What’s ahead for the all-volunteer military force?

By most measures, the 44 year experiment in an all-volunteer military force has been a success. But like stocks, past performance doesn’t guarantee the future. In fact, the all-volunteer force is showing serious strains. With what’s causing them and some possible ways forward, Katherine Kidder, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and Amy Schafer, a research associate for the military, veterans and society program.

Like a wind sock, the level and direction of Defense Department contract spending tells a lot about the policy climate. It looks like the winds are shifting. That means after years of steady declines, spending on contracts by the armed forces and defense agencies are heading back up. Andrew Hunter, director of the defense-industrial initiatives group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, shares some details.