Military and Civil Relations

On 4th July 2013, Rosa Brooks published this article on The Diplomat, “America the Coupless.” In the afterwake of an army coup in Egypt, Brooks analyzed the military-civilian relationship of USA. As the most advanced and capable military force in the world, the strains between the US civil government and US military are not often seen. Brooks argues that the general political views of the military leadership tends to be more conservative and not representative of the country’s views. The military also does not have a positive view of the civil authorities, stating that they are often misunderstood or under appreciated. While it might be true, the US military, by its own restraints and culture, is assessed not likely to stage a coup at any time.

Samuel Huntington’s book, “Soldier and the State” started out by defining the professionalism of a soldier. He states Expertise, Responsibility and Corporate Nature of Officership in the military that distinguishes the soldier officer as a professional, unlike a common labourer. The Corporate Nature of the Officer sets him apart not just from the general population but also from the politic leadership. This non-partisan delineation of roles and responsibility has set the foundation of US military’s professionalism but there has been numerous examples from all over the world where the military has stepped in, sometimes even at the population’s request, to cause political changes to the country.

Most recently, we have seen the popular uprising in Egypt which seem, at the moment, still optimistic. The military has, wisely, handed over the power to its judicial branch and senior judge, Adly Mansour is now taking charge of the interim government. Of course, we also have other examples of not so smooth transition, such as Pakistan’s 1999 coup when Gen. Pervez Musharraf took over power.


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