Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Andrew Bacevich on civilian-military relations

From "Elusive Bargain: The Pattern of U.S. Civil-military relations Since World War II" by Andrew Bacevich in the 2007 book edited by him, Long War: A History of U.S. National Security Policy Since World War II:

With U.S. military commitments stretching existing resources to the limit, with the prospect of more war stretching to the far horizon, and with the implications of an increasingly militarized conception of policy simply ignored, national security nonetheless remained after 9/11 - as it had been since World War II - the one arena of American life from which democratic processes were persistently excluded.

Thus did the civil-military reality that that had pertained throughout the Cold War persist during the new global war on terror: as factions of the national security elite, both civilian and military, vied with each other behind closed doors to control this or that aspect of policy, all remained united in their collective determination to keep the people - assumed to be ill-informed, vacillating, and untrustworthy – out.
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