Editor’s Note: The relationship between soldiers and civilians is a fundamental question for any democracy. In the United States, the military has long been respected, but only recently has it been idolized—far more so than any other American institution today. Not surprisingly, politicians increasingly bring military officers into their administrations. Raphael Cohen of RAND finds that the civil-military gap is growing, in large part due to the shift toward an all-volunteer force and the decline in the percentage of Americans with military experience.
Latest in James N. Mattis
As noted here, a law forbidding retired military officer from serving as Secretary of Defense until seven years after retirement currently stands in the way of the Mattis nomination, and will require fresh legislation to overcome. Now the path towards obtaining that legislation is beginning to come into focus.
Over at War on the Rocks, I have a post explaining that a new statute will be needed in order for General Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense. It's been done once before, with George Marshall during the Truman Administration.