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Bahrain enlistments triple that of U.S.

May 14, 2012

As a proportion of their labor force, 3.3 percent of Bahrain’s men serve in the Bahraini armed forces while just 1 percent of America’s labor force serves in the U.S. military, according to 2009 data from the World Bank.  Bahrain’s trend line is shown in blue and the U.S. is in red in this chart depicting the data:

American and Bahraini soldier participation

Armed forces personnel (% of total labor force)
Data from World Bank, chart by Google

U.S. service levels have remained consistently under 2 percent for at least the last 20 years.  Bahrain’s has fluctuated anywhere from as “low” as 3 percent to a high of nearly 8 percent in 1995.

Do you think that when colonialism by Europe ended, or that as the U.S. reconsiders its involvement in the Middle East, that no military power would seek to fill the void caused by our departure?

These Islamic countries are addicted to military power—it helps them threaten Israel, to crackdown on their own populations, and to engage in perpetual border wars with jealous Arab neighbors.

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