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Citizens, Soldiers, and War: Comparing American Societal-Military Relationships with the Use of Forces Abroad, 1975-2014

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Technical Report

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Air University Maxwell Air Force Base United States

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This study examines the relationship between Americas societal-military relations and the use of its armed forces abroad. It begins its analysis in 1975, the period immediately following the Vietnam War and the start of the All-Volunteer Force. It ends in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available. The study asks to what extent the American people may have become disassociated from the countrys armed forces since 1975 And, to what extent such a disassociation may have contributed to the willingness of political leaders to employ military force abroad over the same period Demographic, representational, and other quantitative data form the bulk of the evidence. By collecting, coalescing, and comparing separate, but related, datasets over time an inductive case is built to answer the two related questions. For the first, military participation, veteran population, military eligibility, and veteran political representation rates depict an increasing disassociation between American society and its military forces.

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