Crawford Middle Ground Essay

Submitted By jfcrawford
Words: 1568
Pages: 7

Jesse Crawford
Professor Freeland
English 102
29 March 2012
Bring Back the Draft The United States Armed Forces is downsizing due to budget constraints. This opens the question of should we have a mandatory military service in our country or except the cost and leave the military alone? Since the beginning of the Global War on Terrorism, there has been much debate over whether or not America should institute a mandatory military service requirement for all United States residents and citizens. Mandatory military service will be bad for America because it will weaken our current professional Armed Forces. Many countries do have a mandatory system in place that works very well, but they also a very different culture than what we have here in the United States of America. The best compromise for this issue is to reinstitute the draft during national emergencies or prolonged conflicts. The United States abolished the draft in 1973 after the Vietnam War. “In the years after the Vietnam War, the armed forces became a "military cluster" (representing 0.5 percent of U.S. households), a professional group with its own unique system and set of values, ethics, and beliefs. They have fought the wars of the United States from 1973 to the present” (Lewis 2). The draft is the closest thing we have had to mandatory military service in the United States. Since that time, the United States Military has been exclusively an all-volunteer force and continues to field the most elite fighting force in the world. Recently, there has been debate over enacting a mandatory military service requirement for all Americans. The country of South Korean has a similar system that requires two to three years of service, but is limited to only males. Females are excluded from this requirement. This system has worked extremely well in Korea. Typically, a young Korean man goes to college for two years and then performs his duties as a soldier for two years and returns to college. Families in Korea bare the financial burden and plan accordingly so they can support their sons while they are serving in the military. Due to this, the country has grown a culture that has had to earn their citizenship and has developed a male population that has a patriotic feeling about what it is to be Korean. This has been part of their culture since the end of Japanese occupation in 1945. Those who support the mandatory service model point out Korea, and many European countries that operate similarly, as examples for why this system would work in America. “Conscripts benefit from the military service because they learn practical life skills such as first aid, wilderness survival, computer proficiency and self-defense. They become physically fit, mentally strong and knowledgeable in multiple areas” (Williams 1). These are all true statements, provided an individual has the drive and determination to serve at the level a professional soldier who is actually paid a salary. A conscript would be paid, but at a fraction of what today’s entry level soldiers earn. No one is disputing that there are benefits to be had through conscription, but do Americans want to change our culture that vastly? Other advocates, for mandatory service, point to how those who make the decisions to go to war might think differently if it affected the whole population and not just a small portion of the country. “According to Representative Rangel, who voted against a resolution supporting a war with Iraq, most members of Congress find it easier to vote for war when they know that their own children and loved ones won't have to fight” (Roller 12). They also believe that our current military is over extended and it hinders our country’s ability to respond to any new threats. “The United States lacks the strategic reserve to respond immediately to serious threats. As a matter of national security, the country needs to significantly expand the size of the Army and Marine Corps. The only way to do this in the