Nation: Out of Step with the Rest

Why does only the U.S., of all the industrial nations, seem plagued with a serious military manpower problem? It could be because just about only the U.S. relies solely on volunteers for its armed forces. For the young men of every other major West European nation except Britain and Ireland, receiving a letter of "greetings" from the local equivalent of their draft board is a fact of life. There are several reasons for this. Most West European countries have a history of conscription, at lease in the 20th century. Their leaders feel, moreover, that near universal military service...

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