A fairly administered Military Draft would be an Asset

[The post below that appeared on this page on March 27, 2010,  is repeated because of the ongoing and current discussions here and elsewhere about the ramifications of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.]

Photo from Minnesota PR News:  Larger view

Currently The United States of America has a volunteer army, meaning military service is not required of anyone in the country…  For various reasons, because no compulsory service is demanded, what has evolved is that the nation’s military is made up of significant numbers of military personnel coming from limited segments of our society — upon whose shoulders are placed the responsibility and  hardship of fulfilling America’s military roles…  And that does not seem fair…

Unfair not only to the men and women on active duty who suffer the hardships and separation of war , but also to their families and communities from whence they come.

A military draft, much more fairly administered than has been done historically, might  infuse the military with additional beneficial perspectives and skill sets, as well as make every community and segment of American society feel the pain whenever a   “hot war” is raging.


2 Responses

  1. First of all, thank you for your service.

    I was a member of the Army when both the draft was in place and when the “Volunteer Army” was initiated, so I have knowledge of the effect that both systems have had on our military profile and our nation.

    I firmly believe that in part our success as a nation is due, in part, to the shared service and sacrifice for its safety and welfare that was inculcated by the draft. When it is only a tiny segment of a nation’s population that is involved in this kind of “heavy lifting”, the rift between the military and the rest of the citizenry increases. Fewer members of Congress have had military service than ever before and this bodes ill for determining such necessities as budget allocations for equipment and manpower. Overall, a draft would provide increased exposure to the military culture and a greater appreciation of our freedoms. Unfortunately, the draft comes with the burden of some recruits who don’t measure up to the demands of military life. Also, the draft has never been equably administered.

    That said, we have never before had such an exceptional group of military personnel as those now serving our country. It is, however, clear that we are asking too much of those relative few that currently serve. Our military forces need to be expanded just to meet the requirements that they now face. A military comprised of carefully screened volunteers is no longer able to meet the duties carelessly imposed upon them.

    Either a renewal of the draft or a revision of the military to make it more attractive to potential recruits is desperately needed.

    With our current leadership in Washington, I do not see either solution being implemented – instead, it is likely that the U.S. will withdraw from present combat activities, thus emboldening our enemies and providing increasing danger for our future military forces.

    • As usual, Maine, beautifully worded and thoughtfully expressed, and I concur with your assessments.. Additionally, and painstakingly so, I am in agreement that given the political powers in place nowadays, with their particular philosphies and many not having experienced the military call of duty, the suggested solutions you present will not be put in place… And there will be consequences…

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