A New Concept of the Citizen-Soldier

Abstract

The military manpower demands created by U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Iraq are causing extraordinary strains on recruitment, and the desirable size of the U.S. armed forces has become a topic of national concern. One key issue is the balance between active-duty forces and the reserve components, citizen-soldiers who face numerous service-related issues that the active-duty forces do not and who have their own unique sociology. We cannot continue to rely on the reserves for missions such as Iraq and Afghanistan, but must look to the use of short-term active-duty enlistments, drawn from recent college graduates, to perform duties currently being performed by reservists and even active-duty personnel.

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