Uneasy Balance: Civil-Military Relations in Peacetime America since 1783
Hullihan, Kevin M. Usaf, Air & Space Power Journal
Uneasy Balance: Civil-Military Relations in Peacetime America since 1783 by Thomas S. Langston. Johns Hopkins University Press (http://www.press.jhu.edu), 2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21218-4363, 2003, 208 pages, $39.95 (hardcover).
Over time, the relationship between the United States and its military hits been extremely varied. The same Army that once threatened to stage a coup in Newburgh, New York, in 1783 is now considered by many to be one of the most trusted institutions in the country. How military and civilian leadership work to reach the same goals, either in concert or otherwise, is one of the most vital political dialogues going on today.
In Uneasy Balance, Thomas Langston provides a structure for analysis by dividing the nation's political and military history and then examining the process by which the United States and its military realigned themselves against different emerging peacetime or wartime threats. Fraught with historical references, the narrative not only orients the reader but also provides the basis for any discussion on policy decisions. Langston's meticulous research pays major dividends, increasing the reader's understanding while adding value to the analysis and conclusions.
In examining wars scattered across the spectrum of conflict, the author points to several important lessons regarding cooperation between those who make policy and those who put that policy into action. Not one to let details slip, Langston also takes note of the interaction between all players in the policy process. …