Democratic Congressman introduced legislation last week to revive the
military draft, taking a race-baiting shot at the President and his
war plans. Their idea is not new, however, as similar proposals were
introduced by Republicans in the months following September 11th.
Although the administration is not calling for a draft at this time,
last week's controversy shows while conscription has been buried for
30 years, the idea is not necessarily dead.
the Pentagon nor our military leaders want a draft. In fact, a Department
of Defense report stated that draft registration could be eliminated
"with no effect on military mobilization and no measurable effect
on military recruitment." Today's military is more high tech and
specialized than ever before, and an educated volunteer force is required
to operate our modern Army, Navy, and Air Force. Most military experts
believe a draft would actually impair military readiness, despite the
increase in raw manpower, because of training and morale problems.
is the idea of a draft even considered? One answer is that our military
forces are spread far too thin, engaged in conflicts around the globe
that are none of our business. With hundreds of thousands of troops
already stationed in literally hundreds of foreign nations, we simply
don't have enough soldiers to invade and occupy every country we label
a threat to the new American empire. Military leaders conservatively
estimate that 250,000 troops will be needed to invade Iraq, while tens
of thousands already occupy Afghanistan. Add another conflict to the
mix- in North Korea, the Balkans, or any number of hot spots- and our
military capabilities would quickly be exhausted. Some in Washington
would rather draft more young bodies than rethink our role as world
policeman and bring some of our troops home.
needs aside, however, some politicians simply love the thought of mandatory
service to the state. To them, the American government is America. Patriotism
means working for the benefit of the state. On a crude level, the draft
appeals to patriotic fervor. This is why the idea of compulsory national
service, whether in the form of military conscription or make-work programs
like AmeriCorps, still sells on Capitol Hill. Conscription is wrongly
associated with patriotism, when it really represents Slavery and
wholeheartedly that an all-volunteer military is not only sufficient
for national defense, but preferable. It is time to abolish the Selective
Service System and consign military conscription to the dustbin of American
history. 500 million dollars have been wasted on the Selective Service
System since 1979, money that could have been returned to taxpayers
or spent to improve the lives of our nation's veterans.
quot;The most fundamental objection to
draft registration is moral." He understood that conscription assumes
our nation's young people belong to the state. Yet America was founded
on the opposite principle, that the state exists to serve the individual.
The notion of involuntary servitude, in whatever form, is simply incompatible
with a free society.