civilian authority

U.S. President Donald Trump and then-Defense Secretary James Mattis attend a cabinet meeting in the White House on March 8, 2018. (Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

Mattis Was the Best Secretary of Defense Trump Could Have Had

In grading him, we must adjust for the difficulty of the assignment.

U.S. President Donald Trump hosts a reception with Secretary of Defense James Mattis in the East Room of the White House on October 25, 2018.

Americans’ Blind Faith in the Military Is Dangerous

U.S. citizens show deference to the armed forces regardless of their political persuasion. Their willingness to let the generals decide is a threat to the democratic tradition of civilian oversight.

John Bolton talks with Ban Ki-moon at the South Korean Foreign Ministry in Seoul on July 20, 2004. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Give John Bolton a Chance

If you squint at Trump’s new national security advisor, you might see some silver linings.

Turkish tanks pass front of a giant poster of Recep Tayyip Erdogan on August 30,2014 in Istanbul. (Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)

General Erdogan’s First War

Turkey’s Islamist president is the first civilian with control over his country’s military – and you can tell by the results.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 11:  U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis speaks at a ceremony to commemorate the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the Pentagon September 11, 2017 in Washington, D.C. U.S. President Donald Trump was presiding over his first 9/11 commemoration on the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people when hijackers flew commercial airplanes into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)

Does the Military Need a Micromanager?

The Trump White House has delegated enormous responsibility to the Pentagon to look after itself, with predictable results.

US President Donald Trump speaks following the ceremonial swearing-in of James Mattis (R) as secretary of defense on January 27, 2017, at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Here’s How Trump’s Ban on Transgender Service Members Can Serve as a Teaching Moment

The way the president rolled out this decision is almost a textbook example of how not to make difficult decisions on military policy.

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All the President’s Generals

There’s some reason for concern about the balance of America’s civil-military relations, but it’s the civil side we should be worried about.

Myanmar soldiers patrol in Laukkai, the main city in the Kokang region of northern Myanmar Shan state, on February 16, 2015. Growing fighting between Myanmar's Army and ethnic Kokang fighters in a region bordering China has killed dozens in the past week and sent tens of thousands fleeing across the frontier, reports said on February 16. AFP / STRINGER        (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States of Myanmar?

A federal system of government may be Myanmar's best step forward towards national unity and a more robust democratic process.

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Law and (Military) Order

A new constitutional amendment in Pakistan cedes civilian power to the military.

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