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.
More from CNAS
CommentaryHow Zoom has Reduced Barriers to Entry in National Security
The shift to the virtual environment assists those who may have been overlooked in the past....
By Katherine L. Kuzminski
CommentaryThe Trans Ban Is Gone but More Needs To Be Done
Simply lifting the ban isn’t enough to counteract the discrimination transgender service members and veterans continue to face....
By Nathalie Grogan
CommentarySharper: Civil-Military Relations
The so-called “civil-military divide” has increasingly defined the relationship between America's civil society and its armed forces....
By Cole Stevens, Nathalie Grogan & Chris Estep
CommentarySharper: National Security's Next Generation
The need to amplify new and diverse voices in national security policymaking has never been clearer....
By Chris Estep, Ainikki Riikonen & Cole Stevens