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Discuss: "The Changing Composition and Role of the Military"

Writeup: Women have served in the US military since World War II, but their role has changed over the years.Initially, they weren’t allowed to serve in command positions.Until recently, it was assumed they’d never serve in combat positions.That line has now been “unofficially” crossed, and the military’s “official” position is now being reconsidered.In the not too distant past, men were “drafted” into the military.Now we have an all volunteer army.Gays have never been allowed to serve openly in the military, but that too will soon be changing. At one time, the role of our military forces was viewed by most as a defense against (typically uniformed ) “aggressors”.Now that role has been expanded.In recent years it has become a far more nebulous “tool of national interest”. In times of perceived danger, military budgets have soared, with little regard for “affordability”.Now, with the constraints of the current financial crisis, even defense spending is likely to be significantly curtailed. What impact will all of these changes have on the likely composition and role of the military?How are these changes likely to affect our role in the world at large?

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Please note that, with the advent of spring/summer, we'll be moving our discussions to a different night of the week.  For the next several months we'll be meeting on Monday (rather than Wednesday) evenings.  At least as significantly, note that, for at least the two meetings in March, we'll be experimenting with a different meeting place.  I've recently held a couple of discussion group meetings with the residents of Summit Glen, a "gracious retirement living" facility.  I've decided it might be interesting to at least temporarily consolidate the two groups ... exposing both to the perspectives of the other.  While the new location might be a bit of an inconvenience for some, I hope everyone will make the effort to attend these sessions.  I believe it will be a worthwhile experience for all.  The official address of the facility is 4825 Old Farm Drive / Colorado Springs, CO 80917.  It is, in fact, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway, just north of Oro Blanco (just "beyond" Phelan Gardens, for those of you who might be familiar with the garden center).  Feel free to call me at[masked] if you need more specific directions.

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