How the Afghanistan War Influenced the Content of Armed Forces and Society: An Editor's 20-year Reflection




Shields, Patricia M.

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This is a powerpoint presentation of a presentation at the 2023 conference of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces & Society. It introduces a special issue on the Afghanistan War in the journal Armed Forces & Society. The presenter, Pat Shields, edited the journal over the 20 year duration of the war. This presentation examines how the war changed the character of the content of Armed Forces & Society. Key findings are linked to the heavy use of multiple deployments. This caused new types of stress for the service members and their families. These stresses carried into their role as veterans and can be viewed in the dramatic increase in health and mental health related articles. In addition, the smaller All-volunteer force needed to be supplemented with reserve forces and contractors. The journal’s content reflected these developments. The “small war” and multilateral nature of the Afghanistan war also led to different kinds of personnel and management challenges.



Afghanistan War, military, veterans, Armed Forces & Society, Political Science


Shields, P. M. (2023). How the Afghanistan War influenced the content of Armed Forces and Society: An editor's 20-year reflection. The Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society, Reston, Virginia.


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