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With historical case studies ranging from the Revolutionary War to the war in Iraq, this new book shows how and why the US military is caught between two civilian masters – the President and Congress – in responding to the challenges of warfighting, rearmament, and transformation. Charles Stevenson skilfully shows how, although the United States has never faced the danger of a military coup, the relations between civilian leaders and the military have not always been easy. Presidents have contended with military leaders who were reluctant to carry out their orders. Generals and Admirals have appealed to Congress for sympathy and support. Congressional leaders have tried to impose their own visions and strategies on the US armed forces. This triangular struggle has recurred time and again, in wartime and in efforts to reshape the military for future wars. Illustrating this dual system of civilian military control in a series of case studies, this new volume starts from the way the Continental Congress ran the Revolutionary War by committee and concludes with the George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld efforts to transform the US military into a modern terrorist-fighting force. This detailed coverage shows how warriors and politicians interacted at key points in US history. This book will be of great interest to all students of the US Military, government of the United States and of strategic and military studies in general.
This volume offers an interdisciplinary study of how different cultures have sought to transform individuals into warriors. War changes people, however a less explored question is how different societies want people to change as they are turned into warriors. When societies go to war they recognize that a boundary is being crossed. The participants are expected to do things that are otherwise prohibited, or at least governed by different rules. This edited volume analyses how different cultures have conceptualized the transformations of an individual passing from a peacetime to a wartime existence to become an active warrior. Despite their differences, all societies grapple with the same question: how much of the individual’s peace-self should be and can be retained in the state of war? The book explores cases such as the Nordic berserkers, the Japanese samurai, and European knights, as well as modern soldiers in Germany, Liberia, and Sweden. It shows that archaic and modern societies are more similar than we usually think: both kinds of societies use myths, symbols, and rituals to create warriors. Thus, this volume seeks to redefine theories of modernization and secularization. It shows that military organizations need to take myths, symbols, and rituals seriously in order to create effective units. This book will be of much interest to students of military studies, war studies, sociology, religion, and international relations in general.
The book explains why some Third World states have centralized, conventional military forces while others rely on militias, paramilitaries, and other non-state actors using detailed case studies of Indonesia, Iraq, and Iran and offers policy recommendations for dealing with weak states based on this analysis.
This book offers a detailed examination of the professional military education system in the United States, from a critical, insider's perspective. The mission of America’s war colleges is to educate senior military officers in both the ways of war and the defence of peace. But are these colleges doing the best job possible in carrying out that important mission? Military education faces many demands, including a lack of preparation by the students, uneven quality of the faculty, and confusion over the curriculum. Many officers attend resident programs at the war colleges programs against the career advice of their leadership, despite the fact that they are virtually guaranteed graduation after less than a year of study, while others do their best to avoid it entirely. As the professional military education system has come under increasing scrutiny and criticism, some have even called for closing the war colleges. That answer, however, does not serve the United States well, especially in a complex, globalized environment, where military leaders need the best specialized education to prepare them for their future challenges. This volume examines the system that created and supports the perpetuation of this system, and why it is imperative that it be fixed. Written by a faculty member at a military college with twenty years' experience of the PME system, this book will of much interest to students of the US Military, US politics and military education in general.
The relationship between civil society and the armed forces is an essential part of any polity, democratic or otherwise, because a military force is after all a universal feature of social systems. Despite significant progress moving towards democracy among some African countries in the past decade, all too many African militaries have yet to accept core democratic principles regulating civilian authority over the military. This book explores the theory of civil-military relations and moves on to review the intrusion of the armed forces in African politics by looking first into the organization and role of the army in pre-colonial and colonial eras, before examining contemporary armies and their impact on society. Furthermore it revisits the various explanations of military takeovers in Africa and disentangles the notion of the military as the modernizing force. Whether as a revolutionary force, as a stabilizing force, or as a modernizing force, the military has often been perceived as the only organized and disciplined group with the necessary skills to uplift newly independent nations. The performance of Africa's military governments since independence, however, has soundly disproven this thesis. As such, this study conveys the necessity of new civil-military relations in Africa and calls not just for civilian control of the military but rather a democratic oversight of the security forces in Africa.
Some have claimed that "War is too important to be left to the generals," but P. W. Singer asks "What about the business executives?" Breaking out of the guns-for-hire mold of traditional mercenaries, corporations now sell skills and services that until recently only state militaries possessed. Their products range from trained commando teams to strategic advice from generals. This new "Privatized Military Industry" encompasses hundreds of companies, thousands of employees, and billions of dollars in revenue. Whether as proxies or suppliers, such firms have participated in wars in Africa, Asia, the Balkans, and Latin America. More recently, they have become a key element in U.S. military operations. Private corporations working for profit now sway the course of national and international conflict, but the consequences have been little explored. In Corporate Warriors, Singer provides the first account of the military services industry and its broader implications. Corporate Warriors includes a description of how the business works, as well as portraits of each of the basic types of companies: military providers that offer troops for tactical operations; military consultants that supply expert advice and training; and military support companies that sell logistics, intelligence, and engineering. This updated edition of Singer's already classic account of the military services industry and its broader implications describes the continuing importance of that industry in the Iraq War. This conflict has amply borne out Singer's argument that the privatization of warfare allows startling new capabilities and efficiencies in the ways that war is carried out. At the same time, however, Singer finds that the introduction of the profit motive onto the battlefield raises troubling questions-for democracy, for ethics, for management, for human rights, and for national security.

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