Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Social Sciences

Publication Date


Publication Title

Real Clear Defense

Document Type



I teach civil-military relations at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. While searching for readings for an elective course taught in the spring semester, I came across a 2010 article written in the L.A. Times, “An increasingly politicized military.” One passage stood out: “By all accounts, the curricula of the service academies and the war colleges give remarkably little attention to the central importance of civilian control. They do not systematically expose up-and-coming officers to intensive case studies and simulations designed to give them a sense of the principle’s real-world implications.” So where are we now? Nearly a decade later, those cadets have graduated and are now midcareer officers. Do civilians have less control over the military as a result of the claim that the military received poor instruction on proper civ-mil relations? Can curriculum “fix” broken civilmilitary relations?