As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan move from the headlines into history, there is a rising concern that the nation’s relationship with the military, which is at a historic high point, will fray, to the detriment of all.
“Since 9/11, America’s armed forces have been highly visible to the U.S. public. About 2.5 million U.S. troops have served overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq, and have been prominently featured in news headlines nearly every day,” write David Barno and Nora Bensahel of War on The Rocks.
Barno and Bensahel discuss the dangers of a growing civilian-military divide, and cite the following, as to why this is so detrimental: The military’s access to talent will be limited, and recruiting among those with family connections will build a military that doesn’t reflect the nation as a whole. Finally, the military increasingly sees itself as apart from the citizenry, and the fundamentals of democracy require a military that is representative of, and connected to its people.