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Accession Number ADA591756
Title Pit and the Pendulum: Civil-military Relations in an Age of Austerity.
Publication Date May 2013
Media Count 6p
Personal Author C. D. Allen
Abstract In Edgar Allan Poe's short story 'The Pit and the Pendulum,' an unnamed protagonist avoids a fatal fall only to find himself in deadly danger from a swinging blade. Today's senior military leaders are in similar straits, though it's not their lives at risk but rather the American people's trust in their armed forces. The pit is the prospect that the U.S. military might be ill- prepared when the call comes to ward off enemies, foreign or domestic. Twice in memory this has happened; today's military leaders are haunted by the Vietnam War and the Sept. 11 attacks. The pendulum is the prospect that Congress inability to pass defense budgets will hamstring the military's ability to act effectively when need arises. In the past four years, lawmakers have managed only continuing resolutions; through this year, at least, there is the further complication of sequestration. Senior military leaders are hard-pressed to sustain a force that can safeguard U.S. security interests. In January, this dilemma brought the Joint Chiefs of Staff to a rare act: letters to key lawmakers, signed by all seven members, decrying across-the-board cuts to defense legislated by Congress and signed into law by President Obama. It is not my intent to argue for defense's share of the federal budget or to provide an economic analysis of the cuts effect, but rather to offer observations on an often overlooked and underexamined aspect of civil-military relations. In an era when a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff argues that the country's biggest strategic problem is the national debt, where does duty lie for the military's top officers.
Keywords Civilian authorities
Community relations
Foreign policy
Jcs(Joint chiefs of staff)
Military budgets
Military forces(United states)
Military strategy
National security
Senior military leaders

Source Agency Non Paid ADAS
NTIS Subject Category 96 - Business & Economics
92 - Behavior & Society
92C - Social Concerns
74 - Military Sciences
Corporate Author Army War Coll., Carlisle Barracks, PA. Center for Strategic Leadership.
Document Type Journal article
Title Note Journal article.
NTIS Issue Number 1411
Contract Number N/A

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