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Bush and the Generals

Courtesy Reuters

THE CIVIL-MILITARY RIFT

It is no secret that the relationship between the U.S. military and civilians in the Bush administration has deteriorated markedly since the start of the Iraq war. In 2006, according to a Military Times poll, almost 60 percent of servicemen and servicewomen did not believe that civilians in the Pentagon had their "best interests at heart." In its December 2006 report, the bipartisan Iraq Study Group -- of which Robert Gates was a member until President George W. Bush tapped him to replace Donald Rumsfeld as secretary of defense last year -- explicitly recommended that "the new Secretary of Defense should make every effort to build healthy civil-military relations, by creating an environment in which the senior military feel free to offer independent advice not only to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon but also to the President and the National Security Council."

But the tensions in civil-military relations

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