Patriots for Profit: Contractors and the Military in U.S. National Security

By Thomas C. Bruneau | Go to book overview

3
THE INSTITUTIONS OF U.S. CIVIL–MILITARY
RELATIONS

This chapter will apply the three-dimensional framework elaborated and illustrated in the last chapter to describe how the U.S. system of civil–military relations works in practice. The academic literature in general, focused as it is on the issue of control, scarcely touches on the far more critical matters of effectiveness in its analyses of U.S. civil–military relations. The U.S. national security system is highly bureaucratized, with an enormous Department of Defense that consists of 1,421,731 active duty members within the four services, 2,646,658 civilian personnel, and 463,084 in the Army and Air Force National Guard.1 In addition to the four armed services and eight reserve components, which compete with each other for resources, there are sixteen separate intelligence agencies, plus the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (with a staff of 1,000, not including contractors), and the Department of Homeland Security, which now encompasses twenty-one previously separate organizations with approximately 216,000 personnel.2 This behemoth bureaucracy is controlled, funded, and regulated by the three separate branches of government, and its facilities are spread among all fifty states and the several territories. The United States has no national police force, but each of the fifty states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam have their own militia under the control of the governor (except for the District of Columbia, which does not have a governor), in the form of the National Guard. Federalism is a strong guiding principle. According to Amendment X of the U.S. Constitution: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”3

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