Military Discipline Essay
seems like the morning hymn of creation” and “[e]ach man awakes himself with lofty emotions, and would do some heroic deed.” He concludes: The whole course of our lives should be analogous to one day of the soldier’s.
His Genius seems to whisper in his ear what demeanor is befitting, and in his bravery and his march he yields a blind and partial obedience.
At one time or another in the 20th century alone, civilian control of the military has been a concern of democracies like the United States and France, of communist tyrannies such as the Soviet Union and China, of fascist dictatorships in Germany and Italy, and since 1945, of many smaller states in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
We too are such puny creatures as to be put to flight by the sun, and suffer our ardor to grow cool in proportion as his increases; our own short-lived chivalry sounds a retreat with the fumes and vapors of the night; and we turn to meet mankind, with its meek face preaching peace, and such non-resistance as the chaff that rides before the whirlwind.
The state must, as a matter of ongoing national policy, clearly and precisely specify the role of the military.
Certainly uniformed leaders can and should be consulted in this process as the mission of the military changes to suit new conditions.
Civilian control can support or sustain democracy, but civilian control is only one aspect of democratic rule; civilian control is necessary for democracy but not sufficient.
Without a stable and legitimate governmental system and process, the military may be induced to intervene or interfere in order to protect society from chaos, internal challenge, or external attack–even though intervention may itself perpetuate instability and destroy the legitimacy of the government.