Paradoxes of Professionalism: Rethinking Civil-Military Relations in the United States

Author
Risa Brooks
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
International Security
Volume
44
Issue Number
4
Publication Date
Spring 2020
Institution
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
Abstract
The U.S. military’s prevailing norms of military professionalism are poorly suited to meet today’s civil-military challenges. These norms, based on Samuel Huntington's objective civilian control model, argue that the military should operate in a sphere separate from the civilian domain of policymaking and decisions about the use of force. Yet, these norms also undermine the military’s nonpartisan and apolitical ethos, weaken civilian leaders' control of military activity, and undercut the country’s strategic effectiveness in armed conflict.
Topic
Government, Military Affairs, Public Policy, Norms
Political Geography
North America, United States of America