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called foreign policy issues deeply involve the military and require them to become involved in what, heretofore, would have been a purely civilian domain. A significant example of this phenomenon is U.S. policy towards the Middle East. Assuring continued access to Middle East oil is a major component of U.S. policy towards the region; however, even barring a crisis where the use of force becomes necessary, a U.S. military presence in the region plays an important part in sustaining this policy. For example, in 1983, Marines were sent to Lebanon on an essentially political mission.
An additional problem that diminishes civilian control over the military is the collusion between the military Services. This occurs when the Services agree on a course of action, before rendering advice to the civilian authorities. The drive for unanimity within the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as discussed in Chapter 4, means that the advice given is often tailored to the least common denominator. As a result, the value of the military advice is diluted. Moreover, the Secretary is confronted by all four Chiefs of the uniformed Services who have taken a unified stand on a position. As such, it is very difficult for him to overrule the Chiefs even if he believes their advice is poor. This dilutes his ability to control the Chiefs.
Any effort to reorganize the Department of Defense cannot diminish the authority of the President, the Secretary of Defense and other senior civilian authorities to control the Department of Defense. Moreover, the Secretary of Defense must have adequate authority to carry out his responsibilities. It is not fair to expect a civilian Secretary of Defense to carry all these responsibilities himself. He must be able to delegate them to subordinates who are also civilians. Any scheme must also provide protection for a weak Secretary of Defense who must confront strong military leadership.
Any system must assure that the President and the Secretary of Defense are able to control detailed military operations in a crisis. Our experience of the last few years is that when military force is applied, the President and the Secretary of Defense have sought to control the operation with great precision. Some may question whether this is wise; none should question whether it is within their authority. Indeed, in a confrontation with the Soviet Union, such as the Cuban missile crisis, it is imperative that the President and the Secretary be able to exercise very careful control over U.S. military forces.
Finally, as noted at the outset, there is no readily available definition of the meaning of civilian control. However, the experience of nearly two centuries of American history suggests that this absence of a definition has served us well. As with other constitutional doctrines which are broad and do not have specific definition, civilian control of the military has given the system the political flexibility that is needed to maintain the essence of the principle, i.e., that the President as Commander-in-Chief must be able to control the use of the armed forces. But, at the same time, it has not crippled the valuable professional advice or the role played by the professional military officer. It also preserves the ability to adjust the system to changing circumstances and new challenges.
This section presents the conclusions of this chapter relating to the operational dimension of civilian control of the military.
1. Throughout the course of American history, the lack of consensus on a definition of civilian control has not undermined its effectiveness as one of the governing tenets of the American republic.
2. The concept of civilian control of the military is unquestioned throughout the Department of Defense today; accordingly, fears that the U.S. military might threaten American political democracy are misplaced.
3. As long as American civil and military leaders continue to exercise respect for civilian control, there should be strong confidence in the ability of American political institutions to control the military under a range of possible structures for the Nation's highest military command.
4. As the world becomes more complex and demands on U.S. civilian and military establishments increase accordingly, the United States cannot afford to become complacent about the apparent balance in civil-military relations.
5. Any changes contemplated to the U.S. military establishment must be carefully assessed for their impact on civil-military relations.
6. No changes can be accepted which diminish civilian control over the military; the recommendations of this study either strengthen civilian control over the military or leave the balance as it currently exists.
TRENDS IN CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS
There are a number of significant trends in American civil-military relations, which have primarily emerged in the post-World War II era. They reflect an expansion of the military as an institution in American society. A. EXPANDING PUBLIC CONTACT OF THE U.S. MILITARY
Traditionally, the small standing military forces of the United States stayed so removed from the mainstream of American life, save in time of war, that the vast majority of the American public had very little knowledge of who they were or what they did. The first significant break with this tradition came after World War I when the Army, instead of retreating into its customary isolation, instituted the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program. From this beginning, all military Services have increased their contact with the public, developing a variety of institutions to disseminate information about themselves. Examples of these organizational devices include: public information and education programs conducted by the National War College and similar institutions across the country; the military associations - Association of the U.S. Army, Navy League, Air Force Association —who, though technically independent of the Services whose names they bear, represent a significant force for promoting the views held by the Services, not only to the public at large but to Members of Congress and other policymakers, and finally, the substantial public and congressional relations efforts of the military Services and the Department of Defense itself. B. MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
In his farewell speech, President Eisenhower warned of the growing influence of the “military industrial complex.” That warning was not directed at the highly unlikely event that military officers and industrialists would conspire to take over the government of the United States. Rather, it was a recognition that the sheer size and economic power of the defense establishment give a relatively few men enormous influence. The defense budget is so large, and so many dollars and jobs are at stake, that political power and influence are also at stake. As such, when the interests of the armed Services and the defense contractors coincide, they form a very powerful political force. This poses no immediate threat, but one should not lose sight of this potential threat to the ability of the civilians, both in the Executive and Legislative Branches, to control the whole defense establishment.
C. CONTROL OVER RESOURCES AND THE ROLE OF CON
GRESS Effective control of defense expenditures is one of the major modern challenges to civilian control. More than a budgetary matter, it involves the fundamental issues of who in fact, not theory, establishes national security policy and determines the allocation of finite resources to fulfill security needs.
It is in this area that the Congress exercises the greater part of its responsibilities for civilian control of the military. To the Congress, the Constitution gives the powers of appropriation of funds, and raising and supporting a military establishment. The extent to which the Congress is responsible and effective in executing these powers represents the extent to which it has played a role in maintaining effective civilian control over the vast and complex defense establishment. Thus, when critics speak of the undue influence which individual programs, parochial interests, or institutions, such as the National Guard, have upon the allocation of defense resources, they are not addressing a problem created by an inherent flaw in our system of civilian control, but a problem created by the Congress' decision to exercise its control in a particular fashion. Of course, the Congress is not alone in being susceptible to these sorts of influence, but by the very nature of its institutional structure, it is more vulnerable to them. D. APPOINTMENT OF MILITARY OFFICERS TO CIVILIAN
POSITIONS A less dramatic theme concerning civil-military relationships has to do with the gradual encroachment of the military on civilian authority through the appointment of military officers to civilian positions. As discussed previously, the Congress required that the Secretary of Defense be appointed "from civilian life" and forbade anyone serving as Secretary within 10 years after leaving active duty as a commissioned officer. The principal historical example of this separation of civilian and military roles was the appointment in 1950 of General George C. Marshall, USA (Retired) to be Secretary of Defense. For Marshall to be confirmed, the Congress had to waive section 202(a) of title 10, United States Code, which stipulated that the Secretary of Defense be a civilian who has not been on active duty in the armed Services within the previous ten years. The Congress approved the waiver in Marshall's case, but not without debate over the dangers inherent in the blending of the two roles. This ingrained suspicion of military influence notwithstanding, where not specifically prohibited by law, military officers do occasionally fill less senior, traditionally civilian, positions in government without doing noticeable harm to civilian control.
A variation on this theme is the increasing service of retired military officers on presidential commissions whose work may have significant influence on U.S. policy. A prime example of this trend was the appointment of General Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Retired) to be Chairman of the President's Commission on Strategic Forces. The Scowcroft Commission's mission was to present the MX missile in a framework which would make it acceptable to the Congress. The commission succeeded not only in keeping the MX alive, but also in instigating the creation of the small mobile ICBM program.