A Step Towards Normalizing Civil-Military Relations

I have often argued that General Petraeus’ intervention in American domestic politics to sell the “surge” was an inappropriate violation of the norms of civil-military relations.  I hope that this report suggests that the Obama Administration is not going to promote a repeat.  Civilian leaders discuss strategic-level policy matter.  Yes, the ought to draw heavily on military expertise and advice in their private deliberations.  But it is simply unhealthy for active-duty officers to participate in domestic debates directly.

Congress Presses on War Plan – WSJ.com

The Pentagon is rebuffing congressional calls for the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan to personally make the case for the war, amid the growing political tumult over the Obama administration’s handling of the conflict.

1 comment to A Step Towards Normalizing Civil-Military Relations

  • boyea18

    I agree that our military has an unhealthy role in our foreign policy and directly shaping our debate, but I doubt that is the reason the Pentagon is pushing back on this.

    I think it is more likely that the Pentagon sees support for the war waning, a Democratic Administration and Congress, and has decided that it doesn’t want to be left holding the bag on a failing war.

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