Retired Army General Dennis Laich Calls On America to Reexamine the All Voluntary Force

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‘Skin in the Game’ reflects on the vulnerability of the US military and presents the case for change.

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This book seeks to raise the issue of whether our military dominance is truly viable long term so long as we are only depending upon the service of a few.

In his provocative new book, “Skin in the Game: Poor Kids and Patriots” (published by iUniverse), Major General (Ret.) Dennis Laich explores the history of the U.S. Army’s all-volunteer force (AVF), identifying its flaws and arguing that it’s time for significant change. Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Larry Korb offers a compelling opening to the book.

“Americans are war weary, and many view our military and the way we man the force through a lens of fear, apathy, ignorance, and guilt. It’s time to address how to provide for the national defense responsibly and affordably. This book seeks to raise the issue of whether our military dominance is truly viable long term so long as we are only depending upon the service of a few,” said Laich.

Focusing primarily on the evolution of the AVF since 2001, “Skin in the Game” asserts that Pentagon bureaucracy, debt and widening class differences are all key factors in the AVF’s shortcomings. Laich poses three fundamental questions to readers:

         - Is the all-volunteer force working?
         - Will it work in the future?
         - What if the U.S. had a war and no one showed up as an ally?

Laich answers these questions through the lens of his vast experience and discusses alternatives that would bring a variety of benefits.

Praise for “Skin in the Game”:

“This book offers a framework to begin the conversation, engage the real issues without prejudice, and serves as a clarion call to avoid potentially disastrous circumstances in the future. Certainly the question we want to avoid is ‘what if we had a war and no one showed up on our side?”

—Lawrence Korb, senior fellow, Center for American Progress

“General Dennis Laich is a rabble-rousing patriot of the first order. His ‘Skin in the Game....Poor Kids and Patriots’ is a gimlet-eyed gaze at the U.S. military's all-volunteer force at 40. He details the risk of subcontracting out the nation's defense to hired guns representing only 1% of the citizenry, so the rest of America can shop.”

Mark Thompson, Pulitzer Prize-winning national security correspondent at TIME magazine

“This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of the US military. Retired Major General Dennis Laich asks whether our all-volunteer force is working, whether it is fair, and whether it will serve American national interests in the future. His answers, based on thirty-five years of hands-on experience, will shock even the most seasoned analysts of military affairs. I highly recommend ‘Skin in the Game’ to anyone who is touched by the US armed forces, which is to say, all Americans.”

— Aaron Belkin, author, “Bring Me Men: Military Masculinity and the Benign Facade of American Empire, 1898–2001”

“Skin in the Game”
By Major General Ret. Dennis Laich
Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 192 pages | ISBN 9781491703830
Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 192 pages | ISBN 9781491703823
E-Book | ISBN 9781491703847
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Major General (Ret.) Dennis Laich retired from the U.S. Army in 2006 after 35 years of service. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and Harvard’s National and International Security Program. He lives in Ohio.

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, LLC, self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader’s Choice, Rising Star and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniversebooks on Twitter.

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