Recent debates about whether senior military officers can offer public dissent or resign in protest have a disproportionate impact on civil-military relations. As a result, many discussions focus primarily on how the civil-military dialogue has broken down and offer little advice to senior officers about how they can--and should--engage properly in effective civil-military dialogue. Scholars should begin a more constructive discussion about how to best integrate military advice into today's policy-making process. Although military expertise is imperfect and only one input policy makers should consider, a forthright, candid civil-military dialogue decreases the likelihood of strategic miscalculation and increases the odds of effective policy making. To complement scholarly discussions that discourage political activity by military officers, this article develops a Clausewitzian framework for introducing military advice into what is always a political context. It offers practical suggestions for military officers and hopes to stimulate further debate about what positive norms could shape the civil-military dialogue.
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