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This profile was last updated on 2/1/16  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Employment History


  • Ph.D. , history
    Rice University
35 Total References
Web References
By Matthew ..., 1 Feb 2016 [cached]
By Matthew Moten
In the preface to his Presidents and Their Generals, retired Army lieutenant colonel Matthew Moten[1] cites a disturbing example of some Americans' ignorance of military history. Shortly after 9/11, a successful businessman asked him why US military commanders were waiting for waffling politicians to make decisions instead of just doing something about the terrorist threat. For a military man like Moten, such an idea was horrifying, but the power of the military has always had wide appeal. In this volume, the author carefully selects cases that reveal nuances of political-military relations in the United States.
With each of the book's three parts, proceeding in chronological order, Moten explores the relationships between various presidents, generals, and other military leaders and advisors.
Moten concludes that "FDR's masterly political schemes present a prima facie argument for civilian control of the military, as the governing presumption of the Constitution is that political leaders alone possess the requisite skill and accountability to the people to make such critical judgments" (202).
"Johnson lamented the limitations of all of his options, but revealed that withdrawal excited his greatest fears: 'Well, they'd impeach a president though [sic] that would run out, wouldn't they?' Johnson admitted, 'I just haven't got the nerve to do it [escalate in Vietnam], and I don't see any other way out of it.' … Johnson might have found answers to such soul searching if he had possessed the self-assurance to take his military advisers into his confidence" (300; bracketed inclusions are Moten's).
In such quotations, Matthew Moten brings his subjects to life and makes the key lessons of their successes and failures relevant for today's leaders and, more broadly, an informed citizenry.
[1] He is a former head of the Department of History at the US Military Academy.
Leadership for Military Professions: A Real Strategic Means for America | Foreign Policy Research Institute, 28 April 2014 [cached]
Taken from an unpublished manuscript prepared by Colonel Mat Moten, Deputy Head, USMA Department of History, June 2011. Copy in possession of the author.↩
The Delafield Commission and the American Military Profession by Moten, 31 Oct 1999 [cached]
Matthew Moten
In The Delafield Commission and the American Military Profession, Matthew Moten offers the first detailed account of this historically underrated undertaking, which constituted an important step in the development of U.S. military professionalism.
Moten begins with an overview of the definition of military professionalism.In Part One, he examines the U.S. Military Academy, the development of the army officer corps, and the influence of the West Point "system and habit of thought" on the army.In Part Two, he follows the activities of the Delafield Commission and places it in the context of the state of the military in the 1850s.In the book's final section, he analyzes the commission's reports and their effect on the American military profession.
This work provides an in-depth analysis for military historians and others interested in the development of the professional army in antebellum America.
MATTHEW MOTEN, a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and West Point graduate, received his Ph.D. in history from Rice University.He has served in cavalry units in Europe and the United States, taught history at the U.S. Military Academy, and served as a congressional strategist for the army.He is currently a speechwriter for the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army.He lives in Fairfax, Virginia.
WGBH News: World News, 14 Sept 2011 [cached]
Matthew Moten, a professor of history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, says it's unrealistic to sustain public interest on any issue year after year. Moten says the American public has obviously moved on from the two wars.

"I think that the public has other issues on its mind, collectively â€" namely the economy, jobs, the problems with the federal deficit and debt," he says. "And those seem to be trumping concerns about the war for most of the populace."

Worth The Cost?

Christopher Preble, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, senses public frustration over the limited achievements after years of war, hundreds of billions of dollars spent, and the loss of more than 6,000 U.S. service personnel.

"There's a sense in both of these wars, the nature of these wars, you're not expecting a heroic victory of the sort we came to expect from wars like World War I and World War II," he says.

Moten says only a tiny fraction of the American public is actually involved in either war. He says people would likely be more interested if they had to shoulder some of the responsibility and make more sacrifices.

"I call that having skin in the game," he says. "If America had a draft at the moment, even a very small draft, if mothers and fathers knew that there was some real chance that their sons and daughters might be conscripted into the military, I think they would pay a great deal more attention to what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan."

But it's not just the public that has lost focus on the wars. Many cash-strapped news organizations have scaled back or even eliminated their coverage. And the two conflicts barely cause a ripple on the campaign trail, especially among Republican presidential candidates, says Preble.

"Many Republicans don't want to call attention to Iraq," he says.
Colonel Matthew Moten, ..., 26 June 2011 [cached]
Colonel Matthew Moten, USA
Professor and Deputy Head,
Department of History
United States Military Academy
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