which the military, in coalition with demagogic civilian leaders, wield
unprecedented amounts of political and administrative power. In the
garrison state the officer fights for national survival and glory.
But the constabulary force is designed to be compatible with the
traditional goals of democratic political control. The constabulary
officer performs his duties, which include fighting, because he is a
professional with a sense of self-esteem and moral worth. Civilian
society permits him to maintain his code of honor and encourages
him to develop his professional skill. He is amenable to civilian
political control because he recognizes that civilians appreciate and
understand the tasks and responsibilities of the constabulary force.
He is integrated into civilian society because he shares its common
values. To deny or destroy the difference between the military and
the civilian cannot produce genuine similarity, but runs the risk of
creating new forms of tension and unanticipated militarism.
When they have intervened in domestic civil disorders, federal troops
have encountered little opposition, except for the Pullman strike. In the past,
the presence of a limited number of troops, for there were usually no more
than a limited number available, has been sufficient to restore order and
prevent further disturbance. By contrast, General MacArthur engaged in a
relatively large-scale operation when 500 troops were used, with more than
1,000 held in reserve, in order to evict the 8,000 bonus marchers on Washington, D.C. during the administration of President Herbert Hoover.
The cavalry led the way, followed by tanks, machine gunners, and infantry.
The troops wore gas masks, and in a few minutes tear gas completely cleared
the "Fort," where the bonus army lived in makeshift huts. Apparently, the
army had been requested to move into the troubled area without firearms
but the military authorities decided that if soldiers were to be involved they
would use guns, not sticks. However this episode stands in contrast to the
typical behavior of the army in civil disorders. When properly trained,
equipped, and commanded, it has sought to limit the display and use of
force. See Reichley, M. S., "Federal Military Intervention in Civil Disturbances" (Ph.D. dissertation, Georgetown University, 1939).
Despite the growth of reporting and control devices, it is the infrequent
real tests which lay bare the state of the military establishment. The smallscale landing in Lebanon in 1958, undertaken under most favorable conditions,
was considered by observers to have been a defective military operation,
aside from its political dimensions. See, in particular, Baldwin, Hanson, "Concern Over Defense", New York Times, 1958, p. 14. Such disclosures
constitute the basis for fundamental civilian review of the adequacy and
organization of constabulary forces, although, in actuality, this particular
instance was not used either by Congress or by executive leadership.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: War, Morality, and the Military Profession.
Contributors: Malham M. Wakin - Author.
Publisher: Westview Press.
Place of publication: Boulder, CO.
Publication year: 1986.
Page number: 78.
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