Is Bringing Back the Draft the Solution?

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In an interview aired early this month on WYNC, Jesse Jackson said it’s time to bring back the draft.  Live from the recent Democrat National Convention, he argued that because many of them don’t have offspring in today’s Armed Services, our representatives in Washington are out of touch with the military.

His solution?  Bring back the draft.

And he’s not alone.

Charlie Rangel, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star veteran who was also my Congressional representative for many years, has been arguing to bring the draft back for awhile now.  Last year, he brought a vote to the House floor.  “If America is going to take this position, all Americans should be prepared to make the sacrifices [service members do],” he said. “It’s abundantly clear that everybody does not assume the same sacrifices, whether we’re talking about taxes or loss of life.”

Is America really out of touch with our unique position?

In her recent book Drift, Rachel Maddow argues that America has grown “weirdly at peace” with ongoing war, and one of the most significant reasons for the nation’s military malaise is the small percentage of American families who actually have a family member doing the fighting.

I have one.  So do you.  I’m not “weirdly at peace” with anything.

Maybe this disconnect explains why Republican candidate Mitt Romney neglected to discuss the war in Afghanistan in his acceptance speech last week, and why I’m still waiting for a candidate to come forward who makes clear that the war our spouses are fighting IS their policy focus.

The truth is, I haven’t heard from one person who isn’t associated with the military say that this war is one of their voting issues in this election.  Maybe it shouldn’t be — maybe the economy and the ongoing debate on health care and social issues are more important to the whole, just like both conventions would lead us to believe. But when we’re sending my husband overseas — and yours — I’m inclined to tell you this issue matters for me.  Moreover, I’m inclined to agree that if more people were threatened with the reality of war in their personal lives, they’d care about it, too.

An editorial by Tim Whitaker in the Philly Post earlier this year argued the same. “Fact is, we don’t think about the war in Afghanistan much at all,” he wrote.  “We may catch a headline on occasion, but our interest pretty much stops right there. Afghanistan doesn’t affect us personally. Gas prices, that affects us. Health care, that affects us. Afghanistan? It’s hard to get worked up. We don’t know anybody over there, not personally, so we’re not going to go all loco and take to the streets and demand withdrawal and stuff. The president and the military will figure it out one of these days.”

They’ll figure it out one of these days? One of these days?

I’m not sure about you, but “one of these days” I plan to change the filters in my central air unit.  “One of these days” I plan to pick up hot yoga.  “One of these days” I really will go through my old clothes and pull some out for Goodwill, defrost my refrigerator, and learn Chinese.  “One of these days” is not a time frame to discuss the war in an election year.

I’ve always taken great pride in the fact that members of my family, including my husband, chose to serve.  They dedicated their lives to being American heroes, and I have dedicated mine to supporting them however I can: with love, patience, care packages, a willingness to be moved all over the world at the drop of a dime, and, most importantly, with my vote.

Shouldn’t our politicians be doing the same?

If we brought back the draft, maybe more people would agree. If we brought back the draft, I wouldn’t be the only wife standing in Trader Joe’s dropping everything because my phone is ringing and it might be the one phone call I’ve been waiting for all week.  If we brought back the draft, we’d have a lot more spouses who’d be just as worried about this war as we are.

If we brought back the draft, we wouldn’t be standing on the sidelines through one of the greatest exercises of political rhetoric and largesse in recent years wondering where our issue went.

It appears that the gulf between those of us in the military and everyone else hasn’t been bigger …  maybe if we considered bringing back the draft, the rift wouldn’t be quite so large..  What do you think? Would bringing back the draft make a difference?

About the Author

Raleigh Duttweiler
Raleigh Duttweiler is a writer and social media expert living just outside the gates of MacDill in sunny Saint Petersburg, Florida. A Marine Corps wife, she has navigated the stress of Active Duty moves, trainings, and deployments, and now that her family has transitioned to the Reserves, she's experiencing the "weekend warrior" side of military life. (NB: It's not quite as part-time as advertised.) When not writing about benefits and military families, Raleigh posts here about truly life-altering, important issues like What Not to Wear to a Military Ball (visible thongs), Military Halloween Costumes We Love to Hate (ones that generally resemble both military uniforms AND thongs), and how to pack awesome care packages. She is passionate about spouse employment, higher education, and helping families navigate the often-bumpy transition back into civilian life. Raleigh also manages the SpouseBUZZ and Military.com Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest pages, so be sure to say hi!

80 Comments on "Is Bringing Back the Draft the Solution?"

  1. NO. I don't want a bunch of snotty rich kids fighting a war they know nothing about!

  2. Here's what I think is a great solution (not my idea, but I can't remember where I read it): Tie service to Social Security benefits. In order to be one day eligible to receive benefits, a person must elect, to either a) Serve in the military or b) Serve in a volunteer corps, the purpose of which would be to build infrastructure or assist with the care of the young or elderly, etc. Option c would be to opt out of serving and also out of the possibility of receiving government benefits down the line.

  3. I feel like all candidates and current representatives are really afraid to talk publicly and just make their decisions…and NO ONE really talks about it. There's been more predator and reaper flyovers and assaults resulting in lost lives during Obama's presidency then I'm sure he would care to admit. Now whether its because he realizes that unlike during campaign speeches he can't just say oh this one man is making these decisions and understands what must be done, or sending drones out to do the deed is just easier then bringing up where to put the people if we capture them and risk bringing up G-Bay. No one wants to say how they feel and that bothers me more than anything. Take a freaking stand, have a real opinion and stop worrying about what happens in four years. It's almost as if they are running to get re-elected if they win (obviously not in Obama's case, but you get my drift). Plus, having a kid deployed (Beau Biden) did exactly make Joe Biden shouting from the rooftops connected either. Great article. I'm still trying to pick my chin up at having Jesse Jackson wanting the draft. LOL

  4. I don't want someone who doesn't want to be in a war fighting alongside my husband. That's a liability and not one that I would want risking my husband's life.

  5. While part of me is in support because I think there needs to be a greater, universal sense of service throughout the country, I would rather see the current service members be better taken care of, without fear of losing promotion opportunities, benefits, funding, etc.

    The number of volunteer enlistments has increased significantly, from what I've seen. AF Reservists wait MONTHS to ship to BMT, so the interest and the desire is there without the draft. I think many folks are realizing the benefits to serving without being forced to do so.

  6. The divide between the civilian world and the military one is huge. You hear people say “Thank you for your service” all the time; but how many actually mean it? How many are just saying it because it’s just seen as the ‘right’ thing to do when faced with a service member? Pride in our country, and for our troops is not what it used to be. It is sad. The youth of today are too spoiled, too selfish and childish. Those that wish to serve are few and far between.
    Should the draft be reinstated? I’m on the fence honestly. I do think our youth should be put through some type of military training. But then again it does take away your right to choose. We are a far greater nation than that of Israel, so having everyone serve 2 years is not really viable. Also money is a huge factor. They are already cutting down the military, and stripping away certain things. Our country cannot keep spending like it has a no-limit credit card. Training would cost a considerable amount of money, and if they only stay in for a short period of time it would just be a waste.

  7. A volunteer branch-of-service is wrong wrong wrong. The only people who volunteer are the ones who couldn't get other jobs. It's 1 step away from being unemployed. I'd much rather have a draft so that we get some real talent in the military.

  8. a) conscription goes against the very tenets of a free society. If you open the door towards coercing people to action against their for the good of society, it is no logically different from that of a socialist society. So lets destroy the free society in an attempt of curing some inconsequential “problem.”

    There is no problem

    Lets restart conscription at a time when the armed forces are downsizing. I think that’s a great idea, force people to serve who don’t want to into the organization while giving those the stiff arm that do. That should do wonders for the effectiveness and operational capabilities of our armed forces

    Statistical speaking, youd also have the same amount of wives. Provided the size of the force doesn’t change, the method of entry is inconsequential.

    Do I need to once again state how its against the very tenets of a free society, and at its very basis, is wrong and unethical? No? well I did again.

    Your argument is fundamentally flawed, and not only because you quoted Rachel maddow.

  9. How about this, Anyone, and I mean anyone that wants to be in the Gov, including Mitt Romney, should be required to serve at least 4 years in the Military as Enlisted and only allowed to use Enlisted pay, housing and medical. And they have to start at the bottom.

    This way, they learn what the military goes through. and hopefully figure that down sizing active duty pay, reducing medical and dental to the point they are useless and getting rid of retirement pay, is not the way to treat the men and women that fight for this country, put their lives on the line for this country.

    For the Draft, it depends… is the Gov using this, so they can reduce military pay, medical and get rid of the retirement pay so many badly need and have earned?

  10. I don't think the country can afford UMT anymore.

  11. as i see it, the military is being bled dry what with the repeated deployments with few new people joining. if a draft was brought back there should be no deferments unless one is in med school and then they go after compleating it. folks we are in a war not of our choosing but that islam choose to fight. we can either give up or take the gloves off and beat these people like we did in WWII. they remind me of sorta combo of the japs and vc. take gen.t. jackson`s advise;"kill them.kill them all" fredricksberg 1862

  12. Aside from not being cost effective, I do feel we should have a draft. The American public has become complacent when it comes to patriotism. Our servicemen and women are doing multiple deployments. In this respect, is it really not cost effective when it comes to our then veterans who have known nothing but war for their full military commitment.? Would the health benefits not outweigh the cost of training? Personally, I believe every American citizen should be required to serve in the service. More so if one is going to run for public office. You want to create laws that govern our military? Then you should have served in the military so you would have some understanding of how it operates. Yes, bring back the draft with NO deferments.

  13. As a Vet who served during the draft and after the draft I can state categorically that the Volenteer force is far superior to the Drafted force. More motivated, just as smart if not smarter. Going back to a draft may satisfy some social agenda but it would not enhance the mission of the Military.

  14. Keep in mind, I’m only 17. So I might not have as much to say as everyone else. Now I can’t say much about the war because I have not been. But I did enlist in the Marine Corps because of the pride they have. I leave to MCRD San Diego in a week. As I have said, I have not been to war. But I know that I would want someone who joined for the same reason I did, not because they had to, right beside me.

  15. I agree with SGM Bob… but maybe for a slightly different reason. First, all the arguments about why the draft when the military is downsizing – nothing ever said there's going to be a set number inductees per month as to force already quality folk out.

    Leadership is a key to training / discipline.

    I understand the argument regarding rich kids/poor lids, but I'd like throw another argument into the mix. Some sort of mandatory national service (notice I didn't say military ) would probably address another problem, The gangs….. back in the day, ok, the seniors & juniors picked on the frosh & soph's, then you went away for a couple years, and the chain was broken. When you got back, 2 or 3 years smarter, you really didn't want to have much to do with HS kids. Now the bullies just get older and the 20 yr old's and the sr'r are harassed like the froh used to be, They're recruiting the mid-schooler''s…… and you have a structure that's self- perpetuating. Which is worse – the cost of training, or the cost of welfare for a lifetime with the abonded kids along the way?

    Just my 2 centavo's…. BTW retired USMC MSgt….. and yeah, I had my pre-induction physical & test, & was taken on the bus by the friendly folks in Chicago.

  16. The DRAFT would be great for the US , we would see a better society, kids that would PULL UP THEIR DAMN PANTS after spending some time at basic training, I feel we would see more respect on our streets. Great Idea!
    MSG Johnson
    24 years ARMY

  17. Don't bring back the draft, but make Govt student loans contingent on military service. 2 years active duty or 8 years reserves… something like that. My tax dollars shouldn't be used to subsidize some pot smoking douche's Associates of Applied Arts of Eastern European Underwater Feminist Basketweaving degree…

  18. Salisbury Marine | September 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm |

    …I was permanently draft exempt but went in the Marine Corps in 1968 (0311-Infantry) in spite of that. But I am opposed to the draft.
    …Draftees did well enough in the "Crusade" of WWII, but calling up the "sons of the farmers and shopkeepers to fight on the far frontiers" of Korea and especially Vietnam resulted in a long lasting trauma…
    …You have to have regulars to patrol the back alleys and windy crags of the far frontier… Using the Guard and Reserve to do this (again and again) for the past decade was a massive abuse that has damaged those organizations… possibly for a generation…
    …If you did have a new draft, would *everybody* serve (Universal Military Service)? Alternate service? If so, what are the odds that Senator Cornblatt's son would do his "public service" in Martha's Vineyard rather than Watts… where the average kid might be sent…?

  19. If that is the only way I can serve then I agree completely. I’m 22 wanted to join military service since I was a kid. Unfortunately requires tell me im DIsqualified cause of my heart condition. If I wanna go overseas and fight then I should have that right dammit!!

  20. I feel they need to bring back the draft. I served in the Army active and reserve where I retired after a total of 24 years 3 months. I feel military service should be a qualifying factor to run for public office especially for our top office of President. I don’t see how a Commander an Chief can understand our military unless he/she has served. So if you have never served, you can not run for public office. Simple as that!

  21. I don’t think they need to draft….just make basic training required to finish high school

  22. Im not supportive of a draft. Let’s have a lottery and everyone wins. That way snotty rich kids and poor kids alike get the opportunity learn what it means to be a patriot. Learn what it means to sacrifice. Live off of a E-4’s pay, feed kids and balance a budget. Prove that freedom isn’t free. I’m betting if some “snotty rich kids” powerful parent has to deal with the reality of poor equipment, multiple deployments and Tricare, the rest of us will benefit.
    The reality is that there are a lot of issues in this country that could be resolved once everyone fully appreciates them.

  23. well i dont know a whole lot about the draft but from what i know from my mentor a vietnam air force vet. so i tetnicly have no say but i just what to say we should do it would make a man out of the kids these day. so u can chance those snoty nose kids to a respectable man.

  24. I don’t want to be kicked out of the military, a job I love and need, to make way for the newest crop of draftees who neither love or want thier job.

    Enact a service corp like Israel or some other nations have done, but don’t make Military members out of folks who would rather not serve in a combat capacity.

  25. I enjoyed reading all the different opinions on this excellent discussion topic. A couple of things though, I do not buy into the idea that kids today have no idea what hard work is. I guess some do not, among my circle of friends, many loafed and were content to live off money from their parents, even into their 30s. However, I know many many kids who worked their butt off at full time jobs while going to college, and now are working their butts off trying to get ahead in a difficult economic climate. Some of my friends recently joined the service, and unfortunately, their reason was mostly to have a job and an enlistment bonus that would pay off a significant amount of the debt that they owe. Obviously, they were called to duty as well, but there was more going on than simply service to our country.

    Another perspective is that of my father – he was actually drafted during law school, and then entered basic after he graduated. He is very proud of his service, and from all accounts, made a fine soldier, serving in Vietnam. Without the draft he would never have served, yet because he served, he is a proud veteran who is quick to identify himself as both a former soldier and a combat veteran. I believe a mandatory service may be the best way to go, since the fact is, not every civilian is cut out to do the tough jobs that military service requires, and a couple German friends of mine (where service is mandatory) have related to me more than a few anecdotes about loafers who just sat around and smoked cigarettes while they were supposed to be on patrol. Anyway, just a few thoughts, a worthwhile and interesting discussion.

  26. I served in the days of the draft and morale was at rock bottom, partly because of the draft and partly because so many of us got sent to an idiotic war in Southeast Asia. I expressed my opposition to a draft, partly on the constitutional prohibition of indentured servitude and partly because wars should be fought by those willing to do so, not forced to do so. He said, "So you want a mercenary military?" I replied, "I don't want a slave military. Besides, we all work for money, so we're all mercenaries."
    I also disagree with Ainsley's comment, tying service to Social Security, because SS is something we contribute to. The government steals enough of our money.

  27. The military is cutting people left and right, why are two Democrats trying to bring people into the military unwillingly? They aren't, they are trying to get support from the Drones.. Jackson and especially Rangel are jokes.

  28. This is a dumbass idea that's inventing a problem that doesn't exist. Our military is the best it's ever been in large part because it's all volunteer…

  29. A resounding…YES…

  30. Yes call up the DRAFT, and while you're at it raise the age range from 18 to 30.

  31. I remember using GI scrub brushes and GI soap on those that had hygene problems. Both the soap and the brushes are long gone. Hell, remember the powder that used to show up in the latrines for soap??

  32. No the draft is unnecessary. When I joined the navy back in the seventies I served with some of the who were drafted at the end of their duty and won’t say all draftees were worthless and actually endangered those they work with but a good were. The volunteers are best our nation has ever seen, they are motivated actually are all in, to what they are doing. Very professional in all regards. Now as for ole Charlie and Jesse Jackson these guys make a living out of grouping individuals then getting them fight amongst themselves so they have an axe to grind. I remember when President Bush was running for his second term ole Charlie trotted out the idea then and before you knew it he had convinced the febble minded that it was a republican plan. They bring this red herring out during every election cycle so don’t I take them seriously anymore, heck I think at one point ole Charlie got it taken to floor for a vote and even he voted against it!

  33. Agreed, we should bring back the draft. We should also let the age limit of the military expannd to higher ages to buid up our forces because there are people that want to serve & can't because of that simple fact.

  34. Mike USAF Retired | September 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm |

    The comments that you don't want someone that don't want to be there fighting a war for you. I am sure that most will do just fine. The argument about it costing to much is some what right. It does cost to train them. The positive side is that they are trained and incase we ever need them they can be recalled to fight for our country. We were hurting during WW2 when we had to do short training for those going off to war.

    I have always been for the draft. I think it will serve America's best interest. I also think that our polititions are hurting the U. S. by making the militery smaller. That is one reason we are so reliant on the guard to do the fighting.

  35. hell yea! there been too many service men and women combat tour two tour is enough that it WE NEED REALLY BAD.

  36. cruiterretired | September 12, 2012 at 9:21 pm |

    Regarding re-instating the draft I was initially against it until reading the story then some bells went off.

    I'm not a fan of Charlie Rangel, but the general public would think a lot higher of us and our issues re: getting what we're due in retirement pay, Tricare, and other benefits etc., if they had served or had close family serving. Because of the requirements to serve we're part of a small community that ponied up, took the oath, obeyed the orders, and stood tall and proud in our uniforms. I'd say the best jobs still go to those that sign up voluntarily rather than be sucked in by the draft but yes. It actually makes sense in that way if you think it out. But the good training and jobs needs to go 1st to volunteers, not draftees.

  37. Hasn't anyone figured out why our country is over run with illegals and the agenda to allow it?
    Who do you think the next bunch of "draftees" is going to be? It's bad enough that we put up with the
    massive influx of tax dollar draining people we have created and truth self evident the poor bastards
    don't have a clue they are being set up. Calderone and Bush cut that deal a long ways back. No jobs,
    join the service. Hello?! Hola!
    I believe in some sort of mandatory training for ALL Americans, if for no other reason than to protect our
    OWN borders. THIS makes sense. It is NOT about race. It's about sheer numbers. I volunteered and paid
    the price. 100%er. Class of '66. Been damaged ever since. But this is the risk you take if you really understand that freedom is not free. No folks, the agenda is politics and money, not freedom. I thank you.

  38. Bring back Corporal punishment in our military services and in our public and private schools

    and America will be astonished how much more efficient Congress runs, student's will no longer

    act out their fantascies, and Moron's never again will assume the position of the POTUS.

  39. Yes, The draft should and must be re-instated. This country UNFORTUNATELY is the policeman of the world but the majority of Americans could care less about the military personnel who fight these wars. The return of the draft and the deployment of husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons will change there minds. We elect our polital leaders therefore, in time of war, we must all support the decisions of our elected leaders.

  40. Wallace H Riley | September 12, 2012 at 11:27 pm |

    With sequestion, we are actually reducing our force. However, If we areinvolved in another conflict, the draft ,may be necessary. The problem will be in finding people physically acceptable for service. We have a gross overweight problem in our country. Then comes the question, will girls/women be drafted? Will dependent children be considered when drafting people. Many aspects of society have changed since we last drafted people in the 50s (I don't remember if we actually drafted people in the 60s). One of the false promises of the draft is that if you stayed in service until retirement, you and your dependents would receive free medical care for life – the military forgot to chedck with congress on that promise. Tis timre if we initiate the draft we will have to ensure that all promises made are based in established law.

  41. don't call it YOUR country if you won't fight for it!
    ret us army viet-nam

  42. Interesting approach, BUT no workable when the POTUS is going for a major Reduction in Force (RIF). A drat would only increase the numbers they are trying to reduce. However, IF the money being spent on entitlements for people who get drafted go to the military payroll – it would work. Two words in getting it through Congress "Good Luck" or "Fat Chance".. Besides it brings up the question of the initial drug screening and the pass rate. Currently recruiters can pick a choose the best for the quotas.

  43. This isn't nor has it ever been about "snotty rich kids" being drafted, nor is it about people who don't want to be in the military.
    Back in World War II, one of the major early concerns was that the drafted soldier will not fight or perform well as those who volunteered. After the first combat encounters in Africa, that fear was put to rest.
    In fact, about 2/3's of those who served in uniform were drafted.
    What it all boils down too is that you will have those who don't want to be in the military. Sorry. Everyone has to do their "fair" share.
    When dealing with those who don't want to be there, it takes more effort to train them.
    This "boo hoo hoo" about using draftees will fall by the wayside once it gets going. Those in the service will just have to work a bit harder.
    And oh, by the way, I've served with many people who were drafted back during Vietnam who stayed in the military and made a career out of it.
    …so..put on your "big girl panties" and deal with it.

  44. Draft let’s dogo it. I’ve always thought we never should have stopped the draft. A mandatory two year hitch would help keep the gang members down. It would also teach them team work and discipline. Sargent First Class retired.

  45. Draft let’s dogo it. I’ve always thought we never should have stopped the draft. A mandatory two year hitch would keep the gang members down. It would also teach them team work and discipline. Sargent First Class retired.

  46. If we want to get out of debt then we must go back to the draft. We cannot continue to pay out all these benefits and believe that there will always be plenty of money to go around. To beleive that is pure Bull Sh*t and there is no way of hinding that smell called national debt. The benefits that service members receive is unbelievable from the days when I served. And for you die hards who hate this statement I can line item every "beni" you get that does not exist anywhere else. My father, his father and so on gave the same duty, honor and respect and were in harms way but for considerably less.

  47. Bring back the draft? Hell no! Right now, there is a waiting list to get into the military as it is. Our budget is being cut, and advancement is at a standstill because nobody's getting out! And and you and your representatives in Congress want to INCREASE the number of people in the military?!? Sorry, ma'am, but with all due respect, you really have no concept of the bigger picture. I get what you're saying about the disconnect, but forcing everyone to join the military isn't the answer. The answer is Americans getting up off their lazy butts and voting, writing their Congressmen, and making it clear to Washington that we will not stand for these shenanigans anymore. You want Washington to listen? MAKE them!

    An Active Duty Member

  48. I believe everyone has a responsibility to the country that provides for them and their families. I think the draft should be brought back and it should include women. Bottom line is: We are all American citizens and should give back to this great country of ours. If we sit back and let "things" happen, then we have no right to any benefits that others have worked so hard for, some making the ultimate sacrifice!

  49. Yes bring back the draft…so that people that don't care now, will sit up at night and realize and worry about freedom!! Right now…our military servicemembers are staying awake and night and babysitting so that the ungrateful "children" can sleep peacefully. Peace comes at a price and that price is being paid hourly by servicemembers and thier families…especially the children of the servicemembers.

  50. I read as far as “Charlie Rangel” and stopped. Any article that would quote that corrupt POS isn’t worth reading.

  51. PLEASE LETS DO IT, OUR YOUNG NEED DIRECTION AND TAUGHT HOW TO BE MEN

  52. I don't think a draft is the best idea. Truthfully, we don't have the present capabilities to have such an influx of draftees enter the system. Maybe after a couple of years of building up our facilities and bases, but that will take more $$. Second, I believe I read that close to 75% of the people age 18 to 24 are unable to enter military service due to lack of education, criminal records or lack of fitness. Third, as a tradition, the draft was only used a few times. Going back to the Revolutionary War, most troop quotas were filled by militia (National Guard) and volunteers. Fourth, apathy in society will happen regardless of circumstances. But I do notice that with this administration, the media isn't blaring casualties as much as they were with the last administration. No more "daily tolls" or "faces of war" every Sunday. Finally, If you want to use a social program to straighten kids out, I rather not make it the military where lives are at stake.

  53. It isn't so much the civilian-military disconnect that bothers me: its the civilian-GOVERNMENT disconnect. When the draft was in effect, people paid attention to what the government was up to – and we wouldn't have had two very long wars sans any clear political objectives, plans or strategies to finish them had the draft been in effect.

    None of the US leadership that committed this nation to war in both Afghanistan and Iraq had children serving (out of both houses of representatives – only Joe Biden had a son serving – perhaps a tiny handful more).

    The draft should be reinstated for the good of the nation without exception. Then the only way for our forces to be committed will be due to a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States.

  54. Why should implement a one year service requirement for all ages 18 to 21. We would use this one year to evaluate those that can be drafted in the future (most reliable candidate). Only those with major physical and mental disabilities would not serve. I am in a wheelchair but i would serve because i would be able to contribute with my mind and use computer skills. Those that are over weight would be given the tools to get in shape and cut down on expensive medical expenses. CHOOSE ONLY THE BEST FROM THE POOL.

  55. Most of the above comments have been read. Some I agree with. Others, I don't.

    It is my estimation the younger generation should learn what patriotism really is, what pride in their country should be, as well as the government should take better care of those that voluntarily takes care of and defend the citizens of this country, as well as every inch of the country.

    Having pride in themselves for what they accomplishment that will follow them for the rest of their lives is essential for them not only as a military person, but as a human being as well. My vote is to bring back the draft, and like some here has stated, it is surprising to learn that Jesse Jackson, a black leader has suggested this as well. Is it because he and Bill Cosby saw the light what the youth of their culture was turning out to be?

  56. Bringing back the draft is a bad idea. There are going to be some people that don't want to be in for obvious reasons, and they will do everything it takes to get out. That's a waste of time and money. And we don't have time or money.

  57. Incidentally, the idea promulgated here by some people who, frankly, don't think clearly, that we somehow have to earn our rights with our bodies and lives is idiotic. Under the Constitution, our rights, freedom and citizenship is our birthright. Only in a fascist state would a person not be a citizen unless he had subjected himself to a period of slavery.

  58. This issue was brought up after 9/11 by Mr. Rangel and while I was recruiting in Texas. The local paper printed this same question and asked for comments from the local population and the majority of the people felt some type of service would be a good idea however there was one person that responed, "Heavens no! That means my son would have to go to some foreign country and fight for some unexplained war. We need to leave that up to the blacks, hispanics and poor white trash, not my son."

  59. The draft can eliminate some joblessness, give some people a better chance, but it won't be fair because the wealthy in this country won't abide haveing their kids drafted! The draft should include WOMEN whoare currently excluded from the present draft system. It can alslo cut back the military budget since single soldiers cost less than families and big bonus to keep the numbers up. When we had a draft, we could get soldiers cheaper and spend more on weapons systems which are extremly expensive. Now budgets inclued more houseing, schools, bigger hospital , commissaries PX all because of havin gto bribe soldier to stay in and all families. I got in in 1977, the draft was gone but the military ran things in th edraft manner. I had a draft card in 1973!, I retired in 2010 and found everything more expensive due to both inflation and the need to bring the families a sense of normalcy.

  60. If one of the implications of this article is that bringing back the draft would lead to less questionable wars, I’d question the veracity of that.

    We had the draft before vietnam, but still got involved there. So I don’t think bringing back the draft would solve this type of problem.

  61. Todd, Semper Fi man!

  62. A draft will never change anyones behavior/thoughts to the goodness you are talking about no matter how badly we want it to. Under it all you are honestly forcing someone to do something they dont want to do. I hated lima beams growing up, I still strongly believe that my parents hated lima beans, however, but they wanted me to appreciate that we had food on the table and so I was forced to eat lima beans. I was forced to eat lima beans in the belief that it would change my attitude and modify my behavior to appreciate that I had food at all. Guess what, I still hate lima beans, I was to young to appreciate the message they were trying to give me and at the time I started to resent my parents for making me eat them. The draft isnt going to modify a person behavior at all and if anything is only going to cause those forced to do it to resent the source (i.e. our Government) which I honestly dont believe we can afford to do in our country, well unless we want to end up like Russia, Libya, or any of those super influential power houses…..I jest.

  63. It would sure help the economy. Draftees would now have money to buy cars and homes and such , which in turn means more people hired for new jobs needed to make all the items people would buy, and the increased tax revenue would pay for it all. Its a win win situation!

  64. Not everyone is cut out for combat duty. But everyone is cut out for some type of government service whether it is the National Guard or Army Reserves or hospital work or administrative work or teaching special needs children or joining the Peace Corp.

    We need some type of national governmental service so that we can lean to appreciate what it takes to make a society succeed and for people to realize what it takes for them to succeed as individuals.

  65. The draft served to kill a lot of birds with one stone, I think a thesis could be written on it and the high cost of ending it: expensive contractors rather than service members, contract mercenaries, rise in need for social welfare programs, fewer people being educated on the GI Bill and not finishing that education, rise of drug abuse and illegal trafficking, lack of genuine concern for those who serve (out of sight/out of mind national syndrome), increase in accidental shooting deaths, I can go on for chapters. The author is right. The end of the draft only served to line the pockets of contractors, sucking on the DOD udder.

  66. Only a well formatted, managed, and implemented draft could work. Providing structure, discipline, a sense of pride, teamwork and self esteem for many. For others it could be nothing more than an obligation that sours quickly leading to other problems. Long term effects would change political thinking and possible migrations to Canada(Clinton). It would unknowingly raise military standards for more desired MOS's. Sounds good, huh? When the dust settles and the is evaluated the cost would be astronomical. If we would close up per WW2 our national debt would vanish in less time than FIGMO did his bag drag. And yes, give up our territorials as well.

  67. How about this, and its free folks, no goverment or taxpayer cost associated, how about instead of the military fixing all our "mixed up youth and lack of respect types" how about parents just being really good parents and raising their kids to treat everyone with dignity and respect? The military is the answer for some but its only because they choose. Its not the answer for everyone and shouldnt be seen as the answer to the problems that parents dont want to correct or work hard at changing.

  68. The US military is the finest in the world–by a large margin in almost every category of measurement. Why would you want to mess with that? In the 60s and 70s California had the highest reading comprehension test scores in the nation. And then, inexplicably, dumped phonics from the primary curriculum. Test scores plummeted. The point is, if you are already the best, why make fundamental changes?

  69. indianmedicine | September 14, 2012 at 9:46 pm |

    Since the Combat M.O.S. has been opened to Females, "The Harms Way Excuse" is no longer valid to defer "Able Bodied Female's".
    The Conscription Act needs to be updated, too include "Able Bodied Females – 18 to 45 years of age – with a Constitutional Obligation of 8 Years subject to Military Total Military Service ; Active and/or Reserve.
    The Military Branch's have re-written Job Descriptions and Standards to reflect New Policies of The Services; and the Update of The Conscription Act is necessary for equal application and to right a disparity of application.
    – By doing so, perhaps this nations Politic will restrain its self in declaring hostilities of War on other Nations; however Politic usually has no conscience.

  70. Why then is the army cutting 5 brigades of soldiers from service and not to mention the other branchs just to cut costs.

  71. Most of these post are immature , uneducated & misinformed I served active duty from 66 to 69 Germany & ,VN I joined, the best soldiers I lived with worked with were draftees, they didn't want to be there but felt they had an oblication to their Country, they had a work ethic, & were proud of the USA today's youth is radically different, they think the world owes them, they have no concept Duty Honor Country, & no guts, plus they wold have to draft females & that would never happen. Rangel is just blowin smoke.

  72. What you running out of gays and women.Why don't we keep it all volenteer and next war we have I'll see you from the opposite side! People never let one dictate your future. What ever happen to we the people?

  73. I support two courses of action—ALL IN or ALL OUT. We can't have both, simultaneously. We are walking the line of these two courses and are burning out an entire generation of military personnel, men and women. 6 tours in the sandbox are too much, when the end result is a medicated, PTSD-driven person, trying to make his/her way through the VA system, because they weren't allowed to stay for retirement. If we are going to fight a protracted war, we need large numbers of fresh boots on the ground. History has proven this. I served 20 years, both with draftees and with "volunteers". I was a volunteer—read this as someone who couldn't get a job and was struggling to stay in college. Yes, draftees are more work. Suck it up. Our current policies will not work forever and nobody seems to care. It would be good if we could remember the 1960's poster—NOT TO DECIDE IS TO DECIDE.

  74. I grew up a "military brat", and as expected went into the military. I didn't join the Army or Marines like all the other guys I knew though, NO I had to be the SMART ONE, I joined the Navy(where I knew I could get a SKATE JOB,LIKE a cook,or something in an air-condioned area), well at that time you had to take some tests and that determined what schools you could apply for out of bootcamp. I qualified for any school I wanted(includung nuclear propulsion), but I wanted to be where I had access to shore and girls and booze so I chose Hospital Corpsman. Little did I know it also meant playing Marine. so to put it shorrt I played Marine in RVN fo little less than a year then went to Okinawa and was discharged for being "CRAZY" best and worst year of my life! met some good and bad guys both volunteers and draftees, still don't think draft will help anyone it didn't help then!!!!!

  75. Well at the rate we are losing citizens and the fact you have gays and women giving direction you would have a civil war on your hands. I personally do not take order let alone from someone who never walk the walk. As far as I'm concern this freedom light is flickering and no one give a dam. If I had to put on a uniform it would not be for the USA and guess what American pride is none existent in the warrior clan!

  76. Yes…Yes..and Yes again.

  77. Why? Have we not successfully performed in our latest conflcits? We get the personnel we need. Unlike what some pols believe, the armed forces are not a youth soccer league where everyone gets a trophy for participation. It can be hard, nasty, and deadly. We don't want the fat and lazy youth just because their number came up. All they will succeed in accomplishing is getting themselves killed or worse yet, getting one of my sons killed. Let them stay on the couch playing video games in their parents basements. Also, when did Rachel Madcow become a military expert?

  78. As my husband always says; we should empty most of the jails and send the prisoners. Not the ones who are the worst kind of offenders, but the ones who would be willing to go to war in exchange for their freedom. The same with the illegal immigrants if they are willing to fight for our country then they should be granted full citizenship for our country and if they are married their wife and kids should be given the same. This country was created by immigrants from all walks of life and to make it great again we need to pull together and get rid of our current government and elect someone who actually cares. So yes bring back the draft!!!!!

  79. Wouldn't it be great if you had to have prior military service to run for public office,or maybe even to vote.At least you would be aware of what it means to go to war.To have fought or served this country before you can demand "Free stuff " would go along way to respecting what services and freedoms received from your country,you would have earned that right . It is reprehensible for the one who claims to be commander and chief of this great nation to be unqualified to have even enlisted in any branch of service whether it is because of his admitted drug use,his homosexuality,or his known communist affiliations on topof not being a natural born citizen.

  80. p.clue reit sgt | October 2, 2012 at 10:56 pm |

    guest;vet,combat viet nam; Iam one of thoes "snoty" kids,or i used to be, and i was not drafted, and unless u have it in wrighting,weather your drafted or not the military will put you where they dam well pleas! Hower ever i am proud to haved servid my country, and i beat the draft in 1967 by 2 days, when i signed on the dotted line, (do they still use dotted lines?) and took the oth [TO UP HOLD AND DEFEND THE CONSTIUTION OF THE UNITED STATES] ,it was in the of back of my mind , and like all others, you may be put in harms way, yes i think they should start up the draft again,it will give the ones all in the military a little r.r; and it will take the [SNOT] out of thes kids to day.P clue reitseg.

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