This chapter explores three main themes in civil-military relations. The first is the military’s classical dilemma during times of domestic instability— its tendency to be attracted to and repulsed by the use of violence to settle political disputes. The second is the military’s loss of respect for Gorbachev and its availability for an alliance with Yeltsin. The third is the network of political relationships among senior military officers and civilian politicians. The chapter also identifies officers who began to emerge as leaders in national political life. This group includes two future ministers of defense— Pavel Grachev and Igor Rodionov, the ambitious Aleksander Lebed, and others. It also explains why the elite paratroopers played an important role in conspiratorial plans.