Ex-Military Leaders Warn of Politicized ‘Civil-Military Environment’ Days After Biden Speech

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About a dozen former Department of Defense secretaries and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairmen signed a letter warning of a “challenging civil-military environment” days after President Joe Biden’s speech that included two Marines behind him.

“We are in an exceptionally challenging civil-military environment. Many of the factors that shape civil-military relations have undergone extreme strain in recent years,” they wrote in an open letter, citing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The letter was posted on the War on the Rocks website on Tuesday.

“Socially, the pandemic and the economic dislocations have disrupted societal patterns and put enormous strain on individuals and families,” they added. “Politically, military professionals confront an extremely adverse environment characterized by the divisiveness of affective polarization that culminated in the first election in over a century when the peaceful transfer of political power was disrupted and in doubt.”

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