The Democratic Civil-Military Relations of Austerity: Thoughts about the Past and the Present
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How do defense institutions adjust to reductions in budgets amid an epoch of upheaval? This process of demobilization and retrenchment takes place amid the intensification of partisan politics in Western democracies made more toxic by an economic crisis all too similar to the 1930s. For young U.S. offic- ers this situation burst forth without precedent. It is a shock for them unlike any in the decade prior of hard service. This article regards such a shock as a point of departure for deeper reflections about the theme of austerity and mil- itary professionalism in the past and present.