Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Bring back the draft?

There was a letter in the local newspaper on November 25, titled “Bring back the draft.” According to online comments, some people agreed with the sentiments expressed, but many did not.
Bring back the draft
First Published Nov 25 2012 05:41 pm • Last Updated Nov 30 2012 08:48 pm

I would like to see our country reactivate the military draft. I know we have been able to staff our forces with all the great volunteers but we cannot continue to take advantage of them in this way.

Too many military members have been required to serve multiple duty tours in dangerous operations for too many years. If we had a requirement that some percentage of our military, say a third, had to come from the draft, regardless of the number of willing volunteers, we could create a military with more citizen involvement.

In this draft, there wouldn’t be the deferments we have had in the past: If your number is picked, you serve.

A draft would keep all citizens interested in our military and how it is used because all parts of society would be involved in it.

Stewart Owen
The next note is from a writer who believes a draft would have kept us out of “our two most recent, useless wars.” That’s always possible, but since both of the wars were started during the Bush administration I would not have counted on it.
Draft for peace
First Published Nov 29 2012 01:01 am • Last Updated Nov 29 2012 12:07 pm

I could not agree more with "Bring back the draft" (Forum, Nov. 26). Having lived through the Vietnam era, I am certain a draft would have kept us out of our two most recent, useless wars.

With all the protests and moving to Canada that would occur with a draft, there would be a deleterious effect on the United States starting wars.

Robert Mindell

Heber City
I am always bothered when women are so adamantly for the draft, as we see in this note from Geraldine Livingston. Unless they want women to be part of universal conscription they’re just handing over their sons and other young men.
Draft or volunteers?
First Published Nov 30 2012 05:43 pm • Last Updated Nov 30 2012 05:43 pm

I absolutely and wholeheartedly agree with Stewart Owen that we should "Bring back the draft" (Forum, Nov. 25).

It is shameful that the volunteer military has to endure five and six tours of duty.

If the draft had not been dissolved after the Vietnam War, we might not have the proliferation of gangs and school dropouts.

The "now generation" has little respect for this country and our flag; it all has to do with self-gratification.

It’s a scary thought what this nation will become with these soon-to-be adults.

Geraldine Livingston

I believe if the draft were reinstated we would have exactly what we had during the Vietnam era, which is poor men going into the Army, the sons of the rich staying out. I don’t care what the letter said about “there wouldn’t be the deferments we have had in the past.” It would not work like that. There would be deferments, and for all kinds of reasons. The draft is unpopular, so any talk about bringing it back is moot. No lawmaker would want to touch it and commit political suicide.

In a different time of national crisis, World War II, there was a stigma attached to not going and doing one’s patriotic duty. That stigma disappeared, and during the Vietnam era it became cool to avoid being drafted.

This crudely drawn, amateurish comic book story, from Sparkling Stars #8 in 1945, shows how the FBI went after those draft dodgers in that earlier, World War II era.


Kirk said...

"With all the protests and moving to Canada that would occur with a draft, there would be a deleterious effect on the United States starting wars."

All the protests and moving to Canada, or rather, the memories thereof, is what keeps the draft from being reinstated in the first place. Also keep in mind the existence of a draft in 1964 didn't keep the Gulf of Tonkin resolution from being passed in the first place. It's only after the US body count went up after several years at war that all the stuff Robert Mindell refers to began to happen.

Postino said...

I believe a volunteer force makes sense, rather than one where the soldiers are drawn from the unwilling. I sure didn't want to go, but I feared federal prison.

After the draft ended I talked to several men who had never registered for the draft. I thought that was risky, too.

In the end, most of the guys who were drafted showed up and allowed themselves to be taken. Some of us made good soldiers, even made the military a career, some didn't. Like me, most draftees did their time and went home.

The people who are calling for another draft are mainly trying to get the public to care about the people in the military. They have the notion that if every family faces a member being inducted that there will be more consciousness of those in the service. There intentions are good, but another draft is not the way to make people appreciate soldiers.