Should the US Reinstate the Draft at 18?
The demise of the Soviet Union has raised the stakes of the U.S. as the sole military and economic super power in the eyes of the world, with the added responsibility of providing freedom and justice and maintaining peace in the world. Such a pragmatic vision was held out by the Presidential candidate George W. Bush in 1999, “For America this is a time of unrivaled military power, economic promise, and cultural influence” (Campbell & O’Hanlon, 2006, p.28). The new millennium was to witness this drive in terms of national security and responsibility to the world. Citizens of the U.S.A have never fought a war on their land for the mere safety of family, home and country, save during the War of Independence to remove the yoke of colonialism. During the War of Independence there was no requirement for conscription, as men believed it was their obligation, as bravery and valor flowed in their blood. The all-volunteer army is a reflection of the erosion in such values and the belief that military service is an obligation of the men of the nation (Bailey, 2009). Opposing the draft and support for the all-volunteer army reinforces the consideration that the present generation has gone soft with easy living. Do we want our wives to wake up one morning with the realization that her husband sleeping nest to her is a coward, unwilling to fight to protect her children, home, and country? Or do we want our children to grow up to the realization that we were yellow-livered chickens.
Let’s shed our looking for the easy way of life and demonstrate willingness to be responsible for family and home, not merely in materialistic things, but also in true values and principles, built on the blood of our forefathers. The easiest way to prevent fighting for family, home, and country is to ensure that the enemies of our nation do not find the means and ways to reach our shores. The best way to achieve this is to ensure that peace overseas is maintained and the values of freedom and justice are prevalent overseas in the other parts of the world. This is our responsibility. Pictures of starving and sick children and women in Africa due to ethnic fighting or dismembered bodies due to bomb explosions in the various terrorism hot spots in the world are not easy to view and a reminder that world peace is being threatened. One of the main reasons that we are unable to cope and willing to go to the aid in these dire situations, is the small size of the army. This is the result of an all-volunteer army. Our navy and air force may be the mightiest in the world, but ultimately it is the army that has to take and hold the ground. The current size of the army is insufficient in coping with the current actions in places like Afghanistan and other sites of subjugation of innocent people (Carter & Glastris, 2005). The clear disadvantage of limited size of the American army derived from an all-volunteer means was demonstrated with clarity during the recent war in Iraq. The deployment in Iraq never exceeded 153,000 soldiers at any given time, when it was estimated that between 250,000 to 300,000 men would be required for an efficient operation in Iraq. The reasons were the unwillingness to