Civilian Control of the Military: From the Founders to Trump & Biden

Civilian Control of the Military:

From the Founders to Trump & Biden

Monday, November 8, 2021 | 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Room 105 | Berkeley Law

Event Flyer

Civilian Control of the Military Event Flyer

Event Description

Civilian control of the military came under increasing stress during the Trump presidency. Civilian leaders considered the use of troops in domestic affairs, while military officers allegedly undermined the policies of elected officials. Did civilian-military relations worsen, what are the causes, and what does the future hold? Panelists include Kori Schake, Mackubin Owens, and Daniel Sargeant (Moderator).


Kori Schake is a senior fellow and the director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Before joining AEI, Dr. Schake was the deputy director-general of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. She has had a distinguished career in government, working at the US State Department, the US Department of Defense, and the National Security Council at the White House. She has also taught at Stanford, West Point, Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, National Defense University, and the University of Maryland.

Dr. Schake is the author of five books, among them “America vs the West: Can the Liberal World Order Be Preserved?” (Penguin Random House Australia, Lowy Institute, 2018); “Safe Passage: The Transition from British to American Hegemony” (Harvard University Press, 2017); “State of Disrepair: Fixing the Culture and Practices of the State Department” (Hoover Institution Press, 2012); and “Managing American Hegemony: Essays on Power in a Time of Dominance” (Hoover Institution Press, 2009).

She is also the coeditor, along with former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, of “Warriors & Citizens: American Views of Our Military” (Hoover Institution Press, 2016).

Dr. Schake has been widely published in policy journals and the popular press, including in, Foreign Affairs, Politico, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. She is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and War on the Rocks.

Dr. Schake has a PhD and MA in government and politics from the University of Maryland, as well as an MPM from the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. Her BA in international relations is from Stanford University.

Mackubin T. Owens is a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He previously served as editor of Orbis: FPRI’s Journal of World Affairs. From 2015 until March of 2018, he was Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. From 1987 until 2014, he was Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. At the War College he specialized in the planning of US strategy and forces, especially naval and power projection forces; the political economy of national security; national security organization; strategic geography; and American civil-military relations. In addition to the NWC core course, he has taught electives on The American Founding, Strategy and Policy of the American Civil War, The Statesmanship of Abraham Lincoln, Sea Power and Maritime Strategy, Strategy and Geography, and US Civil-Military Relations.  From 1990 to 1997, Dr. Owens was Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly defense journal Strategic Review and Adjunct Professor of International Relations at Boston University.

Dr. Owens is the author of the FPRI monograph Abraham Lincoln: Leadership and Democratic Statesmanship in Wartime (2009) and US Civil-Military Relations after 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Military Bargain (Continuum Press, January 2011) and coauthor of US Foreign Policy and Defense Strategy: The Rise of an Incidental Superpower (Georgetown University Press, spring 2015). He is also completing another book for the University Press of Kentucky tentatively titled Sword of Republican Empire: A History of US Civil-Military Relations. He is co-editor of the textbook, Strategy and Force Planning, now in its fourth edition, for which he also wrote several chapters, including “The Political Economy of National Security,” “Thinking About Strategy,” and “The Logic of Strategy and Force Planning.”

Dr. Owens is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal. In addition, his articles on national security issues have appeared in International Security, Orbis, Joint Force Quarterly, The Public Interest, The Weekly Standard, The St. Louis Lawyer. Defence Analysis, US Naval Institute Proceedings, Marine Corps Gazette, Comparative Strategy, National Review, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor; The Los Angeles Timesthe Jerusalem Post, The Washington Times, and The New York Post. 

Before joining the faculty of the War College, Dr. Owens served as National Security Adviser to Senator Bob Kasten, Republican of Wisconsin, and Director of Legislative Affairs for the Nuclear Weapons Programs of the Department of Energy during the Reagan Administration.  Dr. Owens is also a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam, where as an infantry platoon and company commander in 1968-1969, he was wounded twice and awarded the Silver Star medal.  He retired as a Colonel in 1994.

Dr. Owens earned his Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Dallas, a Master of Arts in Economics from Oklahoma University, and his BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  He has taught at the University of Rhode Island, the University of Dallas, Catholic University, Ashland University of Ohio, and the Marine Corps’ School of Advanced Warfighting (SAW).  He was also a visiting lecturer at Amherst College during the fall of 2011. He has been a program officer for the Smith Richardson Foundation, Senior Visiting Fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses and a consultant to the Los Alamos National Laboratory; Plans Division, Headquarters Marine Corps; and J-5 Strategy, the Joint Staff. He is the recipient of the 2012 Andrew Goodpaster Prize for excellence in military scholarship for his book US Civil-Military Relations after 9/11 and was the 2013 Ira Eaker Distinguished Lecturer at the Air Force Academy.

Daniel Sargent (Moderator) is an associate professor at the University of California, where he is jointly appointed in the Department of History and the Goldman School of Public Policy. He is a historian who specializes in U.S. foreign policy and the history of international relations. His research has explored how states and decision-makers adapt to long-term changes in their international environments, including the historical advance of globalization. He is presently interested in how the United States has strived, over the long arc of its history, to constitute and sustain international order, and he remains intrigued with how policymakers use historical and grand strategic concepts to inform the work of policymaking.
Daniel Sargent earned his PhD in History from Harvard University in 2008. He is also a graduate of Cambridge University, where he earned his B.A. with double-first class honors in 2001. He has held pre-doctoral fellowships at the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, both at Harvard. In 2007-8, he was the inaugural Henry Chauncey Jr. ’57 Postdoctoral Fellow at International Security Studies at Yale University. In 2018-19, he was the William C. Bark National Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He has taught at the History Department at Berkeley since 2008 and in the Goldman School of Public Policy since 2019.

Daniel Sargent’s first book, A Superpower Transformed: The Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s was published by Oxford University Press in 2015. An interpretive history of U.S. foreign relations, the book shows how decision-makers across three administrations (Nixon, Ford, and Carter) adapted, and failed to adapt, to changes in their international environment, changes that ranged from the breakdown of the Bretton Woods monetary system, to the oil shocks of the 1970s, to the rise of an organized transnational movement for human rights. Sargent has published essays in numerous journals and edited volumes, including the Cambridge World History. He is a co-editor (with Niall Ferguson, Charles Maier, and Erez Manela) of The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective, a 2010 volume from Harvard University Press, and a co-author of a W.W. Norton textbook provisionally titled Global America. He is currently working on Pax Americana: A History of the American World Order, a history of the U.S.-centered or “liberal” world order under contract with Princeton University Press.

At Berkeley, Daniel Sargent has taught a variety of undergraduate lecture courses: on the history of U.S. foreign relations, on the world since 1945, and on the history and practice of human rights. He has also co-devised and co-taught a new lower-division course, History 1: Global History, that introduces students in a single semester to recurrent dynamics and patterns in human affairs. In his graduate teaching, Sargent has taught seminars on U.S. foreign policy and the history of international relations in the History Department and on the “uses of history” at the Goldman School of Public Policy. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award of the Division of Social Sciences at Berkeley. In 2017, he was recognized by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations with the Stuart L. Bernath Lecture Prize.