Current Status: The U.S. Constitution requires that the military be under civilian control. Problems arise when civilian leaders don’t understand the military, the military culture, or the appropriate way to employ the military. Further damage occurs to the military from politicians and bureaucrats:
- Using the military as an excuse for pork barrel spending, often providing the military with equipment it doesn’t want and didn’t ask for.
- Arbitrarily cutting spending when times are lean.
- Employing the military on missions for which it may be poorly suited and wielded like an awkward club for diplomatic effect.
- Treating the military like a business, required to develop performance metrics that often have little to do with its combat capability.
All of these problems mostly stem from a lack of education and awareness by the politicians, and even more so on the part of the general public.
Correction toward the Ideal: Education institutions at all levels need to return to a basic civics curriculum which includes training on:
- The vital and multifaceted role that the military plays in protecting our society
- The huge value of credible deterrence
- The military’s duty to defend the Constitution
- The responsibilities of the citizen with regard to the well armed militia envisioned by the founding fathers.
The federal government should positively support the military by denying funding to any public institution that denies access to the military for campaign and recruitment purposes. Legislators at both state and federal levels need to be trained on the capabilities, limitations, and requirements of the military.
Supporting Information: See the Learn More section to the right for more information on this topic—especially our white paper on Civilian Control and Treatment of the Military.