Should we have compulsory service (e.g., military draft) for all young people in U.S.?

Updated on August 21, 2018 in Government
12 on January 28, 2015

I believe strongly that the U.S. should reinstate the military draft. Perhaps some alternatives could be offered for a few, where necessary.

We have evolved into a nation where those not directly involved with the military no longer appreciate what national defense actually involves. What does it mean to the average American when our troops go off to war. Not much! In WWII, almost every American was involved one way or the other. Today, that’s not the case. Yes, we stand and cheer for our servicepeople at football game halftime and we put bumper stickers on our cars that say, “Support Our Troops”. It’s nice that we do this but we have no idea about the reality of what our servicepeople face.

It’s time to work toward blending the military and civilian population more aggressively. We need to more strongly feel the pain of sending folks to war. Maybe, we’ll think twice before we do.

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1 on January 29, 2015

I don’t know about a draft, but I like the idea of tying “free college” to an agreement to serve the country. I don’t mean serve in an “Americorps” kind of way, but rather in a military/infrastructure kind of way. It should be service that directly benefits the country in ways that rebuild our cities. 

But giving away college without ANYTHING coming back to the benefit of the taxpayers that underwrite it is simply absurd. 

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0 on February 9, 2015

Yes. And if military not their bag then it should be one year of compulsory community service. One thing Israel got right.

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0 on February 9, 2015

To me the point of making military service compulsory is to get everyone involved-so that the sacrifices and rewards are equally shared across the board. While I’m not sure about compulsory service I do think that every war should be open to be voted on by the American public with a draft system that limits itself to those who voted in favor of war. A military filled with anti-war sentiment isn’t functional anyways.

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1 on February 9, 2015

I am torn on this.  I know that I do not want compulsory service.  My adult life has seen only wars that I disagree with.  The idea that I and my loved ones would have had to serve in these wars is horrifying.  But I also have this feeling of how unfair it is that it is largely those with fewer opportunities and choices bear the brunt of war.  I could get behind compulsory service that is not necessarily military.

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0 on February 10, 2015

There is so much wisdom in the movie Starship Troopers, where those who serve are citizens and have enhanced privileges and those who do not are civilians.  We do some of this today in terms of funding education and health care, but both have become somewhat (or in the case of healthcare, extremely, dysfunctional).  Perhaps if voting rights were tied to national service (doesn’t have to be military per se but volunteering at the shelter doesn’t count) we would be in fewer wars that so many feel are pointless while offering a greater sense of national connection.

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0 on February 10, 2015

GenericEric, I guarantee if that were the case the VA would not be in the shape it is in.

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0 on February 10, 2015

I think we should make military service mandatory for all violent felons in prison. Think of it, they like to fight anyway, and if they’re killed it’s no big loss. It’s a win-win proposition.

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1 on February 12, 2015

One benefit of compulsory service is that a broader segment of society would share a common experience–something that may have benefited the WWII generation. And more people might be engaged in politics and foreign policy if they have a stake. But the costs in terms of foregone activities–work, school, and other things–would probably exceed any benefits.

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0 on February 13, 2015

Rich and/or influential people will find a way out if they don’t want to be drafted. Same as how those people find tax loopholes and such. So poor, regular people without connections will mostly be who end up doing service.

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