The defense secretary warned Duke University, and anyone else who would listen, about a growing divide between the public and the military that has created a minority class of professional military workers and a detached, if vaguely supportive, civilian population.

Gates said most Americans think of fighting as “something for other people to do” and said, “There is a risk over time of developing a cadre of military leaders that politically, culturally and geographically have less and less in common with the people they have sworn to defend.”

He was short on solutions, but the secretary suggested more attractive pay and benefits.

Alternatively, we could try not fighting multiple wars at the same time.

Gates’ full remarks, which were delivered Wednesday, can be read here. — PZS

AP via Google:

Whatever their fond sentiments for men and women in uniform, for most Americans the war remains an abstraction — a distant and unpleasant series of news items that do not affect them personally,” Gates said.

Even after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, for most Americans “service in the military — no matter how laudable — has become something for other people to do,” he added.

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