Civil-military relationship is at the pinnacle of the government and in recent years, civilian control of the military has weakened in the United States and is threatened today. The issue is not the nightmare of a coup d'etat but rather the evidence that the American military has grown in influence to the point of being able to impose its own perspective on many policies and decisions. The American national security policy and decision-making process has tilted far more toward the military than ever before in American history in peacetime. Military officers, as well as civilians, must restore the understandings, behaviors, and attitudes that once made civilian control of the military a conscious civic principle of American life. This article is an expansion and update of the Harmon Memorial Lecture in Military History delivered in December 1999 at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Naval War College Review (Summer 2002), v.55 no.3, p.8-59