The military institutions of any society are shaped by two competing forces: a functional imperative stemming from threats to a state’s security and a societal imperative arising from social forces, ideologies, and institutions dominant within the society. Military institutions which reflect only social values may be incapable of performing effectively their military function. On the other hand, it may be impossible to contain within society military institutions shaped purely by functional imperatives. The interaction of these two forces is the nub of the problem of civil-military relations.
- indifference to international affairs,
- application of domestic solutions to international affairs,
- objectivity in international affairs,
- ambivalence about war, and
- distrust of military institutions.
- Cut military forces to the bone, isolating military institutions from society, and reducing military influence to negligible proportions. This maintains the purity of an American Liberal society at the expense of national security.
- Accept increased military authority and influence but to insist that military leaders abandon their professional outlook and that military institutions be reformed along liberal lines. This is good for society at the expense of military effectiveness.
- Society adopted a more sympathetic understanding and appreciation of the military viewpoint and military needs. This is good for the military but drives society to abandon its liberal heart.