By Shawn T. Cochran
As soon as embroiled in high priced, protracted warfare, a few political leaders dig of their heels regardless of mounting casualties and growing domestic discontent whereas others turn out extra apt to chop the state's losses and convey the battle to a well timed end. Addressing such version in behavior, this e-book examines the matter of warfare termination via a civil-military lens. It argues that the interaction among political and armed forces management impacts the level to which a political chief hazards being blamed and punished for a failed battle; and this hazard, in flip, impacts a political leader's warfare termination calculus. whereas it can be actual that no-one desires to lose a warfare, it really is absolutely the case that no-one desires to be blamed for wasting a war. Drawing upon facts from the Hundred Years' conflict to fresh US operations in Afghanistan, this publication indicates how the termination of protracted battle eventually represents a civil-military bargain and additionally means that this discount is never a simple one.
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Additional resources for War Termination as a Civil-Military Bargain: Soldiers, Statesmen, and the Politics of Protracted Armed Conflict
For one, a retired military leader, potentially less bound by legal and normative constraints, may be more open with his or her critique of political leadership’s war policy and have access to more effective avenues of dissent; at the same time, these retired military leaders can retain the credibility of their active duty counterparts. ”84 Senator J. William Fulbright, a leading opponent of US involvement in Vietnam, turned repeatedly to this small but influential group of “anti-war military brass” to testify at Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearings.
A new leader can make clear from day one an intent to withdraw and still be charged as a backstabber. The backstabber narrative does, however, hinge upon belief that the war was still winnable. A leader who inherits an unwinnable war cannot reasonably be blamed for losing the war or for robbing the nation and the armed forces of deserved victory. As a squanderer, political leadership exhibited a lack of competence by failing to recognize or admit when victory was out of reach, when war-related costs had exceeded potential gains, or when continuing the war was otherwise no longer in the best interest of the state.
There are hints of this with what is known as the “Tbilisi Syndrome” in Russian military circles. ” 73 Senior military leaders critical of Russia’s subsequent war in Chechnya (1994–96) pointed to this previous episode of scapegoating as justification for opposing the government’s current policies. In a media interview, General Alexander Lebed made clear, “Every time, the orders were explicit and came from the highest level . . And every time, when we had done their (the politicians’) dirty work for them, they ran away and left us to take all the blame .