An Army of the Willing: Fayette'Nam, Soldier Dissent, and the Untold Story of the All-Volunteer Force
Using Fort Bragg and Fayetteville, North Carolina, as a local case study, this dissertation examines the GI dissent movement during the Vietnam War and its profound impact on the ending of the draft and establishment of the All-Volunteer Force in 1973. I propose that the US military consciously and methodically shifted from a conscripted force to the All-Volunteer Force as a safeguard to ensure that dissent never arose again in the ranks as it had during the Vietnam War. This story speaks to profound questions regarding state power that are essential to making sense of our recent history. What becomes of state and military legitimacy when the soldier refuses to sanction or participate in the brutality of warfare? And perhaps more importantly, what happens to the foreign policy of a major power when soldiers no longer protest, and thereby hold in check, questionable military interventions? My dissertation strives to answer those questions by reintroducing the dissenting soldier into the narrative of the All-Volunteer Force.
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