I find much to applaud in Maj. (P) Dan Maurer’s thoughtful Lawfare post on potential unlawful command influence (UCI) issues associated with the president’s tweet about the controversial case of Maj.
Latest in Civil-Military Relations
The final two months of 2018 have been a remarkably eventful period for observers of American civil-military relations—even for the Trump administration. In just the final two months of 2018, there was the pre-midterm election deployment of troops to the southwest border in response to the supposed “invasion” of the migrant caravan.
On September 25, 1794, President George Washington proclaimed that that he was sending state militia forces to subdue what was dubbed the “Whiskey Rebellion.” The following week, Washington became the first and only sitting president to command forces in the field. The episode included some other important firsts—and even though few shots were ultimately fired, it highlights some significant and peculiar ways in which law controlled military power in the early republic.
We had many indications during the 2016 campaign that a Donald Trump presidency would be bad for civil-military relations.
On Feb. 6, the Washington Post reported that President Trump has instructed the Defense Department to plan a large military parade in Washington on a major holiday. Presumably, the president would attend and review the troops.
Earlier this week, I wrote in Slate about how America’s military leaders have seemingly improvised a new norm of civil-military relations in response to President Donald Trump. The latest proving ground for this norm is the debate over how to treat transgender recruits and servicemembers as the Trump administration battles in the courts to uphold Trump’s order banning such individuals from the service. Under this new norm: