Reinstate the Draft

 

357px-UnclesamwantyouWhile watching the riots in Baltimore, considered a possible solution to the situation of so many young black men who are uneducated, unemployed, and otherwise not socialized: a return to the draft.

I recall Ed Koch, the former Mayor of New York, saying that the only vote he regretted when he was in Congress was the vote to end the draft. He explained that the draft took young men out of the inner city and placed them in a highly structured and disciplined environment. The mayor went on to say that many of the young men matured and developed a direction to pursue in life. When I was in the Army, strong black sergeants were often the toughest on young black soldiers. For the first time, many of the young soldiers were experiencing a strong male figure.

As a conservative, I recognize that a draft is a significant infringement of personal liberty. However, the situation is dire and the times require drastic measures. In addition to the benefits of military life, the soldiers could pursue their education through the G.I. Bill and return to civilian life as contributing members. I know that the military should not be used as a social welfare organization. However, the military would also benefit with a significant increase in manpower and by an expansion of the percentage of the population that experiences the sacrifices of military service. Something must be done to break the dysfunctional cycle that exists in most of our major cities. Mandatory military service could be part of the solution.

 

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  1. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Slavery = Bad

    Slaves don’t sacrifice, nor are slave armies terrible effective.  There won’t be any positive moral effects from a policy of enslaving people.  Because the slaves won’t be sacrificing for the common good, they will be complying at the point of an oppressors gun.

    • #1
  2. MLH Member
    MLH
    @MLH

    How would they do on the ASVAB?

    • #2
  3. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Guruforhire:Slavery = Bad

    Slaves don’t sacrifice, nor are slave armies terrible effective. There won’t be any positive moral effects from a policy of enslaving people. Because the slaves won’t be sacrificing for the common good, they will be complying at the point of an oppressors gun.

    Conscription is Involuntary Servitude, not Slavery. Still prohibited by the Constitution tho’.

    The income tax, that is part-time slavery.

    • #3
  4. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Misthiocracy:

    Guruforhire:Slavery = Bad

    Slaves don’t sacrifice, nor are slave armies terrible effective. There won’t be any positive moral effects from a policy of enslaving people. Because the slaves won’t be sacrificing for the common good, they will be complying at the point of an oppressors gun.

    Conscription is Involuntary Servitude, not Slavery. Still prohibited by the Constitution tho’.

    The income tax, that is part-time slavery.

    I don’t think there is enough of a technical distinction to warrant a moral distinction, and vicariously a rhetorical distinction.

    • #4
  5. Klaatu Member
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Slaves don’t sacrifice, nor are slave armies terrible effective.

    I would point to the largely conscripted forces which defeated Germany and Japan as a counter example.

    I have always been conflicted on this question. I liked knowing all the soldiers in my unit were there because they volunteered. I believe it made for a more cohesive unit.
    On the other hand, I believe the draft increased national cohesion. I remember growing up whenever my father was in a group of men, regardless of the social, economic, or racial composition of the group, the subject of their time in the service was something they had in common and could all relate to. To this day I am astounded and saddened by the ignorance of military life among the vast majority of Americans.

    • #5
  6. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Klaatu:Slaves don’t sacrifice, nor are slave armies terrible effective.

    I would point to the largely conscripted forces which defeated Germany and Japan as a counter example.

    Is it not true that many (most?) of the conscripted troops in WWII were in support roles, with most of the genuine combat roles were almost always dominated by volunteers?

    • #6
  7. Klaatu Member
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Is it not true that many (most?) of the conscripted troops in WWII were in support roles, with most of the genuine combat roles were almost always dominated by volunteers?

    I do not have any numbers but I would find that hard to believe as after 1942 no man of draft age was allowed to enlist. The best you could hope for was your choice of service.

    • #7
  8. Mendel Member
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    While well-intentioned, I think reinstating the draft might cause a number of unintended consequences.

    It’s true that military service often helps underprivileged youths turn their lives around. But with our all-volunteer service, all of those kids have one thing in common: a desire, at least at some point, to turn their lives around. I’m not sure the positive effects would also occur for those conscripted against their will.

    And what’s worse, those who were conscripted unwillingly might bring down the ones who are struggling to improve their lives. If a 19-year-old enrolls to avoid the temptation of becoming a drug dealer, the worst thing to do would be to conscript the drug dealer as well.

    • #8
  9. Mendel Member
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    I wonder if conscription really only works when there is a generally-perceived need for it.

    When a country is under attack, most people are willing to forgo freedom for safety (or indeed, for their own lives), at least if they presume that their freedom will return after victory. And even if the actual youth sent to fight aren’t keen on going, the peer pressure from their families, friends, and the rest of society may well be enough to keep them in line.

    On the other hand, forcing people into military service without an obvious need seems more than likely to backfire. This certainly seems to be the case with the Vietnam war, when a lack of common will to fight the war correlated with a lower-than-desired caliber of conscriptee.

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  10. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    anonymous:If you wish to change the behaviour of these people, wouldn’t it better to conscript them into camps around age 6 instead of 18.

    Oh, you mean like public school? Day camps, but still…

    • #10
  11. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Misthiocracy:

    Klaatu:Slaves don’t sacrifice, nor are slave armies terrible effective.

    I would point to the largely conscripted forces which defeated Germany and Japan as a counter example.

    Is it not true that many (most?) of the conscripted troops in WWII were in support roles, with most of the genuine combat roles were almost always dominated by volunteers?

    Only 1:25 of combat soldiers would fire at the enemy.  (To be fair changing to a silhouette target dramatically improved that metric)

    • #11
  12. user_653084 Member
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Conscription is the last thing our military needs. We should be focusing on increasing the proportion of long-service professionals in our armed forces, not the number of single termers who then go on to consume vast sums of tax dollars with GI Bill funded education.

    • #12
  13. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @SmilinJack

    Some fair points. We had a draft Army from WWII to the end of the Vietnam War. In WWII, the majority of draftees in the Army did serve in combat units. Prior to Vietnam, we had a very professional and proficient draft Army, which was the envy of European governments. The Army was broken by Vietnam and President Nixon proposed the end to the draft, in part, to mollify (unsuccessfully) his critics. The draft is constitutional. The draft would be very difficult to reinstate now, as opposed to the aftermath of 9/11. Soldiers deploy multiple times, at great personal sacrifice, because the Army is much too small to meet our current threats.

    • #13
  14. Jason Rudert Member
    Jason Rudert
    @JasonRudert

    “MLH
    How would they do on the ASVAB?”

    A critical question. Right now, the system is designed to keep the bottom 40% ( by intelligence) of the population out of the military. A great number of the people you’re trying to reform here are in that fraction. They have to be kept out because they’re too expensive to train and they break the shiny things. What would you have these people do once they’re in the military?

    • #14
  15. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @SmilinJack

    I’m not proposing that we draft everyone. They would still have to meet mental and physical standards. I remember Secretary of Defense McNamara’s experiment with lower intelligence soldiers-it didn’t work out too well. The draft would only be part of the solution. School vouchers could be another part for younger people. We can’t save them all, but we can save some.

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  16. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Let me be clear, I will eliminate the entire bloodline of anybody responsible for enslaving my child.

    There is no good faith justification for unalloyed evil.

    • #16
  17. user_653084 Member
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    At the risk of expressing an unpopular opinion I would like to dispute the proposition that the pre-Vietnam conscript US Army was particularly competent. Yes, we won WWII with a largely conscripted army, but it was also an army which almost always enjoyed a marked firepower and logistical superiority over its adversaries. On the rare occasions when our forces engaged the Germans on equal terms they did not fare well. The same was true in Korea. It was only after we ended conscription that our army infantry units became world class.

    • #17
  18. MLH Member
    MLH
    @MLH

    There have been a couple of comments about the draft making the military a social program. And what of the whole women in combat/USMC IOC/Ranger school thing!?

    • #18
  19. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    I’d have a universal draft, run them through Basic, then cut them loose.

    Give them a taste of thew discipline and training, but don’t depend on them for defense.

    Give those who complete Basic an opportunity to volunteer for further “real” military service if they so desire.

    • #19
  20. Jason Rudert Member
    Jason Rudert
    @JasonRudert

    “MLH
    There have been a couple of comments about the draft making the military a social program. And what of the whole women in combat/USMC IOC/Ranger school thing!?”

    And the gay issue. Up until a couple of years ago, I was arguing that there would be no way we’d go back to the draft because all you would have to do is tell them you were gay, and they would have to let you go. The social stigma isn’t there like it was in the 70s. The gay lobby has made the argument that gays serve just fine, but will conscripted gays perform as well as volunteers? My suspicion is that the performance gap between volunteer/conscript would be much wider in gay soldiers.

    And even wider among female conscripts. Lawsuits were brought back in the day, saying that the draft amounted to sex discrimination. The supreme court kind of wiggled out of that one by saying that because the point of the draft was to fill fighting positions, and only men could hold those positions, so a male-only draft was tolerable. But now that some of those barriers have been broken down, and if we’re going to change to a national service model rather than a cannonfodder model, you would have to tackle the gender question on a much bigger scale. Do you just lower your standards? Or do we go back to the old way?

    • #20
  21. Byron Horatio Member
    Byron Horatio
    @ByronHoratio

    As someone who has lead young 18 year old volunteers in the military, I find it curious that I have never met a single junior officer of any branch that is in favor of the draft. We spend enough of our time weeding out the dregs who volunteered as it is. But people who either have never served or only do so in a capacity far removed from the soldiery are the only ones who talk glowingly of the benefits of conscription. My advice to all such supporters is to demonstrate your commitment and gain a an officer’s commission or earn your stripes as an NCO. Then come back and tell us what a great idea it is.

    • #21
  22. Grimaud Member
    Grimaud
    @Grimaud

    If you are against the draft, how would you feel about furthering the incentives to serve for two years. I like the idea of skin in the game and national cohesion. Also, I like the idea of a citizenry who is broadly trained in shooting and first aid and small unit tactics. The discipline from fitness training and deprivation of field maneuvers would do wonders for our nation…..but nothing the liberals would value, until they were threatened.

    • #22
  23. PHCheese Member
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    I was drafted into the military in 1968. I would have enlisted but I was in a hurry to get on with my life. My father was dying a slow death from COPD and I needed to get my service over as quickly as possible. Enlistment was a three year term whereas being drafted was a two year term. I was finished with college so I was four to five older than many of the draftees. The draft is a two edge sword in my opinion, Yes it does help some people but those people hurt or lower the standards of the military. The military was a mess in the seventies before the all volunteer military. I am glad I severed but many were bitter from the experience. I think in these times it would be dangerous to go back to the draft. I often wonder if there could some kind of alternative service.

    • #23
  24. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @GrannyDude

    Miffed White Male:I’d have a universal draft, run them through Basic, then cut them loose.

    Give them a taste of thew discipline and training, but don’t depend on them for defense.

    Give those who complete Basic an opportunity to volunteer for further “real” military service if they so desire.

    This is a really good idea, MWM! Men only?

    • #24
  25. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Kate Braestrup:

    Miffed White Male:I’d have a universal draft, run them through Basic, then cut them loose.

    Give them a taste of thew discipline and training, but don’t depend on them for defense.

    Give those who complete Basic an opportunity to volunteer for further “real” military service if they so desire.

    This is a really good idea, MWM! Men only?

    Oh HELL no!

    [Edit:  But I would sex-segregate the Basic Training classes].

    • #25
  26. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    I’ve been thinking about this all week. I mentioned on another post what our youth needs today is some sort of a boot camp; with discipline and some sort of life-skills training.

    Everybody does 6 months. Even the washouts and not-so-smart would benefit from the training.

    I wish more considered military service in their future, even if it was never realized. Kept my two sons out of trouble.

    • #26
  27. user_653084 Member
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    I’m sorry, but this argument in favor of conscription seems to think that the military should be picking up the slack from failing schools and families. If those things are not producing good citizens fix them. Just don’t screw up our military trying to compensate for failures elsewhere.

    • #27
  28. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    If I was in charge, off the top of my head and not necessarily in order of importance.

    1) Everyone does 2 years of service, with 6 months of basic training. The better you do in basic, the better the gig you get for the next 18 months. You might be a fighter pilot; you might be a janitor. I don’t care the gig, it will be valuable from top to bottom.

    2) Coast to coast school vouchers. Parents 100% in charge of how the money is spent. Yes, some parents are going to make lousy choices. Hard to imagine how any lousy choice a parent makes could be worse than public schools.

    3) All police unions immediately disbanded.

    4) ditto all teacher unions.

    5) for that matter, every public sector union.

    6) no longer needed. It was going to be no public sector unions allowed to donate to any political campaign.

    7) every prosecutor found guilty of malfeasance leading to a wrongful conviction does the exact same time in prison the innocent party was sentenced to.

    8) dash cams in every police car. every policeman wears a camera

    • #28
  29. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Salvatore Padula:I’m sorry, but this argument in favor of conscription seems to think that the military should be picking up the slack from failing schools and families. If those things are not producing good citizens fix them. Just don’t screw up our military trying to compensate for failures elsewhere.

    schools are a lost cause. There is no fixing them. Locks the doors and walk away. We’ve lost part of a generation thanks to screwed up families and worse schools. I think it’s time for drastic measures.

    • #29
  30. user_653084 Member
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    So you want to screw up our military because schools are already screwed up?

    • #30

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