FROM THE CRITICS
In this impassioned, convincing manifesto, Schaffer (Keeping Faith) and Roth-Douquet, a former Clinton White House and Department of Defense staffer, call for class integration of the military.
Their arguments are personal: Roth-Douquet is a military wife and Schaffer's son is a marine, and the authors fall within the demographic they critique. Alternately narrating, they relate their experiences with the military and detail the liabilities of the present all-volunteer "corporate" force: the hindered policy-making ability of a civilian leadership without significant ties to the military, the weakening of the armed forces themselves, and "the sense of lost community and the threat to democracy that results when a society accepts a situation that is inherently unfair."
While Schaffer proposes a lottery draft and Roth-Douquet suggests the military "convince" people to sign up, they both call for all young people to submit to some form of national civilian service.
Though the authors occasionally exaggerate ("we are fast approaching the day when no one in Congress and no president will have served or have any children serving"), they make a clarion call in the face of increasingly controversial foreign policy and a military stretched thin.