Home / Articles / Civil-Military Tensions and the US Civil-Military Bargain
Civil-military relations (CMR) are concerned with the interactions among the people of a state, the political institutions of that state, and the military of the state. In the United States, these interactions can be understood as a bargain regarding the allocation of military prerogatives and responsibilities. A history of US civil-military relations shows that this bargain has been periodically re-negotiated to take account of political, social, technological, or geopolitical changes. Often, such a renegotiation creates civil-military tensions. Yet, always underlying healthy civil-military relations is a fundamental degree of trust and respect between the uniformed military and the other two parties to the civil-military bargain. The absence of such mutual trust and respect has contributed to recent US civil-military tensions.