The Warrior Caste

Download Audio
photoDay after day and night after night we have watched them now, American soldiers in their kevlar armour and wide helmets, in the chem-bio suits and cockpits, in their Humvees and Abrahms tanks, racing up to and into Baghdad. The ever-present cameras of the war with Iraq have made American military men and women dusty fixtures of the nation's TV sets and front pages.

But when America looks at its military, it is not exactly looking in a mirror. The 1.4 million member volunteer US military is not a straight cross-section of the country. It's more southern, more conservative, and more integrated than America itself. It's shy on the poorest Americans, and missing the affluent.

This hour, On Point: who's fighting America's wars, and who's not.


Charles Moskos, Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University and author of "The Post-Modern Military: Armed Forces After the Cold War"

Richard Kohn, Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of "Soldiers and Civilians: The Civil-Military Gap and American National Security"

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at the Atlantic Monthly magazine

This program aired on April 8, 2003.


More from On Point

Listen Live