Civilian control over the military, and a non-partisan military, have been bedrock principles of American government since the founding of the country. In recent times, however, significant strains have developed in our civil-military relations. Why should we be alarmed about the growing politicization of the military in America? Why must partisan neutrality prevail, and why must civilians avoid using the military to advance their own partisan causes? In this Conversation, Eric Edelman shares his perspective.

Edelman organized an important letter in January 2021, signed by all living former secretaries of defense, reminding military and civilians at the Defense Department that the peaceful transfers of power…are hallmarks of our democracy. The need for such a letter, according to Edelman, underscores how the bedrock principles of American civil-military relations have been challenged, especially within the last years, both from within the ranks and in our politics. In this timely and urgent discussion, Edelman explains how we have reached the current situation. He calls for reinforcing the norm of keeping the military out of partisan politics—and politicians not seeking military support for partisan aims.

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  1. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    What happened when the permanent bureaucracy hinders the peaceful transfer of power Bill (you know – like pushing Russia Collusion)

    • #1
  2. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    If there was ever a time we DON’T need to hear from Bill Kristol, it’s now.

    • #2
  3. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Who would ever think that now is a good time to talk with Bill Kristol?!  (is there any such time?)

    Hey! I resemble that comment!  Oh … btw, how do you like my chin?

    • #3
  4. The Cloaked Gaijin Member
    The Cloaked Gaijin
    @TheCloakedGaijin

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    If there was ever a time we DON’T need to hear from Bill Kristol, it’s now.

    Well, he or at least his wife supported blackface KKK Ralph Northam over establishment Republican Ed Gillespie.  Northam will need a new job.  Perhaps send Northam to teach sensitivity to Afghanistan.

    • #4
  5. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    If there was ever a time we DON’T need to hear from Bill Kristol, it’s now.

    Well, he or at least his wife supported blackface KKK Ralph Northam over establishment Republican Ed Gillespie. Northam will need a new job. Perhaps send Northam to teach sensitivity to Afghanistan.

    He’s currently stumping for McAuliffe. This idiot has always been a Democrat — like his pal Charlie Three Wives — calling himself a conservative is part of the grift.

    • #5
  6. OwnedByDogs Coolidge
    OwnedByDogs
    @JuliaBlaschke

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    If there was ever a time we DON’T need to hear from Bill Kristol, it’s now.

    Well, he or at least his wife supported blackface KKK Ralph Northam over establishment Republican Ed Gillespie. Northam will need a new job. Perhaps send Northam to teach sensitivity to Afghanistan.

    He’s currently stumping for McAuliffe. This idiot has always been a Democrat — like his pal Charlie Three Wives — calling himself a conservative is part of the grift.

    I was already tuning out Kristol but stumping for McAuliffe hardens my resolve. As a long term Ricochetti, I don’t even like to see Kristol’s podcast listed.  @blueyeti, maybe you could consider removing Kristol from the podcast line up. I doubt many here are listening to it.

    • #6
  7. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    OwnedByDogs (View Comment):

    I was already tuning out Kristol but stumping for McAuliffe hardens my resolve. As a long term Ricochetti, @ blueyeti, maybe you could consider removing Kristol from the podcast line up.

    I guarantee you that will not happen.

    • #7