The Silent Crisis in American Civil-Military Relations

A public lecture, followed by Q&A, with Tom Nichols, Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College and is the author of The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters (Oxford University Press, 2017). Lunch will be provided. Dr. Nichol’s talk will address the re-balancing of the the U.S. civil-military relationship. Both Congress and the public expect the military to solve a vast arrays of problems, and are now accustomed to seeing generals in charge of White House and Cabinet posts. The military has resisted this enlargement of its status, but under the Trump administration, glorification of the military as an institution has reached unprecedented levels. This—along with nearly 20 years of continuous war—is creating a warrior class that sees itself as superior to civilians, and a public that defaults to military expertise almost reflexively. Dr. Nichol’s asks, how do we restore this balance in a system that was once the model of civil-military cooperation?