As the nation’s 16th consecutive year of war draws to a close, service members and their families continue to serve in uncertain and challenging times. Less than 0.5 percent of the American public comprise the active duty force; as a result, service members and their families are experiencing an unprecedented period of high operational tempos while familiarity with the military among the broader U.S. society declines. This presents significant challenges for the future of defense.
Effective military support requires a modern understanding of 21st century military families and an increase in civilian-military engagement. It is critical to inform policymakers about the unique challenges faced by modern service members and their families, and the centrality of civilian support, for the health and viability of the all-volunteer force.
On November 16, the Center on 21st Century Security and Intelligence convened a panel of experts to discuss these issues. Following the conversation, participants took audience questions. Learn more by visiting bluestarfam.org/survey.
Performing the Duties of Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel & Readiness) - U.S. Department of Defense
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At the end of the day, as we all know thorny national security issues don’t just involve the military; political-military considerations invariably bleed into them. If the senior military’s leadership views are going to be just constrained to military advice … who is thinking about issues from that broader perspective?
President-elect Bolsonaro has embraced tough-on-crime measures that egregiously violate basic human rights and eviscerate the rule of law. Responding to Brazil’s 63,880 homicides in 2017, Bolsonaro calls for increasing protection for police officers who kill alleged criminals and arming citizens. He calls for further militarizing urban policing, reducing the age of criminal liability from 18 to 16, reinstating the death penalty, authorizing torture in interrogations and imprisoning more people... Brazil’s police are already notorious for being one of the world’s deadliest in the use of force. In many favelas, Brazil’s retired and current police officers operate illegal militias that extort and control local communities, murdering those who oppose them and engaging in warfare with Brazil’s highly-violent gangs and in social cleansing. Bolsonaro is simply threatening to turn the rest of the police into state-sanctioned thugs.