America's Military

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With the draft abolished in 1973, America now depends entirely on volunteers like 19 year-old West Virginian Jessica Lynch, who engaged the enemy and survived captivity, and Guatemalan Jos- Gutierrez, who died for America before he became a citizen. Women make up a larger percentage of America-s fighting forces than ever before. Despite continuing racial imbalances, the military also enjoys a higher percentage of minority leadership. Who are America-s fighting forces and why do they want to fight? Is it time to reinstitute the draft? On this archived edition of To the Point, we look at the make-up of today-s fighting forces, why they-re there and what they expect, with a military sociologist, policy analysts, and pro- and anti-recruiting activists. (This segment was originally broadcast on April 4, 2003.)
  • Making News: The Unmanned Future of the US Military
    In Iraq, the so-called -fog of war- was lifted as never before by information technology that allowed commanders far from the scene to make decisions about the battlefield. High technology applied massive power and kept casualties low. Matthew Brezezinski, whose -The Unmanned Army,- appeared in the April 20 New York Times Magazine, considers robot warfare as part of America-s future. (This segment was originally broadcast on April 21, 2003.)
  • Reporter's Notebook: The House of Saud
    Saudi Arabia controls 25% of the world-s oil and the surplus capacity that assures stability. A disruption of Saudi oil would be disastrous for the global economy and particularly for the United States. Robert Baer, a 21-year veteran of the CIA-s Middle East operations, says America has chosen to ignore the -signs of impending disaster.- (This segment was originally broadcast on April 4, 2003.)

Selective Service System (SSS)



Warren Olney