Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Military "Not So Civil" Relationships

          Civil-military relations are a major driving force for decisions made within the military. It is said that a proper military should mirror its society in both composition and action. For this reason, the military has opened all positions for women in hopes of full gender equality within the military. On August 15, 2015, two female ranger candidates passed Army Ranger qualifications. The military understands that it is vital to mirror the public in order to successfully operate within democratic norms of society. Despite best efforts to mirror the public, the civil-military relationship within the United States is often weakened by a degree of skepticism and fear. An example of this is seen in the domestic reaction to Operation Jade Helm, a U.S military operation taking place across several southern states.
          Jade Helm is a military operation combining Army Special Operations Command and Joint Special Operations Command operating within these southern states. Once word of the secret yet massive military operation had been made public, the response was one of fear. This fear stemmed from the lack of transparency and inability for journalists to accompany these forces during training. Additionally, the flames of mistrust were stoked by Gov. Greg Abbott, who requested the Texas Army National Guard and Texas State Guard to follow and monitor the United States Special Operations Command.
          The reaction to Jade Helm shows a deep mistrust of the United States government and our military forces. While a sense of transparency is crucial for proper governance, there is an element of military action that may be hindered upon full transparency. The desire to watch every move that the military makes is strong, it is important to let our military train to win the fight abroad. It is critical that the desire to have our military mirror our society does not transition into the methods used to train. If we desire to have strong civil-military relationships, the military must do its part to reflect society and society must allow the military to act as a military.

No comments: