Where Troop Cuts Will Be Cruelest

Over the past two decades, the armed forces have served as a de facto jobs program for black Americans. Although blacks are only 12% of the U.S. population, they hold 21% of all military positions, a fact amply demonstrated by the visible role they played in last year's gulf war. Indeed, blacks have 2 1/2 times the share of military jobs that all other minorities have. Now, however, the sharp cuts that are planned in U.S. defense spending over the next few years are raising a disturbing prospect: One of the greatest opportunities blacks have for employment and training will be scaled back as policymakers look for ways to lessen urban despair in the wake of the Los Angeles riots.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.