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The Four Core Functions Of The Military And National Security

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Military power functions as an integral part of the national security process and takes up important roles like aggrandizement and defense. Robert Art, in his 1980 article enumerates four core functions of the military, to include: defense, deterrence, compulsion, and posturing. As a defensive object of national security, the military’s first duty is to protect the nation against all enemies of the nation by warding off attacks or minimizing the damage caused by the attack. As a tool for deterrence, the military uses its might to prevent an enemy from acting out on a dangerous plan by threatening unacceptable punishment for action. To do this, the state has to assume that the enemy is rational and understands that it would cost the enemy more to be punished for an action than it would if the enemy does not act at all. In compulsion, the military undertakes the role of forcing an adversary to either stop an action that’s already in motion or pressure the adversary to act. The goal here is to force the enemy to realize that a continuation –or lack of one will cost more than any gains expected. The military undertakes a swaggering role in national defense to show adversaries the extent of its power and to give the adversary a yardstick, with which to measure if undertaking a certain action would be effective or not. A political leader is expected to listen to the advice of his military commander since this commander has more experience, and time doing the job. Military leaders
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