Essays Military Customs Courtesies

The means of defense against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution lays out civilian control of the armed forces.

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First, the public has a high regard for the military and its mission, arising from a shift to a professional (nonconscript) force that is perceived to be competent, fair, and accountable. Source: Table created by authors based on Gallup poll data.

Second, the public has little fear of military abuses in the domestic arena, owing chiefly to the reduced domestic presence of the military in the post–World War II era, with less emphasis on the physical defense of the homeland; and to the military’s careful cultivation of an apolitical culture since Vietnam. His prior publications on the military include Which of These People is Your Future CEO? His current research examines organizational learning and strategic change. One possible explanation is that the country is becoming more militaristic, but little evidence supports this view. As of 2010, active-duty military personnel made up less than 1 percent of the labor force; adding the National Guard and Reserve Component raises the total to about 1.5 percent (see Figure 3).

Though agrarian democrats (Thomas Jefferson) disagreed with federalists (Alexander Hamilton and James Madison) in many fundamental questions of government, both groups believed that a standing army could endanger freedom.

In a speech to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Madison expressed that fear: In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate.

Yet the relationship between the American people and its defense establishment has historically been anchored in two opposing sentiments: on one side, Americans see a large, standing military as a potential threat to liberty; on the other, they revere the U. military for its role in establishing the nation in revolution, preserving it against rebellion, and defending it from foreign aggression.

exemplary American institution, from which the nation should derive lessons for application to myriad aspects of public and private life, including developing citizenship and civic engagement among America’s youth.Thus, through the military’s shrinking footprint, its far-flung activities, and its maintenance of an apolitical culture (at least when viewed from the outside), it has become less relevant to the daily life of the average citizen.It may be that a crucial element to preserving and increasing public trust in the military is maintaining a distance between the preparation, conduct, and control of military operations and the domestic lives of Americans.According to the Congressional Research Service: The number of veterans in the [current] Congress reflects the trend of a steady decline in recent decades in the number of Members who have served in the military.For example, there were 298 veterans (240 Representatives, 58 Senators) in the 96th Congress (1979–1981); and 398 veterans (329 Representatives, 69 Senators) in the 91st Congress (1969–1971).The American people have a long-standing respect for the principles of duty and sacrifice embodied by the nation’s armed forces, as well as a belief that the conduct of war has a rightful place in establishing and protecting the nation.The United States may have been “conceived in liberty,” but it was birthed, and preserved, in blood: in the rebellion against England; in the Civil War; in wars of expansion against Mexico, Native Americans, and Spain; and in the wars of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We argue that the rise (and sustainment) of public confidence in the military reflects two phenomena. The judiciary, organized religion, public schools, universities, the executive and legislative branches of government, the press, corporations, banks, organized labor – all have suffered to some extent. Source: Figure created by authors based on Gallup poll data. military has enjoyed high levels of public confidence. This increasing trust in and regard for the armed forces has been the notable exception to a general decline or stagnation in Americans’ regard for other key institutions. Percentage of Respondents Expressing “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of Confidence in American Institutions, 1973–2011 Note that no survey was conducted in 1992.More limitations (direct and indirect) on the powers of the military were enumerated in the Bill of Rights: notably, in the right to bear arms, the protection from quartering troops, and the protection from unreasonable search and seizure.The Posse Comitatus Act (1878) further limited the military’s role in the domestic sphere.


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