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American Civil-Military Relations: The Soldier and the State in a New Era 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0801892882
ISBN-10: 0801892880
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Frequently Bought Together

  • American Civil-Military Relations: The Soldier and the State in a New Era
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Scholars and students of civil-military relations will want to read this book. This is an excellent time for this book to appear as there have been substantial advancements in the study of civil-military relations over the past decade.

(Thomas Langston, Tulane University)

American Civil-Military Relations is a valid and vital updating of Huntington's work and should be on every military reading list today.

(Colonel (Ret.) Robert Killebrew Parameters)

An extremely valuable addition to the literature on civil-military relations, a vitally important issue for both scholars and all government policymakers.

(John R. Ballard On Point)

About the Author

Suzanne C. Nielsen is an associate professor and the director of the International Relations and National Security Studies Program at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, and coeditor of the widely used textbook American National Security, sixth edition, also published by Johns Hopkins. Don M. Snider is an emeritus professor of political science at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, a visiting research professor at the Army War College, and coeditor of The Future of the Army Profession.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; 1 edition (September 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801892880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801892882
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Joseph J. Collins on October 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
Edited volumes are often uneven and not worth the price of admission. The best of them, however, are worth their weight in gold. To get to this stage, the book has to be organized along a clear theme; it has to be original work; it has to be well designed; and it has to be tightly edited.

Suzanne Nielsen and Don Snider's volume, American Civil-Military Relations: The Soldier and the State in a New Era is one such work and a valuable addition to the literature on civil-military relations, a vitally important issue for both scholars and practitioners. Getting the balance right between civilian authority and military competence is vital to the republic in war and peace.

The book came from original contributions from experts who attended the West Point Senior Conference in 2007, which was devoted to a festschrift on the 50th anniversary of the publication of Samuel Huntington's epic, The Soldier and the State. The book is best remembered for suggesting that the optimum division of labor is for civilians to make policy, but for the military to give advice, avoid politics, and be accorded professional space in the conduct of tactical and operational affairs. After a few days discussion and subsequent editing, the contributors to this volume --- including Columbia's Dick Betts, UNC's Dick Kohn, Duke's Peter Feaver --- had covered the waterfront, not only critiquing Huntington's basic theory but bringing the analysis forward 50 years to the present day. New material was presented by Colonel Matt Moten on the affair Shinseki, the famous case where a serving Chief of Staff of the Army was "dissed" by senior civilians for giving his honest opinion to Senate questioners.
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An important contribution to the topic. In my opinion the various chapters are capable in being ranked in significance although all of a very high quality. This ranking entirely subjective but given passage of time the continued contribution of some chapters makes this ranking a necessity.

Thus, the following from most important contribution even now as opposed to lesser long-term significance.

1. Professionalism and Professional Military Education [chapter 7];

2.Militaries and Political Activities in Democracies [chapter 11];

3. Enhancing National Security and Civilian Control of the Military: A Madisonian Approach [chapter 12];

4. Building Trust: Civil-Military Behaviors for Effective National Security [chapter 13];

5. Hartz, Huntington, and the Liberal Tradition in America: The Clash with Military Realism [chapter 5];

6. Responsible Obedience by Military Professionals: The Discretion to Do What is Wrong [chapter 8];

7. Winning Wars, Not Just Battles: Expanding the Military Profession to Incorporate Stability Operations [chapter 6];

8. Are Civil-Military Relations Still a Problem? [chapter 2];

9. A Broken Dialogue: Rumsfeld, Shinseki, and Civil-Military Tension [chapter 3];

10. Before and After Huntington: The Methodological Maturing of Civil-Military Studies [chapter 4];

11. The Military Mind: A Reassessment of the Ideological Roots of American Military Professionalism [chapter 9];

12. Conclusions [chapter 14;

13. Changing Conceptions of the Military as a Profession [chapter 10].

Obviously my ranking is subjective.
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