The issue of military legal and political subordination to duly constituted civil political authority has long been a decided issue in American politics.1 Nevertheless, the Cold War presented to US policy-makers and military planners some unexpected and unprecedented challenges.2 The Cold War US military was qualitatively as well as quantitatively different from its predecessor.3 The following discussion identifies some of the most important attributes of the Cold War US armed forces and their political setting in terms of their implications for civil-military relations.4 These are: bipolarity and US-Soviet hostility; nuclear weapons and mutual deterrence; defense reor­ ganization and developments in command-control technology; the experience of Vietnam and other cases of low-intensity conflict; and, finally, the develop­ ment of an all-volunteer armed force. Some comments will also anticipate the future international environment and its implications for civil-military rela­ tions.