrination or Self-Selection? 166
Demographics 167
Institutional Pressure? 169
Perceptions and Expectations 172
Conclusion 174

Chapter 9. Army Attitudes in 2004 and Beyond 177
Conventional Wisdom and the Reality of Army Attitudes 178
A Generational Shift 184
Chapter 10. The Way Forward 187
The Future of American Civil-Military Relations 187
Leveraging the Institution for Political Gain 191
Fulfilling Professional Obligations 191
Translating Service into Privilege 192
Lessons from the Army's Birthday 194
Update: The 2008 Election 197

Afterword 201
Thoughts on Sparta . . . 201
. . . and Babylon 203

Appendix A: Citizenship and Service: A 2004 Survey of Army Personnel 207
Survey Method 207
Survey Response 210
Survey Weighting 214
Survey Instrument: C&S Survey 215
Appendix B: The 2004 Cadet Preelection Survey 223
Survey Instrument: The 2004 Cadet Preelection Survey 224
Appendix C: Comparison Surveys 240
Appendix D: The Virtual Army and Virtual Officer Corps 243
Appendix E: Rules Governing Political Participation of Members of the Army 245
Appendix F: Adjutant General's Absentee Voting Message 247

Bibiliography 249
Index 259

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >