Toward an Optimal Military Manpower Procurement System

Criteria and Alternatives

by Steven L. Canby

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Based on a manpower matrix, this study compares various procurement systems — selective service, volunteer, lottery, and universal military training — evaluating them on 18 criteria and also rating them according to their usefulness in three different environments: peace, limited war, and full mobilization. Clustering indicated that the best method is a mix of different systems for each environment: voluntarism in peacetime, a mixed lottery-volunteer system during limited war, and selective service in the case of full mobilization.

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