“Major General Dennis Laich is a citizen, a soldier, and a patriot. In Skin in the Game, he invites Americans to reflect on this very hard truth: the all-volunteer force is a bad bargain. Basic US military policy needs changing. Here is an essential guide on where to begin.”
—Andrew J. Bacevich, author of Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed
Their Soldiers and Their Country
Major General Dennis Laich makes a compelling case that the all-volunteer force no longer works in a world defined by terrorism, high debts, and widening class differences. He sets up his argument by posing three fundamental questions:
Is the all-volunteer force working?
Will it work in the future?
What if we had a war and no one showed up on our side?
The answers to these questions become all too clear once you learn that less than one percent of US citizens have served in the military over the last twelve years—even though we’ve been fighting wars the entire time.
What’s more, most of that one percent comes from poor and middle-class families, which poses numerous questions about social justice. This one percent—the ones that survive—will bear the scars of their service for the rest of their lives, while the wealthy and well-connected sit at home.
Fortunately, there are alternatives that could provide the manpower to support national security, close the civil-military gap, and save taxpayers billions of dollars per year. It’s possible to fight for what’s right while ensuring a bright future, Laich offers a wake-up call that a debt-burdened nation in a dangerous world cannot afford to ignore.