Writer: US should reinstate the draft

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By: Christopher Marek – First Year, Civil Engineering

 

Cigarettes, R-rated movies, voting, lottery tickets: These are all staples of turning 18 in America, but there is

another milestone that isn’t as important as it used to be, and that is the draft. Yes, the draft is still a possibility

for all men, but it hasn’t been implemented since the Vietnam War. Presidents since have argued that it has not

been necessary to reinstitute the draft due to the high number of volunteers applying for the US military over the

previous decades.

 

Sure, the draft isn’t necessary for the numbers needed to defend the nation, but it is necessary for other reasons.

As it stands right now, America feels disconnected from the military. Yes, America highly supports its troops, as

it should, but it is also too quick to suggest sending them in to solve any conflict. “Sending in the troops” is one

of the most common solutions to any of our country’s defense problems.

 

We have become disconnected with the military because we ourselves do not face the possibility of being sent

away to a far off land. We think of the military as a distant entity that we just send in to quickly solve our

problems instead of thinking of them as ourselves and our family. We never foresee the possibility of war being a

risk to ourselves so we are quick to suggest sending other people over in our place.

 

America needs to reinstitute the draft to bring back the real possibility that any of us can be sent off to fight our

so called “needed” wars in the Middle East. This will make people think twice before voting for a candidate that

wants to solve the world’s problems with the strong arm of the United States. This policy will make the voters

more thoughtful and informed when it comes to foreign policy and will go a ways to ensuring that the American

people are behind a war and are willing to accept the losses of their family members. Americans will start asking

more questions when it comes to war and will need concrete evidence before they agree that war is necessary for

the survival of the country. During Vietnam, all of America, especially young people, was interested in the war

because they all had the possibility of dying in in it. This will also force politicians to think long and hard before

sending in the troops when they could be their own kin or be voted out of office based on what the American

people think about the validity of that war. All of America will contemplate war more in-depth because it will

begin to affect their daily lives.

 

Maybe you agree that young people should be more invested in America and various policies, but you are

opposed to the draft conscientiously: then I offer the solution of a draft for volunteer service. This could work

alongside the military draft as an option to conscientious objectors (my preference) or could be implemented

instead of the military draft. Just like the military draft, this volunteering draft would unite you with people from

across America and from various walks of life, but instead of training for war you would be volunteering or

working on America’s failing infrastructure in exchange for college education or some equivalent after you have

served your time. This will make people invested in America and will also help America by aiding the poorest of

the American people and therefore improving America by solving some social problems, youth unemployment,

and college financial problems.

 

The reinstatement of the draft while currently unpopular would solve many of the nation’s problems, both

foreign and domestic. I believe, even as a person that opposes most modern military conflict, that a combination

draft (military and volunteer) is best for America. It will solve youth employment and the problems associated

with it (drugs, crime, etc.), will help solve low unemployment numbers in the social sector and help these people

expand their outreach, will make the American people and specifically the American youth pay attention to

American policy, and will also make them more involved in the democratic process. I think these are tremendous

problems that need to be addressed and I believe that the US government reinstating the draft is the best way to

do it.