Lead Me, Follow Me, or Get Out of My Way: Rethinking and Refining the Civil-Military Relationship

Lead Me, Follow Me, or Get Out of My Way: Rethinking and Refining the Civil-Military Relationship

by U.S. Army War College


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This book explains why robust civil-military relations matter and discusses how they are evolving. Without meaningful and reliable civilian control of the military, governments lose some measure of control over the destiny of their nations. In extreme circumstances, a lack of civilian control can even lead to a coup d'état. Part I discusses A More Perfect Military: How the Constitution Can Make Our Military Stronger by Diane Mazur, a book that examines the jurisprudence that has reshaped civil-military relations. Mazur maintains that since the Vietnam era, the U.S. Supreme Court has in effect distanced the Armed Forces from general society in order to create a separate-and more socially conservative-sphere.

Part II discusses The Decline and Fall of the American Republic by Bruce Ackerman, a wise and wide-ranging book that argues that the nation's polity is in decline and that the increasingly politicized armed forces may force a change in government. Part III asks where we go from here. These important books attribute a thinning of civilian control over the military to specific legal and political decisions. They explain some of the most important implications of this transformation, and they offer proposals about how to improve that critical relationship for the sake of enhancing the effectiveness of the armed forces and the vitality of the republic. This book goes on to examine briefly evolving great-power politics, the effects new technologies have on long-standing distinctions and borders, and the relative rise of nonstate actors, including al Qaeda-three sets of exogenous factors that inevitably drive changes in the civil-military relationship. In the end, this book points to a more ambitious enterprise: a complete re-examination of the relationship between force and society.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781503003187
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 10/27/2014
Pages: 52
Sales rank: 823,820
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.11(d)

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