✍️✍️✍️ Military Decision Making Model Essay

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Military Decision Making Model Essay



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SE385: Decision Analysis Brief

Huntington's answer to the control dilemma was "objective civilian control. To put it simply, the more "objective civilian control," the more military security. Civilian control, then, is the independent variable for the subsequent dependent variable of military effectiveness. If civilian control is the critical variable for military effectiveness, it raises the question of how civilian control is then to be determined. Huntington identified two shaping forces or imperatives for civilian control — 1 functional and 2 societal. He broke the societal imperative into two components, ideology and structure. By ideology, he meant a world-view or paradigm: liberal anti-military, conservative pro-military, fascist pro-military, and Marxist anti-military.

By structure, he meant the legal-constitutional framework that guided political affairs generally and civil-military affairs specifically. According to Huntington and early studies of civil-military relationships, it is considered that effective civil-military relations should be in the form of objective civilian control over their armed forces. This control is indicated by the following factors; 1 the military's adoption of professional ethos and their recognition of boundaries of professional roles, 2 effective subordination of the military to civilian political leadership that formulates strategic directives on foreign and military policies, 3 recognition and approval from political leaders to the professional authorities and autonomy of the military and 4 minimal intervention of the military in politics and of politicians in military affairs.

If Huntington's imperatives are the independent variables, then the variable of civilian control becomes, in turn, an explanatory variable for military security. However, Huntington says that both societal imperatives, ideology, and structure, are unchanging, at least in the American case. If that is the case, then the functional imperative is fully explanatory for changes in civilian control and subsequently military security. In short, if external threats are low, liberal ideology "extirpates" or eliminates military forces. If external threats are high, liberal ideology produces a "transmutation" effect that will re-create the military in accordance with liberalism, but in such a form that it will lose its "peculiarly military characteristics.

With the understanding that the rise of the Soviet Union created a long-term threat, Huntington concluded that the liberal society of the United States would fail to create adequate military forces to ensure security over the long term. The only circumstance he could foresee that would permit adequate military security was for the United States to change the societal imperative. Risa Brooks argues that the health of civil-military relations is best judged by whether there is a i preference divergence between military and political leaders, and ii whether there is a power imbalance. She argues that the healthiest arrangement of civil-military relations is when the preferences between military and political leaders is low, and political leaders have a dominant power advantage.

She argues that the worst kind of civil-military relations is when there is high preference divergence, as well as a power balance between the military and political leaders. The other principal thread within the civil-military theoretical debate was that generated in by Morris Janowitz in The Professional Soldier. Since the military world as he saw it was fundamentally conservative, it would resist change and not adapt as rapidly as the more open and unstructured civilian society to changes in the world. Thus, according to Janowitz, the military would benefit from exactly what Huntington argued against — outside intervention.

Janowitz introduced a theory of convergence, arguing that the military, despite the extremely slow pace of change, was in fact changing even without external pressure. Convergence theory postulated either a civilianization of the military or a militarization of society [67] [70] [76] [83] [84] However, despite this convergence, Janowitz insisted that the military world would retain certain essential differences from the civilian and that it would remain recognizably military in nature.

Janowitz agreed with Huntington that, because of the fundamental differences between the civilian and military worlds, clashes would develop which would diminish the goal of civilian control of the military. His answer was to ensure that convergence occurred, thus ensuring that the military world would be imbued with the norms and expectations of the society that created it. He encouraged use of conscription, which would bring a wide variety of individuals into the military. He also encouraged the use of more Reserve Officer Training Corps ROTC programs at colleges and universities to ensure that the military academies did not have a monopoly on the type of officer, particularly the senior general officer and flag officer leadership positions, in the military services.

He specifically encouraged the development of ROTC programs in the more elite universities, so that the broader influences of society would be represented by the officer corps. The more such societal influences present within the military culture, the smaller the attitudinal differences between the two worlds and the greater the chance of civilians maintaining control over the military. Janowitz, like Huntington, believed that the civilian and military worlds were different from one another; while Huntington developed a theory to control the difference, Janowitz developed a theory to diminish the difference. In response to Huntington's position on the functional imperative, Janowitz concluded that in the new nuclear age, the United States was going to have to be able to deliver both strategic deterrence and an ability to participate in limited wars.

Such a regime, new in American history, was going to require a new military self-conception, the constabulary concept: "The military establishment becomes a constabulary force when it is continuously prepared to act, committed to the minimum use of force, and seeks viable international relations, rather than victory The military, instead of viewing itself as a fire company to be called out in emergency, would then be required to imagine itself in the role of a police force, albeit on the international level rather than domestically. The role of the civilian elite would be to interact closely with the military elite so as to ensure a new and higher standard of professional military education, one that would ensure that military professionals were more closely attuned to the ideals and norms of civilian society.

This hypothesis evolved into the Postmodern Military Model , which helped predict the course of civil-military relations after the end of the Cold War. An institutional model presents the military as an organization highly divergent from civilian society while an occupational model presents the military more convergent with civilian structures. While Moskos did not propose that the military was ever "entirely separate or entirely coterminous with civilian society", the use of a scale helped better to highlight the changing interface between the armed forces and society.

The Vietnam War opened deep arguments about civil-military relations that continue to exert powerful influences today. One centered on a contention within military circles that the United States lost the war because of unnecessary civilian meddling in military matters. It was argued that the civilian leadership failed to understand how to use military force and improperly restrained the use of force in achieving victory. Among the first to analyze the war critically was Harry Summers , [91] who used Clausewitz as his theoretical basis. He argued that the principal reason for the loss of the Vietnam War was a failure on the part of the political leadership to understand the goal, which was victory. The Army, always successful on the battlefield, ultimately did not achieve victory because it was misused and misunderstood.

Summers argued that the conduct of the war violated many classical principals as described by Clausewitz, [22] thereby contributing to failure. He ended his analysis with a "quintessential strategic lesson learned": that the Army must become "masters of the profession of arms," thus reinforcing an idea along the lines of Huntington's argument for strengthening military professionalism.

McMaster [92] observed that it was easier for officers in the Gulf War to connect national policy to the actual fighting than was the case during Vietnam. He concluded that the Vietnam War had actually been lost in Washington, D. McMaster, who urged a more direct debate between civilians and the military on defense policy and actions, and Summers, who argued for a clear separation between civilians and the military, both pointed out controversies over the proper roles of civilian and military leaders.

Despite those controversies and the apparent lessons learned from the Vietnam War, some theorists recognized a significant problem with Huntington's theory insofar as it appears to question the notion of a separate, apolitical professional military. While there is little argument that separate civilian and military worlds exist, there is significant debate about the proper interaction between the two. As discussed above, Huntington proposed that the ideal arrangement was one whereby civilian political leaders provided objective control to the military leadership and then stepped back to permit the experts in violence to do what was most effective. He further stated that the most dangerous arrangement was one whereby civilian leaders intruded extensively in the military world, creating a situation whereby the military leadership was not politically neutral and security of the nation was thus threatened both by an ineffective military and by provoking the military to avoid taking orders.

Arguably, however, and despite Huntington's urging otherwise, U. During that time, the military elite had been extensively involved in the politics of defense budgets and management, and yet the United States had managed to emerge successfully from the Cold War. Despite that, none of Huntington's more dire predictions had proven true. In response to this apparent "puzzle," Peter D. Feaver [93] [94] [95] 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 microeconomics , to 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 [93] 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. 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. Most scholars agree with the theory of objective civilian control of the military Huntington , which 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 military , 2 political elites , and 3 the citizenry must aim for a cooperative arrangement and some agreement on four primary indicators:. 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: U. Concordance theory has been applied to emerging democracies, which have more immediate threat of coups.

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".

The solution to this problem throughout most of American history was to keep its standing army small, relying on augmentation from militias the predecessor of modern-day Reserve forces, to include the National Guard and volunteers. 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. The men who wrote the Constitution of the United States were fearful of large standing armies , legislatures that had too much power, and perhaps most of all, a powerful executive who might be able to wage war on his own authority.

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", [] 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 Federalist No. 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. 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. James Madison , another writer of several of the Federalist Papers , [] 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. The United States Constitution placed considerable limitations on the legislature. 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: 1 the detrimental effect on liberty and democracy of a large standing army and 2 the ability of an unchecked legislature or executive to take the country to war precipitously. 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. 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 in , however, 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 militarism , which 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. Once it became apparent that the American military was going to maintain historically high levels of active-duty personnel, concerns about the differences between civilian and military cultures quickly came to the forefront. The ensuing debate can be generally divided into three periods with different emphases in each. Much of this discussion is taken from a point paper written by Lindsay P.

Cohn while a graduate student at Duke University. Her writing has been widely used as a source of simplifying the analysis of the civil-military gap debate. The first period, roughly beginning with the end of World War II and ending in about with the end of the military draft in the United States, was primarily concerned with defining civil-military relations, understanding the concept of professionalism, and learning how civilians actually controlled the military.

As discussed above, Huntington and Janowitz dominated the debate. The second period started in about , with the end of conscription and the establishment of the all-volunteer force , and continued until the end of the Cold War. This period was concerned with the supposed lessons of the Vietnam War , how the volunteer force changed the nature of the armed forces, and whether those changes led to wider gaps between military and civilian societies. The third period, beginning with the end of the Cold War and continuing today, has seen an increasing interest in and concern about the existence of a "civil-military culture gap.

While the debate surrounding a presumed culture gap between civilian and military societies had continued since at least the early s, it became prominent in the early s with the conclusion of the Cold War. The promised " peace dividend " led to a debate over changes in American national security strategy and what that would mean in terms of the transformation of the mission, composition, and character of the armed forces.

Few argued that there was no difference between the two worlds, but some were convinced that the difference itself was the primary danger. Charles Maynes [] worried that a military force consisting primarily of enlisted personnel from the lower socio-economic classes would ultimately refuse to fight for the goals of the upper classes. Tarr and Roman, [] on the other hand, were concerned that the similarities between military elites and civilian elites enabled a dangerous politicizing trend among the military. Chivers [] represented a small number who believed that the differences between the cultures were so small as essentially to be irrelevant. Reasons for the cultural and connectivity gaps vary widely. The self-selective nature of the All-Volunteer Force is seen by some to have led to the unrepresentative nature of the armed forces [] [] [] One argument, put forward by a Navy Chief of Chaplains, was that the drawdown in the size of the military was exacerbating differences and making the separation between the military and civilian societies potentially even more divisive.

He worried that unless an effective dialogue could be maintained between the military and civilian branches of society, especially in the area of ethical decision-making, the American military risked losing the support of society or becoming dangerously militaristic. One unique view, which does not neatly fall into either of the cultural- or connectivity-gap categories, centers on the organizational differences between the military and civilian societies. This view claims to explain much as to why the military has been or may be used to press ahead of society's norms.

Ultimately, the cultural gap matters only if it endangers civilian control of the military or if it reduces the ability of the country to maintain an effective military force. Those who concentrate on the nature of the gap tend not to be concerned about dangerous trends. However, those who are concerned about the lack of understanding between the civilian and military worlds are uniformly convinced that the civil-military relationship in the United States is unhealthy.

This debate has generally settled on whether or not the gap is too wide. If too wide, civilian control of the military may be jeopardized due to serious misunderstandings between the two worlds. While most agree that such a gap is to be expected and, in and of itself, is not dangerous, some do concede the aspects of that gap have led directly to misunderstandings between the two worlds. In particular, some have argued that the culture of political conservatism and the apparent increase in partisanship of the officer corps has approached a dangerous limit. While Elizabeth Kier [] argues that "structure and function do not determine culture," most agree that a difference between the two is necessary because civilian culture was "incommensurate with military effectiveness.

Assuming that a problem exists, many have offered suggestions for narrowing the gap and correcting the problems arising from it. In general, those suggestions are along three lines. The first is that the military must reach out to the civilian world. Given the essentially universal agreement that civilians must control the military, the duty falls upon the military to find ways to talk to civilians, not the other way around. The second is that civilians must articulate a clear vision of what they expect in terms of the military mission. And the final suggestion is that the most practical and effective means of bringing about dialogue and understanding is to be bilateral education, in which both military and civilian elites would jointly attend specialized schools.

Such schooling would emphasize military-strategic thinking, American history and political philosophy, military ethics, and the proper relationship between civil and military authority. Some argue that the root problem is that the military is self-selecting, rendering the culture a self-perpetuating one. Solutions such as the reinstatement of the draft and a European-style national service obligation have been offered. A common issue that hinders many civil-military relations is when civil political leaders attempt to resume or gain a certain degree of civilian control after a period of transition, conflict or dictatorship, but do not possess the necessary capacities and commitment to handle defense affairs.

What should happen in such transitions is that when military figures begin to be withdrawn from political positions in order to achieve some balance, is that civilian politicians should be taught to deal with policy formulation and given an oversight on the defense sector so as to efficiently replace the former military leaders. However, civilian control over the military, despite the efforts that have been made over the past years, has yet to become institutionalized in many countries. The challenges that civil-military relations face in many countries, such as Indonesia, center around problems of military culture, overlapping coordination, authority, lack of resources and institutional deficits.

The military cannot continue to be an organization with unmatched institutional reach and political influence, while limiting state capacity , because in doing so it will be evermore challenging for civilian supremacy to take a stance, thus establishing effective civil-military relations. If these problems are not addressed properly, as long as civil-military relations of countries continue to interact within undefined boundaries, without clear subordination and authority and with the constrictions of limited budgets, it is unlikely that countries that still struggle with the concept will achieve a stable and efficient civil-military relationship, something that will continue to damage state capacity and stability.

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One might counter that the officer corps is different from the legal and medical professions, in part because of the nature of the military's client the U. The conditions under which military dissent attenuates or subverts civilian control can be debated, 61 as can the situations in which officers should be politically aware or engaged. The point here is that Huntington does little to encourage that debate. There is no need for a comprehensive organizational imperative to instill that ethic in military personnel. Huntingtonian norms may even foster an organizational culture that resists considering the possibility that officers are violating the apolitical ethic or might do so in the future. If, as Maj.

At one time, Huntingtonian norms might have been adequate to forestall political behavior among U. First, evidence suggests that many in the military express attitudes at odds with an apolitical ethos, and therefore Huntingtonian beliefs are an inadequate check on such behavior. In a survey of more than 4, active-duty U. Army officers, she noted that although many expressed views in accordance with Huntington's apolitical norms, a large segment appeared to have no qualms about criticizing civilian leaders and seemed to believe they should be able to express their political views without limits—attitudes that suggest either that they do not recognize the disconnect between their professionalism and these attitudes or that they do not think their professionalism requires them to maintain a nonpartisan ethic.

A second reason why Huntington's norms are poorly suited to the contemporary era is that the military is facing new pressures and opportunities for partisan political expression. A third reason for concern about Huntington's norms is that civilian leaders may increasingly try to politicize the military—a dynamic illustrated by President Trump. Whereas some presidents may wear flight suits or bomber jackets when speaking to the troops, Trump explicitly treats the military as an allied political constituency. In a February speech at MacDill Air Force Base, for example, he directly referred to military personnel voting for him. These include granting pardons to two service members and restoring the rank of a third accused of war crimes, 75 and requests by his staff to the Navy's Seventh Fleet to obscure from view the name of the USS John S.

McCain during his visit to Yokohama, Japan. Huntingtonian norms can perversely facilitate such efforts to politicize the military by encouraging three inadequate responses from its leaders. The first is for military leaders to remain silent on the grounds that the military operates outside the boundaries of partisan politics. Military leaders may think that it is inappropriate for them to rebut publicly or otherwise challenge a president's or politician's statements or policy decisions if doing so could influence partisan debate—even when those political leaders are using the military's popular esteem or its resources to gain an advantage in that partisan competition.

Third, the military may not implement a president's policies in a timely or effective manner, or it might distort its advice to the president. In all three cases, military leaders may not fully grasp that their inaction or apparent readiness to follow orders can suggest to the public that the military supports controversial civilian policies or that it is the president's partisan ally.

These shortcomings in Huntington's framework are increasingly important because other politicians may emulate Trump given the growing incentives to politicize the military. Military leaders need to prepare for ongoing challenges to the military's nonpartisan stance in U. Two factors interact to produce these incentives. First, as numerous studies have documented, since the s, military officers have become increasingly partisan, identifying with one of the major political parties primarily the Republican Party. Party ID is now the best predictor of one's confidence in the military. Consequently, political coalitions may form between sections of the officer corps and parts of the electorate. There are signs, in fact, that at least some in the military are at ease with being seen as partisan.

Huntington's objective control model promotes civilian authority, but undermines civilian control of military affairs. As conventionally characterized by scholars, civilian control requires that military personnel willingly defer to civilian officials in decisions about military affairs. Yet civilian control fully considered requires more than compliance with civilian orders and the absence of a military veto. It also requires that civil-military relations operate in a positive manner by promoting civilian preferences and political goals. Huntingtonian norms undermine civilian control defined in this broader sense in three ways. First, Huntingtonian norms inhibit the emergence of advisory processes that enable civilians to fully discern how military tools might or might not serve their political objectives.

This approach generates expectations about the roles that political and military leaders are supposed to play in the advisory process. In the military culture, as you know, we spend decades learning how to do campaign planning, and we start with a well-stated and clear objective. Then we build a campaign to achieve that objective, with intermediate objectives and milestones along the way. Then we come up with three courses of action: high risk, medium risk, and low risk.

We pick the middle-risk option and execute. If you are an elected official, the likelihood of your conceiving a well-crafted and well-defined objective at the beginning is almost zero. Rather, as an elected official, your first instinct is to seek to understand what options you have. What tools do I have that I can apply pressure with, that I can manage escalation with, and that I can integrate with the other instruments of national power? Elected officials are hardwired to ask for options first and then reverse-engineer objectives.

And the military is hard-wired to do exactly the opposite. The transactional Huntingtonian model is at odds with this inductive process. In this view, the process fails because civilians do not provide military leaders with clear guidance on their desired goals, or they expect them to achieve military objectives while imposing timelines or limiting resources.

Second, Huntingtonian norms impede civilian control by fostering within the military an aversion to civilian oversight of battlefield activity that may challenge the ability of civilian policymakers to ensure that this activity conforms to their preferences and advances their goals. Huntington's construct perpetuates a conception that autonomy is an inherent prerogative of the military and that civilian incursions into its sphere of responsibility and authority represent a violation of that prerogative. This situation, provided that the last qualification holds and that it is completely removed from politics, represents a clear invasion of the professional realm by extraneous considerations.

The presumption of superior professional competence which existed in the case of a military superior giving a questionable order does not exist when the stateman enters military affairs. Here the existence of professional standards justifies military disobedience. Consistent with Huntingtonian norms, the Triangle Institute for Security Studies survey and Urben's survey showed that majorities of military officers believed that military leaders should not just offer advice or advocate certain approaches, but should insist that civilians heed their judgments about which units to use when committing U. They fuel the presumption that the military is best equipped to monitor and address any defects in the organization; it is able to and should solve its own problems, independent of civilian authorities.

Of course, institutions may resent intervention in their affairs by those whom their members perceive as outsiders; pushback against micromanagement is not unique to the military. Huntington norms are insidious, however, in the way they transform such interventions from something that might be seen as merely inconvenient or frustrating to something that represents a violation of the appropriate role of civilians in overseeing the military. In addition, the Huntington model can fuel disdain among military personnel for politics and its practitioners, which can magnify cultural impediments to civilian oversight. Many view themselves as separate from and morally superior to politicians, whom they see engaged in political turf wars and nasty electoral campaigns.

The obstacles described above create a mind-set among military officers that can foster resistance to civilian oversight and practices contrary to civilian control. Equally problematic is that Huntington provides a model that civilians may themselves embrace that can result in insufficient investment and focus on oversight of the military. The implications of Huntington's logic for civilian control are especially relevant given how they have shaped civil-military relations in the Trump administration and the possibility that future presidents will adopt the objective control approach.

Trump has implicitly embraced the objective control model, either by directly absorbing Huntingtonian thinking or perhaps by being influenced by military leaders or other civilians in his administration who adhere to Huntingtonian norms. Regardless, this model has legitimized a massive delegation of authority to the military to run the country's wars and administer its own affairs in a manner contrary to civilian oversight and control. Trump's stated reasons for delegating significant operational authority to the military reflects his apparent embrace of the objective control model.

We have given them total authorization … and that's why they've been successful lately. Specifically, the Huntingtonian model is reflected in two aspects of civil-military relations under Trump. The first is the degree to which he has delegated broad authority to military commanders to decide within their chains of command when and how to prosecute military operations.

They don't have to call me to get approval to go into battle. A second way in which the Trump administration is following the objective control model is allowing the military a high degree of autonomy over its affairs. An example is the military's declining transparency about its operational and tactical activities, and internal affairs, enabling the military to self-regulate within domains it deems to be within its professional expertise. One such area concerns how the military tracks its performance in Afghanistan.

Over time it's been classified or it's no longer being collected. However flawed, such indicators provided the public at least some information about the military's activity in Afghanistan. The military has also starkly limited information in other areas, including about its air strikes in Yemen, Somalia, and Libya; deployments of Special Operations forces; and troop levels in places such as Syria and Afghanistan. Navy has classified its accident record and other information. These and other actions by the Trump administration could harm civilian control in at least two ways. The first is by reducing the capacity for the public to hold the military—and ultimately the civilians in charge of it—accountable.

Second, civilian control, as defined above, may suffer. A third paradox of Huntingtonian norms is that while they promote the skills and expertise of military personnel, and therefore effectiveness in battlefield operations and tactics, they impede the country's overall strategic effectiveness, in four ways. First, Huntington's norms exacerbate what Hew Strachan argues is a bias common among military organizations that privileges operational objectives over strategic and political goals. Strategy—or the theory for how to use force to achieve political goals—sits at the intersection of the political and the military spheres. Therefore, the military's role in formulating strategy is ambiguous in the objective control model.

Huntington was uncompromising in this regard: there are two distinct categories of decisions—political and military—and civilian and military leaders are each responsible for one. Third, the transactional advisory style encouraged by Huntington contributes to strategic ineffectiveness. When civilians question options that military leaders provide, or they fail to commit the resources that the military considers necessary for success, Huntingtonian thinking encourages one of two responses.

First, military leaders simply take the resources provided and operate under civilian-imposed constraints. Rather than question civilians about whether their strategic or political goal is achievable, the military works with what it is given, to an uncertain end. Alternatively, military leaders exert pressure to obtain the resources or policy changes they deem necessary to achieve their operational goals. Huntingtonian norms, moreover, provide military leaders leverage in their efforts to mobilize U.

Fourth, Huntingtonian cultural notions can lead to an inadequate sense of ownership among military leaders over the strategic outcomes of their operations. If military leaders offer their advice and civilians do not provide the recommended resources or otherwise heed their recommendations, then military leaders can skirt responsibility for strategic failures. Alternatively, if military leaders achieve their mission's objective, they may count it as a success, whether or not it contributes to achieving larger strategic or political objectives in the war. Military commanders have done what Huntington's norms require of them—applied their expertise to achieve the military goal set before them. Hence, military successes are measured against themselves, not against the larger political or strategic goal that those operations are ostensibly aiming to accomplish.

Indeed, military leaders focused on operational and tactical victories may not even seem to absorb strategic failures, as long as metrics on the ground appear favorable. The third paradox is also salient today, for two reasons. First, the Huntingtonian mind-set may be ill suited to the type of wars and military operations in which the United States has recently been engaged and may fight in the future. My aim is not to provide a complete analysis of the Afghanistan war, but to use analysis of U. When Barack Obama assumed the presidency in January , he inherited a dire situation in Afghanistan and faced a pending request by the military to send in more troops.

In February, the president approved the deployment of 21, additional forces. In early June , Obama assigned Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the newly appointed commander of International Security Assistance Force, to undertake a sixty-day assessment of the situation in Afghanistan as part of a broader review of U. The surge had some positive consequences, such as reducing the Taliban's foothold in southern Afghanistan, but ultimately contributed little to stabilizing the Afghan state and allowing the Afghan military to take over defending the country's territory. Thus, though perhaps tactically successful, the surge failed to produce enduring strategic or political benefits.

Two aspects of the Huntingtonian mind-set are apparent in how military leaders approached the strategy review, and both help explain the Afghan surge's strategic failings. First, accounts of the events reveal that military leaders focused on the tactical and operational levels of war and tended to subordinate larger strategic considerations to those priorities. Michael Mullen, favored an enhanced counterinsurgency effort against the Taliban. Discussions in numerous National Security Council meetings in the fall of , however, revealed major obstacles to achieving strategic and political success based on COIN. When asked at the same meeting if the shift from defeat to degrade meant that fewer troops would be needed, McChrystal replied no—he still needed 40, The next day, in a full NSC meeting with the president, a small blue box had been added to McChrystal's briefing slide, clarifying that defeat meant that the Taliban could no longer threaten the Afghan government or operate as an effective insurgency.

COIN operations—from eliminating the insurgency to eroding the capabilities of the Taliban—was thus seemingly initiated on the fly by McChrystal in response to a query in an NSC meeting. Comments by Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U. The second was that commanders didn't understand how corruption was rotting the Afghan security structure the United States was trying to build. James Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, nonetheless, developed an option reflecting Biden's view; it involved a hybrid counterinsurgency-counterterrorism approach that would require 10,—20, additional troops. He did not want it discussed and debated at the White House. So he barred it from leaving the Pentagon. In October , during a speech on Afghanistan at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, McChrystal was asked if he would support a plan that focused on hunting down and eliminating al-Qaida militants Biden's preferred option.

Other actions taken by military leaders suggest that the military was trying to constrain Obama's choices in favor of the COIN option. Finally, there is General McChrystal's characterization of the review in a interview—and how his thinking reflects Huntingtonian norms. I'll try to do it without. Now what that would have done would be that it would put me in one of those positions where. I'm not recommending more. We'll do our best. Because Sam Huntington wants you to measure and tell you how long it is and what you need. This is not our war.

We are technicians. We are going to use the Sam Huntington model here. Samuel Huntington based his argument about civil-military relations on a simple, but powerful logic: objective control would allow an apolitical professionalism to flourish in the military. This apolitical professionalism would provide both for the military's effectiveness and for its subordination to civilian authority. Huntingtonian norms, however, have more contradictory and, in some ways, negative implications for military professionalism than sometimes appreciated by scholars and practitioners. As I have argued, they can be contrary to the military's apolitical ethos, undermine civilian control, and contribute to strategic ineffectiveness. It is time for scholars and practitioners to develop a normative framework for military professionalism that is better suited to the contemporary era, focusing on the following three goals.

That new approach should promote greater engagement by military leaders with civilian policymakers in considering political objectives and policy-related issues. Reconceptualizing the apolitical norm will help prevent the potentially damaging political behaviors facilitated by Huntingtonian norms, while supporting more productive forms of political involvement. The author also thanks the anonymous reviewers for their excellent advice.

Tauris, , p. See Gen. These actions elicited considerable commentary. Samuel P. Peter D. Nielsen and Don M. Snider, eds. William E. Huntington contended that the military profession comprises only the officer corps. For divergent views, see the articles in Joint Force Quarterly , Vol. Hooker Jr. See also Michael C. Kennedy, ed. Carsten F. He does not discuss how the approach bears on military professionalism. See Cohen , Supreme Command , p. Gary J. Huntington, 81, Political Scientist, Is Dead. Christopher W. Army Command and General Staff College, , p. Adherents of Palmer's view remained—notably, Gen.

George Marshall, who based his advocacy for universal military training on Palmer's ideas. Finney and Tyrell O. Mayfield, eds. Sam C. Sarkesian and Robert E. Connor Jr. John C. For details on the survey's sample population, see Peter D. Feaver and Richard H. Kohn, eds. Results for both surveys appear in Jim Golby, Lindsay P. Cohn, and Peter D. Richard H. See also the articles discussed in Patricia M. Andrew R.

Tony Ingesson argues that the military cannot be a profession because it does not have the necessary autonomy. See Frank G. There have been some important efforts by individuals, including by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael G. Mullen and Chairman Gen. Martin E.

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