The civil-military relationship in the United States is a complicated one, and it is continually evolving. The discussion space that was once dominated by the writings of Samuel Huntington and Morris Janowitz, has morphed even further, opening the conversation to a multitude of new voices. As the nation finds itself even more polarized, significant work has to be done by the military to remain effective in the political sphere and yet remain above the partisan fray. Civ-mil relations are a standard topic in joint professional military education and they are so important that the U.S. Army War College has established a new Civil-Military Relations Center (CMRC). The center’s mission is “To sponsor and promote the development of a healthy, sustainable relationship between the American military, society, and political leaders through education, research, and outreach.” The center’s co-director, Carrie Lee, is in the studio today with podcast editor Ron Granieri, to explain how the CMRC intends to accomplish its mission and what lies ahead.
We have really interesting research that shows that veterans in Congress tend to be much more skeptical above the military. They tend to ask harder questions of military leaders when they go up for budgets and have requests and all kinds of authorization and oversight functions. Ah, so familiarity with the military is a good thing when Congress is exerting its oversight capacity.
Carrie A. Lee is an associate professor at the U.S. Army War College, where she serves as the chair of the Department of National Security and Strategy and co-director of the USAWC Center on Civil-Military Relations. She received her Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University and a B.S. from MIT.
Ron Granieri is an Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Army War College and the Editor of A BETTER PEACE.
The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.
Photo Description: Participants at the 2023 Inaugural Conference on Civil-Military Relations
Photo Credit: Dr. Ron Gurantz