Constabulary Attitudes of National Guard and Regular Soldiers in the U.S. Army


Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has expanded its role in peacekeeping operations around the world. However, budgetary pressures in the late 1980s led to a reduction, beginning in 1987, in the size of the active force that increased its dependency on reserve forces. This article presents an analysis of data on American soldiers in two different units, one reserve and one active duty, to determine the attitudes of soldiers in each unit toward peacekeeping norms of impartiality and the use of force, the role of the military in peacekeeping, and whether such missions are appropriate for their unit. Differences between reserve soldiers' responses from those of the active duty unit are discussed. In general, soldiers in both units accept most peacekeeping norms. Although both units felt that peacekeeping was not appropriate for their unit, soldiers in the reserve unit generally had more constabulary attitudes than those in the active duty unit. These findings suggest that members of the reserve components may be regarded as an appropriate source for peacekeeping personnel in the future.

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Armed forces & society