The response to Covid-19 presents the Biden administration with its first defining challenge. DoD has played a central role in the response thus far, and the new administration has made clear that DoD will continue to play an important, though supporting, role.
The federal response to the pandemic has been slow and uneven. And it is true that our civic institutions will sometimes let us down and fail to deliver on what Americans need. But, when they do, it is to other civilians — not the military — that we must turn. The military can’t save us from COVID-19, and we shouldn’t ask it to.
President-elect Donald Trump has proposed two goals for the federal government’s civilian workforce: making it smaller and increasing its quality. How can the administration use both carrots and sticks to achieve its goal of reducing the civilian workforce without going to war without its own work force? This analysis addresses this question through the lens of the civilian workforce in the Department of Defense to propose recommended changes.
On Tuesday, January 10, Dr. Kathleen H. Hicks, senior vice president, Henry A. Kissinger Chair, and director of the International Security Program at CSIS, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on civilian control of the armed forces. Click here to access written testimony or to view a full recording of the hearing.
The nomination of General James Mattis for Secretary of Defense brings a level of controversy. Though General Mattis is highly regarded he is ineligible to be Secretary of Defense within seven years of his retirement unless Congress provides him a waiver. This article provides a list of questions the Congress should consider proposing to General Mattis on his January 12, hearing.
The United States has never grappled with the degree of civil-military dysfunction that many other nations have faced. The threat of a military coup has never been a significant concern. Yet civil-military friction is intrinsic in the compromise between the nation’s republican nature, which insists on civilian control and military subordination, and the existence of a standing federal military force.