First I would like to preface this by saying it's a subject I know little about and have no first hand experience with. I realize there are a lot of military on this board and I would like to see what they think about it. We have a volunteer military. By definition that will include a lot of "no-hopers" people who can't find any other kind of work. Don't flame me because I am not trying to insult those who volunteer out of a sense of duty. However when there is not a draft nor mandatory service society is not equally represented in the military. It's concentrated among the lower echelons of society. On the other hand in countries (like Italy) there is mandatory service. Society as a whole invests in the form of their boys, not just the lower classes. Where I'm going with this is: It seems to me that with decision making concentrated among the rich it might be that a country like ours with a volunteer military might be more likely to send those poor boys into combat. Because consciously or not, the rich might think those kids are expendable. Whereas a country with mandatory service will be more conservative about sending their boys because it affects all levels of society on an equal basis. I guess the next train of thought would be that until we have mandatory service we should not judge the willingness of countries that do to send their boys into conflict. They have a different agenda.