PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Real Problem With The Civilian-Military Gap

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to reporters about the Nuclear Posture Review as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates look on, at the Pentagon in 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to reporters about the Nuclear Posture Review as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates look on, at the Pentagon in 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

The civilian-military gap is real and our guest says it affects the relationship between the White House and the Pentagon and can lead to bad policies and incoherent strategies. The gap affects decision-making in Washington because some senior civilians in the White House don’t understand the structure of the military. While at the Pentagon, some senior military officers forget there’s any other way to run an organization.

Robert Gates, when he was Secretary of Defense, warned of the growing disconnect between the military and the rest of the country’s population. Gates told students at Duke University that serving in the military is, increasingly, something “other people to do.”

Rosa Brooks is a law professor at Georgetown University and a former senior adviser at the U.S. State Department. Brooks writes in Foreign Policy Magazine  that working together should have inspired familiarity, not contempt. But during her time at the Pentagon and the State Department, “I watched numerous interagency discussion devolve into exercises in mutual misunderstanding and frustration.”

Guest:

  • Rosa Brooks, law professor at Georgetown University

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

June 6 Comment

Introducing A New Here & Now Website

Coming June 9, 2016, Here & Now listeners and visitors will experience our stories and journalism online in a whole new way.

June 3 Comment

Teenagers Create Impromptu Exhibit At San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art

As the pair toured the museum, they wondered if they could do better. So 16-year-old Kevin Nguyen decided to get creative.

June 3 3 Comments

‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Author Explores Conformity, Mental Health In New Teen Novel

Matthew Quick published his fourth young adult book, "Every Exquisite Thing," this week.

June 2 13 Comments

Do Meal Kits Provide Great Taste Along With Convenience?

Resident chef Kathy Gunst tested a multitude of meal kits, and gives co-host Jeremy Hobson the inside scoop.