Armed Servants: Agency, Oversight, and Civil-Military by Peter D. Feaver

By Peter D. Feaver

How do civilians keep an eye on the army? within the wake of September eleven, the renewed presence of nationwide safeguard in way of life has made this question all of the extra urgent. during this e-book, Peter Feaver proposes an formidable new conception that treats civil-military family as a principal-agent courting, with the civilian govt tracking the activities of army brokers, the ''armed servants'' of the countryside. army obedience isn't really computerized yet is dependent upon strategic calculations of even if civilians will trap and punish misbehavior.

This version demanding situations Samuel Huntington's professionalism-based version of civil-military relatives, and gives an leading edge means of constructing experience of the U.S. chilly struggle and post-Cold battle experience--especially the distinctively stormy civil-military kin of the Clinton period. within the decade after the chilly struggle ended, civilians and the army had various run-ins over even if and the way to exploit army strength. those episodes, as interpreted via supplier conception, contradict the normal knowledge that civil-military family subject provided that there's hazard of a coup. to the contrary, army professionalism doesn't on its own make sure unchallenged civilian authority. As Feaver argues, enterprise thought bargains the simplest origin for considering family among army and civilian leaders, now and sooner or later.

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Cold War military budgets as a percentage of GNP remained high, much higher than the United States had ever sustained for longer than it took to win a hot war. Thus, while the societal effort may not have reached the level about which Lasswell worried, it did exceed the level Huntington’s theory would allow. Huntington’s theory would demand a change in one of his explanatory variables to account for the level of defense effort achieved by the United States. In sum, there could be many reasons why the United States survived or won the Cold War, but any or all of those reasons would have to filter through Huntington’s model of civil-military relations.

The 1973 and 1976 data are not a perfect test of Huntington’s 1957 theory and his 1977 reevaluation. Indeed, since Huntington claimed in 1977 that a revival of liberalism in the early 1970s augured a return of the crisis conditions he warned about in the mid-1950s, Huntington would expect to see some gaps between the civilian and military responses in the 1973 and 1976 elite surveys; however, since he also claimed a revival of conservative values following 1973, the gaps should not be very large.

Mid- to late 1970s] would thus appear to involve a combination of the liberal attitudes dominant before World War II (Phase I), but repressed during the Cold War (Phase II) with the security threats nonexistent in Phase I but predominant in Phase II. The dilemma that was partially resolved in the 1950s has returned” (Goodpaster and Huntington 1977, p. 26). 3 Likewise, he suggested that the move to an all-volunteer military would reverse the Cold War trend toward a congruence in the personnel, function, and structure of the military establishment and civilian institutions (p.

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