Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Stanford University

U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Berg and his wife, Sgt. Ashleigh Berg, re-enlist in Iraq, October 2010.
Photo credit: U.S. Army via Flikr

January 7, 2013 - CISAC, FSI Stanford In the News

Eikenberry: Reassessing the American all-volunteer force

Appeared in The Washington Quarterly, December 18, 2012

Karl Eikenberry, former ambassador to Afghanistan and retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General, argues in The Washington Quarterly that the American all-volunteer military force, although successful overall, has had some negative consequences that warrant a critical discussion by policymakers. These liabilities ultimately weaken the institution by making the U.S. military the go-to solution for foreign policy problems, insulating defense spending and preventing economically sustainable cuts to the military. Additionally, elilminating mandatory military service has also weakened American civic virtue by pushing civic responsiblities on others. Eikenberry argues that in order to meet future security issues, the consequences of the all-volunteer force must be discussed.

Topics: Governance, Organizations & Security | Military | United States