Gard Jr., Robert G.
July 1971
Foreign Affairs;Jul1971, Vol. 49 Issue 4, p698
The article focuses on identity crisis of the armed forces of the U.S. Alongside daily press reports of antiwar protests, draft resistance and opposition to military spending are accounts of such problems within the uniformed services as discipline, race relations and drug abuse. The concern of the military is apparent in recent institutional reforms, most notably in the Navy, designed to make service more attractive and to remove some of the irritants that no longer appear to serve a useful purpose. Not so well-known, however, is the search to adapt traditional concepts and practices of military professionalism to changing requirements and radically new demands. Increasing civilian involvement in military affairs proceeded more rapidly than military adjustment to it. Rejection of professional military advice in peacetime for nonmilitary reasons has always been acceptable to the soldier; what was and continues to be frustrating, and even professionally embarrassing, is to be overruled by civilians for military reasons or to have civilians interfere in the conduct of military operations. The military services face complex problems in their primary task of providing trained forces to support national security policy and strategy. Costs of both weapons and manpower are rising rapidly.


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