The Suppressed Dimension of Strategy: Locating Domestic Political Strategy in American Military Affairs. Tom Cosbie
Please join us for a talk by Dr. Tom Crosbie next week on November 11, 2014. Tom is a post-doc here in the Center for Research on Military Organization, and joins us from Yale University where he recently completed his PhD in Sociology. He will be presenting on “The Suppressed Dimension of Strategy: Locating Domestic Political Strategy in American Military Affairs.”
ABSTRACT: While strategic thinkers overwhelmingly acknowledge the importance of Clausewitz’s central claim that war is inescapably political, military strategy is still discussed primarily in terms of its operational character. How do political concerns shape operational planning? How sorts of plans are implemented by military leaders to shape their political environment? I introduce here the "suppressed" dimension of military strategy, the network of domestic political strategies developed by military leaders in mass-mediated democracies to integrate the domestic political theater into their operational concerns. Although several prominent sites of domestic political strategy have been organized by the U.S. Army in recent years, awareness of this work has not been noticeably integrated into theories of civil-military relations. By adopting a historical perspective, we can more easily recognize the processes through which domestic political concerns arose as separate specialist site within each armed service and the degree to which these sites have been cleaved to the primary operational policy of each service. Ultimately, domestic political strategy has become implemented at the joint level of doctrine.