In This Review

Blacks and the Military
Blacks and the Military
By Martin Binkin and Mark J. Eitelberg
Brookings, 1982, 190 pp.

Since the end of conscription ten years ago, the proportion of black volunteers in the U.S. armed forces has increased to the point where blacks now represent 20 percent of all military personnel (double their proportion in the national population) and an even larger proportion of ground combat forces; perhaps one half of the combat casualties in the initial phases of a war would be blacks. This raises serious questions: do blacks carry an unfair share of the burden of defense or is their increased participation in the military service a good thing in terms of the educational and career opportunities it offers? Should the armed forces be more broadly representative of American society as a whole? Sensitive and controversial questions are raised more often than answered, but in such a way as to facilitate an informed public debate.