As tensions rise in several regions, possibly leading to new U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and other combat operations, it’s worth pausing to truly consider who fights our wars.
Across the spectrum of military ranks and occupations, “service in the military, no matter how laudable, has become something for other people to do,” then-Defense secretary Robert Gates said in a speech at Duke University in 2010. He pointed to the relatively few students who would be considering military service upon graduation as symptomatic of the growing civil-military divide.
With an active-duty force comprising merely 0.4% of the U.S. population, this divide between the military and the rest of society is unsurprising. However, and despite the services’ continued efforts, two trends are making it harder to bridge the divide: increased regional and familial concentration within the armed forces.
Read the full article in USA Today.