Comparison of the U.S. and German approaches to democratic civil-military relations
Peters, Hans Eberhard
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Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the issue of civil-military relations has become critical to the development of the new Eastern European democracies. Both the United States and Germany have a long civil-military relations tradition. A comparison of the United States' and Germany's approaches to civil-military relations will provide clear examples for new democratic states to follow, as they develop their civil-military relations, especially as they consider multi-national NATO units. Following an overview of civil-military theory, this thesis highlights the historical and political developments of civil-military relations within both countries. The thesis further explains the similarities and differences in their developments, as well as the implications for the military profession. The thesis provides a comparison of both approaches to the military profession and to the primary civil-military relations theory, in order to determine if the requirement of democratic civilian control over the military has been met. The thesis summarizes advantages and disadvantages of both American and German approaches.
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