HIST 2100 research proposal

HIST 2100 research proposal - Anne Cordeiro HIST 2100 TITLE...

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Anne Cordeiro HIST 2100 4/29/09 TITLE: Creating a Balance: Civil-Military Relations in America Thesis: American intervention and regime change has been a staple of United States foreign policy since the late nineteenth century when the US became involved in what is today known as the Spanish-American War. As the US began to expand and intervene in more foreign affairs, there was naturally a growing public dissent towards these American regime changes. As the American moral conscious grew so did the anti-war sentiment, and the involvement in what the public sees as “unjust” wars 1 . When there is opposition to policy there is in turn a growing polarity between that of the government and the public. Although the roots of dissent can qualify anti-war sentiment, the government tends to see opposition to be universal towards all aspects of administration and this resistance is a large problem 2 . It is evident that there has been discord amongst the people in various American endeavors, from Vietnam to the current post 9/11 policies 3 ; This presents the question: how strong are American civil-military relations? Civil- Military relations are based on the ideal that there is civilian control and supremacy over the military. In this modern era is it time to reconsider the civil-military relations, put a new perspective on them to make them more sound and realistic 4 . As policy and military actions mostly affect the civilians of a nation, it would make sense to put the sovereignty into the hands of the public and create a balance between the military institution and the people. The military’s main goal is the same as it has always been: to win wars. However, the dimensions of military professionalism have changed greatly 4 . The gap between civilians and military leaders is widening substantially, allowing
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for the escalation of public dissent 5 . However it has been examined that when there is an increase in civilian control there is therefore less harmony amongst the military. If the level of civilian-military control affects the corresponding military behavior one must take this into account, is there a balance? 6 However some believe that maximizing civilian power with no “firm boundries,” is the best way to maximize the effectiveness of civil- military control. 7 The military is simultaneously seen as the promoter of freedom but also a threat to it, therefore causing civil-military relations to be distinguished by many short term compromises. 8 By examining US foreign policies and the basic aspects of a strong civil-military relations it can be said that there is a way to end the strong public dissent toward American intervention and regime change, and make long term progressive changes.
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HIST 2100 research proposal - Anne Cordeiro HIST 2100 TITLE...

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