The Draft


I am probably more liberal and more progressive than most of the visitors to Liberty Street.  But, I do not march, lock-step, with those in Washington or the blogosphere who nominally set the agenda for what is considered accepted liberal thinking.

Having said that, I want to address the subject of how we populate our armed forces.

Up until about 1977 there was a draft law on the books that, if not providing warm bodies for the military, was acting as an impetus for people to join the military.  That draft only affected males.

We have gone approximately 33 years with out a draft, with the so called “all-volunteer-force.”

The question that I ask, is not whether or not the concept of an all volunteer armed force is working.  That question depends on how one defines “working.”

No, the question I ask is this, “Is our country better off now that we’ve gone over three decades with an all volunteer military?”

The answer is a resounding, “NO ! !”

The military should not necessarily be a place for social engineering, but the fact that we are well into the second generation of a population that has not been exposed to the rigors of boot camp (Navy) or basic training (grunts) and the regimen of four years of living a disciplined life are glaringly obvious.

Re-instating the draft will not solve all of societies’ ills (the public education system is sick, too) but it is a good place to begin.

And I am not advocating a military draft similar to the one where Dick Cheney could avoid service by getting five deferments.  No, I am really thinking of some kind of universal service, that everyone must contribute three years of their life to before they are, say 28 years old.

Military or Job Corps or Peace Corps or Americorps or some new program.  When you graduate high school and you want to go to college, you can put in your three years after you get your bachelors.  Or after you get an advanced degree. But, no exceptions.

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