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Symposium on the All Volunteer Force

Links to YouTube videos from the event:

photo credit: KU’s Center for Military, War, and Society Studies

When the United States ended the draft and moved to an all-volunteer military in 1973, most political and military leaders assumed that if the United States again fought a major, long-lasting war the nation would reactivate the draft. But that didn’t happen: the U.S. fought the long and costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with an all-volunteer force (AVF), even as service members were deployed for multiple tours of duty. This symposium, in the wake of those wars, evaluates the AVF.  How well has it worked?  Will it work in the future?

On Thursday, April 27, 2017, key national policy makers, former government officials, military officers, and scholars who have drawn different conclusions about the relative successes and failures of the AVF will gather at the College of William & Mary to hold a frank conversation about an issue that affects not only our national defense but also the social fabric of our democracy.

During the day of April 27th, experts will lead discussions, asking:

  • Is the AVF fair?
  • Is it efficient and sustainable?
  • Does it promote militarism, and how well does it provide for the national defense?
  • What are alternatives to the AVF?