What’s the Matter with the US Military?

By Sebastian Junger

Less than 1 percent of the U.S. population has served in the country’s recent wars. But if that’s a problem, what’s the solution?

If more people served, the theory goes, the public would have some skin in the game, and the United States wouldn’t go to war so ‘easily.’ (In fact, there were enormous street protests in New York City before the Iraq War and vehement opposition to a U.S. invasion in the liberal press—and rightly so.) Fallows takes this idea and puts a particularly sharp edge on it: “Because so small a sliver of the population has a direct stake in the consequences of military action,” he writes, “the normal democratic feedbacks do not work.”



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