Why reinstate military draft these days? Our nation’s engagement into an all out war against Iraq and against terrorism is until now being debated and opposed by many Americans. Of course, there are reasons for this resistance, and most of it, when looked at the surface, seems to be as weighty as reasons for going to war. But what really should be done in terms of fighting terrorism? What should be America’s long-term policy when it comes to sending troops to Iraq? This paper attempts to get into the argument and look at the merits of reinstating the draft and the rejection of the move to reinstate it.
Argument against the reinstatement In the history of American wars, a military draft is used only in times war, and it was in the days of the Civil War that the first wartime draft took place (Lotterman, 2002). Then, the rule was, if there were individuals who wanted to evade or rather be excused for being drafted to the military service, they would have to provide a substitute or pay $ 300 to the federal government in order to free themselves from military service. There were also exemptions.
Disability or a handicap in certain individuals could have made them an exception. Those also with dependent families were given immunity from serving. All of these are given in a scenario where an all out war is necessary (Lottterman, 2002). Primary reasons for the argument against the draft include the basic inequality of the application because who gets drafted are individuals who usually are marginalized like those who cannot afford to pay fines. It appears that the rationale for having the draft then is ironic; it does not serve its original intention.
On the other hand, it was a totally different case in 1940 where a peacetime draft had become almost compulsory because of the Selective Training and Service Act. Because the government deemed that World War II was imminent, it anticipated American involvement into war. Hence, from 1948 to 1973, America has depended on military draft to enable the country to cope with this demand of looming war. A military draft policy was a must in such times, and thus, it was a binding strategy (Lotteman, 2002). Given this whole state of affairs in those past decades, the overall picture of America’s landscape was nevertheless negative.
Many in the populace have shown disapproval to the government’s stand. There were extensive protests and many went to the streets to join in public demonstrations. Many Americans would have none of these government’s laws and schemes concerning military draft. Thus, in 1973, the military draft policy was effectively terminated. However, a renewed interest to reinstate Selective Training and Service Act is rising since the U. S. ’ involvement in Iraq war during the 80’s. The government under Bush’s administration wants America to be prepared for any event of war (Lotteman, 2002).
Argument for the Reinstatement There are more than three important reasons that the draft be reinstituted, however, the following arguments top the list. Because the all-volunteer army idea is not enough for the need of the country. The present “volunteer” system does not suffice the need especially that America entered into the Afghanistan and lately, the Iraq war. Understanding the long range and intensive deployment of America’s resources to this engagement is vital. The rationale has always been that the US has enemies it has to face.
Terrorism from Muslim fundamentalists for instance, seeks the destruction of America (Dickinson, 2005). Secondly, it makes the idea of an all-out war more difficult to engage in. When the distribution of the military recruits comes from all sectors of society, government will find it difficult to wage a war with any country when the risk for society’s disfavor is at stake. This is one of the major premises that Representative Ranger in Congress posited before the public convincing the nation that this step will benefit the country more than the present all-volunteer system.
This is going to be one of the strongest points that should the general public know and comprehend, will win the campaign towards the reinstatement of the draft (Dickinson, 2005). It removes the burden on the underprivileged to be into war. The good return of what the Vietnam War entrenched in America’s memory was that it has taught the leadership of this country important lessons in terms of engaging itself into war in terms of putting into place a system that prevents further and unnecessary loss of lives.
Another lesson it has contributed into was the fact that a only the unemployed, marginalized people, underprivileged citizens were drafted into the military when war broke out. According to Sociologist Charles Moskos, “When the children of our nation’s elite perform military service for their country, our national interests will be taken much more seriously. If serving one’s country becomes commonplace among privileged young men, the future leaders of our civilian life will have a formative citizenship experience at a critical age” (KQED, 2007). This is convincing enough for anyone who doubts the immorality of the all-volunteer army.
Whereas in the latter, those attracted to the military are the unemployed, individuals living in inner cities known for poverty, and those who might trade citizenship status in the US (in the case of illegal aliens), in the reinstatement of the military draft, everyone in the ages of 18 to 26 for instance, will be forced to join, whether, he/she comes from a rich/distinguished or poor family (KQED, 2007). Moreover, a year or more of national service would be both a good equalizer and a good way to introduce people to diverse thoughts and people. Conclusion The fact remains that the experience and existence of war will be here to stay.
Americans have no options of staying out of it when it has a lot of enemies; people and nations who see themselves as the next world’s superpower. Countries like Iran and North Korea have these plans and to think that there is an option and the option is to stay out of war is naivete. Israel is only a tiny country, but it knows that the threat of annihilation will be here to stay, hence mandatory military drafting is unquestionable to the general public. It should also be the case with Americans; its wealth and resources might not be enjoyed by everyone should terrorism prevail.