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Reconsidering American Civil-Military RelationsThe Military, Society, Politics, and Modern War$
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Lionel Beehner, Risa Brooks, and Daniel Maurer

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197535493

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197535493.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

Who Has “Skin in the Game”?

Who Has “Skin in the Game”?

The Implications of an Operational Reserve for Civil-Military Relations

(p.97) 5 Who Has “Skin in the Game”?
Reconsidering American Civil-Military Relations

Jessica D. Blankshain

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how the changing role of the reserve component in the post–Cold War era has affected US civil-military relations. It argues that as the reserve component has transitioned from strategic to operational reserve, the part-time service members of the reserve component have become less distinct from their active-duty counterparts. The blurring of the distinction between citizen-soldier and professional soldier has important implications for key issues in civil-military relations. Policymakers previously assumed the societal disruption caused by mobilizing the reserve component would impose significant political costs on presidents who conduct overseas military operations, but this does not appear to be the case today. In addition, political activity—including serving in Congress—by members of the reserve component who simultaneously publicize their ongoing military service may exacerbate concerns about the politicization of the military.

Keywords:   National Guard, reservist, citizen-soldier, civil-military relations, Congress

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