Thursday, September 09, 2004Tim at Freespace has a good post today discussing the reasons we shouldn't reinstate military conscription, as some lawmakers propose:
To me, the whole thing [current partisan bickering over Presidential candidates' Vietnam past] is evidence (if it were needed) of just what a bad idea the military draft is—how harmful the draft is to political society. Forcing hundreds of thousands of young men to go to their deaths created a situation where people sought desperately to escape, or to bend the rules to allow their friends and family to escape. Those who went, and their families, necessarily resent those who were able to manipulate the rules enough to stay in college or get in the National Guard or somehow escape the war. Others, like Kerry, cynically embraced the war at first as a political opportunity, which gains resentment on the other side—and then joined the war protestors. The protestors were able to attract much support for their position because of the draft. Those who saw the Vietnam war as a struggle for freedom had their argument seriously undermined by the fact that they were sending men to die without their consent. [continue reading "The Draft"]I also found this May 2004 Seattle Post-Intelligencer story that reports the U.S. Selective Service System was - or is - proposing some other frightening changes in light of potential personnel shortages, namely, expanding the eligibility age up to 34 (from 25), requiring mandatory reporting of [valuable to the military] computer and foreign language skills, and including women in the draft rolls.