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    What an All-Volunteer Force Looks Like Today 50 Years After America Ditched the Draft

    What an All-Volunteer Force Looks Like Today 50 Years After America Ditched the Draft

    The opinions expressed in this op-ed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of .com. If you would like to submit your own commentary, please send your article to opinions@military.com for consideration.

    Taren Dillon Sylvester is a researcher at the Center for a American Security.

    Despite 50 years of an All-Volunteer , fear of conscription remains just below the surface as Americans consider the role of the U.S. military and their relationship to it. Today, whispers of conscription ripple across social media whenever it seems that the United States might be drawn into a conflict — after the 9/11 terrorist attacks; when Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani was assassinated; and following the 2022 Russian invasion of . Google searches for the “draft” spike following these events like clockwork.

    However, despite what Americans experienced in the 20th century, the United States does not have a long tradition of conscription. In fact, conscription goes against the deeply held values of individual liberty and equality prized by Americans across the political spectrum.

    A better understanding of what modern conscription looks like in practice and what it would take to implement the draft in America today would increase Americans' trust in the military as a whole and contribute to healthier civil-military relations at all levels of society.

    How militaries are staffed looks different across…

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