Democracy's Achilles Heel? The Political Theory of the National Security State
Hanna, Aaron Evan
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Is there a constitutional solution for the problem of ensuring a relatively seamless fit between political goals and military means in a national security crisis? Can the executive branch be constituted in such a manner that political ends and military means will be more closely aligned - that factionalism inside the executive branch will be better controlled and the tyranny of misalignment rendered less costly - without undermining the political advantages of doing so? As valuable as it may be for citizens in a democracy to promote the principles upon which they believe an enlightened national security policy should be founded, it is at least as important to determine how the institutions involved in the generation and execution of national security policy work, and to identify which types of human behavior need to be restrained or encouraged if any particular vision of national security is to be realized. In this dissertation I engage with the constitutional theory of James Madison and Alexander Hamilton and argue that the intelligence of war - the relative consistency of political ends and military means - must be understood as a constitutional problem. If we want to minimize the tyranny of misalignment - if we want to reduce the cost in lives and treasure of misaligned ends and means - we must think constitutionally about the structures of the national security state.