Last week the Pentagon began to follow through with Secretary Jim Mattis’ promise to increase military “lethality” by removing all service members who have been on “non-deployable” status for more than a year.
The new policy will likely achieve its goal of reducing the number of non-deployable service members, if only by forcing them to schedule dental appointments and update personnel records. At the same time, the policy cuts against President Trump’s primary goal for the military — increasing its size. Notwithstanding these countervailing goals, the Department of Defense (DoD) already faces large hurdles to expanding the military, mainly because shockingly few Americans are both willing and able to serve.
If the administration wants to have it both ways — growing the military without sacrificing standards and simultaneously making the force leaner and more lethal — it will need to develop a fundamentally different concept of military service than currently exists.
Read the full article in The Hill.
More from CNAS
CommentaryClosing the Gaps Between Servicemembers and the American Public
We have been a nation at war — sort of. Due to the longest wars in American history being shouldered by a tiny percentage of the population, the vital civil-military relations...
By Nathalie Grogan
VideoAfghanistan Veteran Says War Might be Over for U.S. but Not for Afghans
Jason Dempsey, an adjunct senior fellow of the Military, Veterans, and Society program at the Center for a New American Security, and a military veteran deployed twice to Afgh...
By Dr. Jason Dempsey
CommentarySharper: Afghanistan 20 Years Later
The chaotic end to the war in Afghanistan bookends two decades in which America changed irrevocably. Thousands of soldiers experienced dual wars, and multiple generations of v...
By Anna Pederson & Sydney Simon
VideoUncertain future for Afghanistan under Taliban rule
NBC's Courtney Kube, retired Army Colonel Christopher Kolenda, and former adviser to U.S. Special Ops in Afghanistan Seth Jones join Andrea Mitchell to discuss what comes next...
By Christopher D. Kolenda