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Administration of War
Duke L J (2009)
  • John C Yoo, University of California, Berkeley
This essay asks whether the Constitution’s implicit grant of the removal power to the President provides control over the administrative agencies by examination of civil-military relations under the administration of President George W. Bush. Control over the military is one of the most significant, but also understudied, aspects of administrative law. The U.S. Armed Services are the nation’s first administrative agencies, predating the Constitution itself. The President has greater freedom to remove and command military officers than over the personnel of any civilian agency. Yet, greater constitutional command over the military agencies has not produced greater presidential control. Since the end of the Cold War, the military has become increasingly independent from political leadership. During both the Clinton and Bush administrations, military officers publicly opposed and sought to change civilian policies. A principal-agent model of administration, built on rational choice approaches to the study of bureaucracy, suggests ways that civilian principals can increase their control. Dividing the military into different services with similar functions may reduce its ability to unify in its struggle with civilian principals. When there is an unprecedented form of external threat and disagreement on the most effective policies, decentralization may also create a healthy competition that provides principals with more varied policy options and hence more control over their agents.
  • Civil-Military relations,
  • war power,
  • removal power,
  • administrative law
Publication Date
Citation Information
John C Yoo. "Administration of War" Duke L J Vol. 58 (2009)
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