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Warriors and Politicians: US Civil-Military Relations under Stress [Paperback]

Charles A. Stevenson

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Book Description

July 7 2006 0415770084 978-0415770088 1

With historical case studies ranging from the Revolutionary War to the war in Iraq, this new book shows how and why the US military is caught between two civilian masters – the President and Congress – in responding to the challenges of warfighting, rearmament, and transformation.

Charles Stevenson skilfully shows how, although the United States has never faced the danger of a military coup, the relations between civilian leaders and the military have not always been easy. Presidents have contended with military leaders who were reluctant to carry out their orders. Generals and Admirals have appealed to Congress for sympathy and support. Congressional leaders have tried to impose their own visions and strategies on the US armed forces. This triangular struggle has recurred time and again, in wartime and in efforts to reshape the military for future wars.

Illustrating this dual system of civilian military control in a series of case studies, this new volume starts from the way the Continental Congress ran the Revolutionary War by committee and concludes with the George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld efforts to transform the US military into a modern terrorist-fighting force. This detailed coverage shows how warriors and politicians interacted at key points in US history.

This book will be of great interest to all students of the US Military, government of the United States and of strategic and military studies in general.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched and written analysis on American Civil-Military Relations Nov. 25 2006
By MountainRunner - Published on Amazon.com
A great text with another view on civil-military relations. Breaks Feaver's principal-agent model of US civil-military relations and builds a very strong case of a three-way relationship. Stevenson effectively demonstrates that while the US military "is a very loyal and subordinate institutation...it is often cross-pressured by its two masters and it often feels compelled to turn to one for relief from the other." Analysis of the American experience with the military is deep and at the same time an easy read. Stevenson adroitly examines Presidential power and desires during war, rearmamment, and transformation, all phases we've gone through multiple times. He also addresses other c-m theorists ("shortcomings of existing theories") as a sort of overview of what else is out there. A must have for anybody wanting more on the use and role of the US military in America.

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