Some good modern reasons why the United States should consider going back to a conscripted military
As someone who grew up during Vietnam and celebrated the end to the draft, I never thought I would be a person suggesting that we bring it back. With all of the lobbyists pushing for military contracts and hoping for new conflicts from which they can make money, I now believe that the only fair way to staff our military is through both volunteers and draftees. Here are my reasons for having this change of heart to reinstate the military draft.
5 – This week John Bolton and Sen. McCain openly suggested that Israel launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran thus drawing the United States military into the resulting conflict. If this were to happen, our already combat weary military would be back on the front lines. Perhaps reinstating the draft would cut down on the dangerous rhetoric and policy making of our hawkish neo-cons.
4 – After both World War II and the Korean War, soldiers returning received benefits for their service. They were able to go to college, buy a home, receive medical care and get jobs. These soldiers were largely draftees.
Even with the chaos of Vietnam, most who returned were able to return to fairly normal lives, but again they were draftees. There seemed to be some feeling of obligation on the part of our elected officials to help these veterans get back into normal lives. With an all volunteer military, many feel that these veterans made the choice to serve and therefore can be ignored when they return.
3 – The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have produced a larger than average number of cases of PTSD. The most likely reason for this is that our troops have had multiple deployments to the front lines with very little “down time” between deployments. A draft would provide a larger pool of soldiers to deploy to the front lines, eliminating multiple re-deployments. Potentially, this would reduce the number of, and intensity of cases of PTSD.
2 – Prior to the draft ending in 1973, our country sent the military overseas 27 times. Since 1974 with an all volunteer military we have deployed troops 175 times. Some may say that the world has become more dangerous since 1974, but we should consider the fact that it is easier to send into battle those who have chosen the military as their jobs.
About 1% of Americans serves in the military or has a family member in the military. Few Americans see firsthand the price that our soldiers have paid over the last 10 years. Adding draftees to the military would cause more people to have to see the ravages of war.
1 – Republicans are famous for talking about “people needing to have skin in the game” when they are being asked to fund social programs. One example of this logic is the belief that those who have health insurance should have to pay something for it whether that is a monthly payment or co-pays when they go to the doctor. This way they “have skin in the game” and will think twice about going to the doctor.
With the return of the draft, more young people and their families would “have skin in the game”. They would also be more likely to pressure politicians to think twice before sending troops to every international problem. In addition, more would be in favor of increased veterans’ benefits when soldiers return from a conflict.
In conclusion, reinstating the draft would pressure elected officials to think twice before sending troops to fight in other countries. If it did not cause elected officials to think before they deploy troops, it would certainly cause a larger pool of Americans to fight to end conflicts quickly and to take care of those who fought.