Civil-military relations in the United States work smoothly most of the time. Whether senior military leaders personally agree with a president’s decisions and policies or not, they normally support them, at least publicly. In exchange, civilian leaders respect the authority of military leaders within their own professional domain, particularly on things like military discipline and order.
There have been times, though, when U.S. civil-military relations have been more troubled.
Luckily, this has never happened on a wide scale, at least not yet. But it could. Civil-military relations rely on unwritten norms and principles—the very things that President Donald Trump has often abandoned.
Trump’s willingness to trammel tradition, and his threats of radical action using U.S. military force, could upset the longstanding comity between the president and senior military leaders. While a series of principled resignations—a revolt by generals and admirals—remains unlikely, its chances are greater than they’ve ever been.
.. He has shown a persistent willingness to violate longstanding civil-military norms, while suggesting he might violate even bigger ones. He has also politicized the military to an unprecedented degree, capped this week by revelations that the White House ordered the USS John McCain to be moved out of Trump’s sight during his recent visit to Japan.
These tensions only add to the dangers posed today to America’s constitutional order.
Source: Could America’s Senior Military Leaders Ever Revolt Against Trump?