Former CENTCOM Commander and Pentagon Aide Examine American Public
Sentiment toward the US Military
STANFORD, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Hoover Institution Press today released Warriors and
Citizens, an extensive analysis of the most comprehensive survey of
American public attitudes about military issues since 1998. With less
than one half of one percent of the American public currently serving in
our military, coupled with the high pace of deployments for our fighting
forces, this thought-provoking book helps readers understand the
cumulative effect of having a military at war when the great majority of
American society is largely unaffected.
“Public support for the military continues to be high, yet the public’s
knowledge of military issues is extremely low forty years into having an
all-volunteer force,” said Hoover research fellow and coeditor Kori
Schake. “America’s civil-military relationship is fundamentally healthy.
But every author in this book worried about the effects of that
disconnect: on the sustainability of policies, policy makers’ ability to
craft strategy or suspicion of military advice, the public’s tolerance
for military policies that differ from civilian society.”
The analysis uncovers how public attitudes are less a constraint on
making strategy than civilian leaders believe and how, by failing to
engage the public on strategy, civilian leaders may be creating the
public disapproval that they argue is determining their policy choice.
The contributors offer a variety of recommendations to shore up
important elements of American civil-military relations, including
attention to politicization of the military by politicians’ and
veterans’ groups. The editors caution against policy changes that reduce
the war-fighting ability of our military.
“With national security priorities constantly evolving, complacency
about military requirements could lead to terrible outcomes for our
country,” said coeditor and Hoover distinguished visiting fellow,
General James Mattis (retired). “Our recommendations for remediation of
this gap between civilian and military attitudes fall mostly on
civilians and elected leaders. All of them seek to fortify the
traditionally strong bonds between the American military and the broader
Warriors and Citizens ultimately seeks to foster a familiarity
that will ensure that our military organizations are braided tightly to
our broader society, thus keeping alive America’s experiment in
Contributors: Rosa Brooks, Matthew Colford, Thomas Donnelly,
Peter Feaver, Jim Golby, Jim Hake, Tod Lindberg, Jim Mattis, Mackubin
Thomas Owens, Cody Poplin, Nadia Schadlow, Kori Schake, A. J. Sugarman,
Lindsay Cohn Warrior, Benjamin Wittes
For more information on Warriors and Citizens, visit HooverPress.org.
For more information on the Hoover Institution, visit Hoover.org or
find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Scribd (keyword: Hoover Institution).
About the Hoover Institution: The Hoover Institution, Stanford
University, is a public policy research center devoted to the advanced
study of economics, politics, history, and political economy—both
domestic and foreign—as well as international affairs. With its eminent
scholars and world-renowned Library & Archives, the Hoover Institution
seeks to improve the human condition by advancing ideas that promote
economic opportunity and prosperity and secure and safeguard peace for
America and all mankind.
Jenny Mayfield, 650-723-0603
of Public Affairs