Who's Bearing the Burden?

Iraq & the Demise of the All-Volunteer Army

The All-Volunteer Force (AVF), arguably the most successful and widely hailed federal program of the past thirty years, is failing. The conditions that enabled the AVF to thrive through the 1980s and 1990s no longer pertain. The erosion of those conditions, greatly accelerated by the Iraq War, is exposing as false the great unspoken assumption undergirding U.S. policy since the end of the cold war, namely, that the United States can...

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About the Author

Andrew J. Bacevich is professor of history and international relations at Boston University. His most recent book is Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country.