January 25, 2021
Biden must rethink the American way of war
You may not be interested in war,” it has often been said, “but war is interested in you.” Perhaps so, but Trotsky’s dictum hasn’t applied to the United States since January 1973, when the country, having relied on conscription from the Civil War through Vietnam, replaced a draft-based military with an all-volunteer force. Since then, only a sliver of U.S. society has ever served in the military, let alone participated in combat. The rest, even people age-eligible for military service, have been walled off from the hazards of war; because the post-9/11 wars have been financed through borrowing rather than higher taxes, Americans haven’t even had pay for it out of their pockets.