Document-Based Politicization of the U.S. Military: A Textual Analysis of the U.S. Army Counterinsurgency Field Manual (FM 3-24)

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Date
2011-04-13
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

The politicization of military forces is not a development of the 21st century. Throughout history, armies have taken on roles traditionally relegated to non-military entities and accepted the notion that the actions of even the most junior members of their force may have substantial political implications. The development of the politicization of the U.S. military in Iraq since 2003 has been particularly ubiquitous. Although the politicization of military forces is not a recent development, little effort has been made to locate the manner in which the politicization has been reflected by the doctrines included in the U.S. Army Counterinsurgency Field Manual (FM 3-24). I hypothesize that the doctrines included in FM 3-24 not only codified many systemic strategic and tactical changes for the U.S. military, but also supported the politicization of the military in the 21st century. I conclude that while not at the level I initially suspected, the doctrines included in the FM 3-24 reflected the politicization of the U.S. military in Iraq following its release in early 2007.

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Keywords
Iraq, Field Manual 3-24, military doctrine, U.S. Army, counterinsurgency, politicization
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