- Spitfire List - http://spitfirelist.com -

FTR #74 The Civilian-Military Rift in American Society

Lis­ten now: Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]

The grow­ing divide between the civil­ian and mil­i­tary sec­tors of Amer­i­can soci­ety has the poten­tial to destroy what remains of con­sti­tu­tion­al gov­ern­ment in the U.S. This pro­gram high­lights the atti­tudes on the part of many mem­bers of today’s pro­fes­sion­al mil­i­tary toward the civil­ian soci­ety they are sworn to pro­tect and ana­lyzes the rea­sons for the grow­ing gap between these two sec­tors. The offi­cer corps is increas­ing­ly, open­ly and vocal­ly “con­ser­v­a­tive” and some offi­cers demon­strate atti­tudes that are open­ly con­temp­tu­ous of civil­ian soci­ety and, to a cer­tain extent, of some of the dic­tates of the con­sti­tu­tion. (It should be not­ed that Mr. Emory agrees with many of the crit­i­cisms expressed by the mil­i­tary, but does not feel that the mil­i­tary itself should under­take to solve these short­com­ings in civil­ian soci­ety.) The broad­cast presents oth­er fac­tors exac­er­bat­ing the split between civil­ian soci­ety and the mil­i­tary includ­ing: the mate­ri­al­ism and ego­cen­tric­i­ty of civil­ians, as con­trast­ed with the “unit” and “mis­sion” ori­en­ta­tion of the mil­i­tary; the fact that the top lead­er­ship of the con­tem­po­rary mil­i­tary began their careers as pro­fes­sion­als, rather than as draftees; the grow­ing edu­ca­tion­al gap between an increas­ing­ly well-edu­cat­ed mil­i­tary and an increas­ing­ly under-edu­cat­ed civil­ian sec­tor; bud­getary con­straints on the mil­i­tary that are like­ly to increase the resent­ment that the uni­formed ser­vices feel toward the civil­ian sec­tor; fail­ure on the part of the civil­ian elite lead­er­ship to under­stand the unique prob­lems of mil­i­tary life; and the dic­tates of mil­i­tary mat­ters and the grow­ing deploy­ment of the mil­i­tary in “domes­tic” sit­u­a­tions. That deploy­ment could lead to the pos­si­bil­i­ty of mar­tial law at some point in the future. The pro­gram also presents dis­cus­sion of a num­ber of fac­tors that could help to heal this rift includ­ing the re-insti­tu­tion of the draft and enroll­ment of mil­i­tary offi­cers in civil­ian, rather than mil­i­tary, insti­tu­tions of high­er learn­ing.