is a draft necessary to get the best people for the military?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jefhatfield, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #1
    president bush mentioned that it will be a continuing challenge to get the best people possible for the military...especially the officers of the armed services

    is the military full of people with no other options and hailing from the ghetto and trailer parks of americia?

    is their only option for a job to put themselves in harm's way?

    would a draft round out the military so it won't be just the poorest stratus of america putting their lives on the line?

    thoughts?
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #2
    Oh boy, this belongs in politics.

    And I think the best military is a volunteer military.
     
  3. thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    Jul 9, 2000
    #3
    i am not trying to make this a right wing vs. left wing philosophy thing...ie) politics

    there are proponents of the draft on both the left and right wing of american politics

    i am just trying to bring this on as a sociological issue, not a republican vs. democrat thing...that's why i didn't put it into the political forums

    i am not against the political forums...as long as it doesn't turn into a personal insult forum...i find the arnold talk in the political forums useful and interesting...but i have avoided the rest of the forum for now:p
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    vollspacken

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    #4
    Re: is a draft necessary to get the best people for the military?

    that's one of the reasons why we still have the draft in Germany (the other main one is the role the professional non-draft Army played in the decay of the Weimar Republic)

    vSpacken
     
  5. macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    Oct 20, 2002
    #5
    I happen to think that we have a high quality of volunteers that enter our military. There does need to be a national discussion about a new draft. If they do reinstitute the draft, there should be no deferements. A 2 year committment should be the rule, community service or the military!
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

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    Nov 5, 2002
    #6
    I dont' think a draft would be that effective. I also don't think any kind of mandatory service should be implemented. Some would argue that service might increase poltical particiaption and nationalism but at the same time resentment would grow among the future generations. I just registered for the selective service but if i was ever called up I would try my best to get out of it. America is about opportunity, people no longer value all miliatary experience as much as they used to. If I could spend a year in classes and a summer interning than being enlisted , i think i'd be utilizing more of my own potential than voluteering and doing a half a**ed job.
     
  7. macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    Oct 20, 2002
    #7
    Would you be interested in doing 2 years of community service? Doing the service in an area of your choice. It would be giving back to society for your freedom!
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Billicus

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    #8
    I don't think that mandatory military service would work that well, because well, some of us, me included, are not in that great of shape. I simply couldn't handle it. I'm glad there are those that can, and that there are those that are willing to give their lives to our great country. If I had to do something for my country, community service is definitely the way to go.
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #9
    I would not really advocate forcing people to do something they don't want to. The ones that do want to can join as it is right now, and the others can find a service organization to volunteer for. I give time to Habitat for Humanity myself, but thats mostly because I like to build houses.
     
  10. macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    Santa Cruz Ca
    #10
    There's really several issues here...

    First is the issue of the Draft in it's current context: Providing warm bodies to supplement Army ground forces.

    As it exists, the Draft is an outdated mechanism designed for a war that had a very large influx of specialists in the other branches so GI's on the ground needed massive supplementation. For the Pacific and European Campaigns of WW2, this was perfect. For conflicts as they exist now, it guarantees a Vietnam-like quagmire. Raw numbers of GI's just don't do it anymore.


    Second is the issue of Mandatory National Service.

    Many other nations practice this to stunning effect, though it should be noted early that it's only a small part of an overall strategy in most cases.

    Usually this is the pattern for a country with a very socialist outlook: Israel, Switzerland, Russia, Japan, etc. It works well because the Millitary that's the primary vehicle of National Service is more like the US National Guard combined with the Army Core Of Engineers.

    This Nation is unique in it's Standing Agressive millitary posture. The USA is constantly drilling it's millitary for foreign conflicts. That fact alone would poison public opinion for National Service in the USA.

    If the US millitary was reduced in overall overwhelming force and more entreanched within it's own borders, effectively reduced to the "Millitias" mentioned for National Defense in the Constitution, National Service would be an excellent way of assuring both National Integrity and Millitary strength.

    The problem is that a purely defensive Defense Department wouldn't be as good a cash cow.... nor would it be as good for siezing assets like Iraqi Oil Fields (though I agree Hussein was a psychotic nut-job).


    Third is the implication of mandatory service.

    With mandatory service there's a number of cultural landmines:

    Would women be required too? They'd be pissed if they weren't and horrified if they were.

    How would you decide combat versus non-combat roles when there's no longer an option like the draft to swell numbers when needed?

    Would you call it all millitary and just have most of the work be Infrastructure?

    That's the most common approach elsewhere; with Millitary training mixed in. The problem in a country this large is that such a system added onto the current one would exaggerate the Millitary Republic effect that's been the norm since the beginning of WW2.

    Personally I think there are a lot of bennifits to Mandatory National Service. I just think that the USA isn't mature enough to handle it.
     
  11. thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    Jul 9, 2000
    #11
    i am very torn on this subject...being a minority, i used to see the ground forces at fort ord and saw very few white faces carrying M-16s...in the mostly affluent white area where i live, a lot of people here figured that was because they didn't have a better option...there were plenty of rich, white people i met who really reached out to the military community which was blacks, hispanics, and poor whites and often opened their homes to them and got christmas presents for their kids

    it is interesting as a philosophical issue, but i have friends who are in the military who point out the social injustices they see

    1) at the defense language institute, i befriended an enlisted woman with a college education who was in the army studying a foreign language...she is from rancho palos verdes, a very rich area in southern california...i mentioned that was something probably unusual...she basically told me that all her classmates and barracksmates were poor and lower middle class people who actually found that being a corporal would possibly be the highest paying job they could ever get which was then under a grand a month or so...so i asked why she did it...she did it because from her area, she was the only person from her high school that she knew of who went to the armed services...they could all go to an upper echelon job(s) or just live off of some trust fund

    she felt she was doing her part thinking being in the army would mean someone poor wouldn't have to be there in harm's way

    i also knew of a man during the 60s, who upon his graduation from the very pretigious USC joined the marines as a private to fight in vietnam so somebody less fortunate wouldn't have to
     
  12. macrumors 604

    scem0

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    back in NYC!
    #12
    If I get drafted my parents will do something drastic. (Im 16 now, so if all this **** is still going on in a couple years I would be eligible :().

    There is no way they are going to allow me to fight. I dont want to either....

    Im afraid I don't keep up on politics. I want to save politics for a later day. I guess until I can vote.

    Oh and I think a draft would be 'effective', but the effective thing isnt always the best thing. It would be very effective for me to walk into my school and shoot people who I dont like, but not very cool of me. I don't think it would be very cool of the US to enforce a draft.

    And once again, I really don't keep up on politics, but with my limited knowledge I think the draft would be a bad thing. Anyone who wants to fight can sign up. Personally, that's not my thing.

    scem0
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

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    Nov 5, 2002
    #13
    I had to do 24 hours of community service, in 12 of those hours i was doing random stuff , selling split the pot tickets at a fundraiser ....my partner stole ten bucks and I told him he shoudlnt' but its not like i'd rat on him... 6 of them were sitting (moved tables for about 15 minutes) outside at an event called strut your mutt....the rest were other events in which i didn't work very hard. Mandatory community service is worthless when you don't care you don't care. I'm one of the few of my friends that reads the news and registerd to vote b4 an electio nwas on the horizon....i'm involved way beyong many americans already
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    funkywhat2

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    Jul 14, 2002
    #14
    I'd rather go to jail than have my soul, and possibly my life, forcibly stolen from me by the government.

    If there ever is a draft, and I'm eligable, I'm outta here faster than the ****ing Concorde. Why? The government has no right to tell me that I have to do something. Government is such to govern, not to steal. And the draft is stealing. (Then again, Social Security is too, so...)
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Jerry Spoon

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    #15
    And what about those of us that are just plain chicken? I know not everyone in the military is in a combat situation, but you never know where they will want to use you.
     
  16. thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    Jul 9, 2000
    #16
    when i was draft age...18-26...it was a no brainer...i hated the idea of a draft and thought the volunteer army was just fine, but i was told when i got older, i may see some other sides to the issue

    i have also seen some recent footage about military history and the issue always comes up of poorer, less privelidged kids getting into combat

    realize that dan quayle, clinton, and george w bush had connections to avoid direct combat in vietnam...connections many who died there never had

    was it fair that because one didn't have access to college or the social upbringing to get there educationally that they should go to vietnam?
     
  17. macrumors 6502

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    fennario
    #17
    Communty service or the draft? Is that the options?

    I pay taxes, theirs my community service.

    I have a full time job, don't smoke crack, and I actualy take care of my son, there is my community service.

    Actualy I am probably too old to be drafted.;) It's a good thing too, because if they sent me into the desert I would be to fu**ed up on afgani hash to fight in a war. :eek:

    I remember when my parents helped my brother dodge the vietnam draft. I was 12 years old and not quite shure what was going on. They gave him an old beat up chevy and five thousand dollars cash, along with directions to canada.
    To this day my mother says that it was the best investment that they ever made, and I agree. If not for my brother, I would probably have never met my wife.


    So this old tree huggin' hippy says, Down with the draft, and make love not war.
     
  18. thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #18
    when i finally weigh out the pros and cons, i am still against the draft

    but realize that social status plays a much stronger role when it comes to who goes to war and that there could never truly be a volunteer army as long as their is an "unseen" or "unofficial" caste system

    many joined the armed service to make money and to fight only to defend america...but what about things now when the usa is playing worldwide 24/7 world police officer and always being in the line of fire?

    ...and those who couldn't go to college, or graduate from a "good" college end up coming back in body bags
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    vollspacken

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    #19
    as I said above, we have the draft in Germany... but I did NOT go to the army (for several reasons, I'm not a pacifist though). I did my one-year community service in a nursery school/kindergarten for handicapped children... that was awsome!!! plus I got payed more than my friends who went to the army, I could sleep at home right away, had fixed working hours and did not have to work on the weekends..!

    vSpacken
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #20
    The biggest problem I see with a draft is that you can't include everyone in it for obvious reasons; some aren't physically capable, consciencious objectors, educational deferments, etc. Once you let any class of people out of the draft you will have people pulling whatever strings necessary to avoid combat. Take Bush and Clinton for example. Both were able to avoid duty "in country" during the Vietnam war - while there was a draft going on! The rich and powerful are no more likely to serve under a draft system than they are now. Even during the draft period in Vietnam most of the faces were minority. Heck, during the South's draft during the Civil War they didn't even bother to hide it, you could just hire a "substitute" to go in your stead if you had the money. It's always going to be a "rich man's war, poor man's fight."
     
  21. macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #21
    I am 100% for a draft. Becuase I have served in the military, and I know how it changes a person. Teaches them teamwork, and responsiblity. I don't understand how people can say that if they were drafted they would leave the country, etc. If your country needs you, you have a duty, and obligation to serve your country. That is part of the problem in this country today is that the youth of this country have no root of what people have done in history for them.

    Most know nothing of the history of this country. My Grandfather served this country in WWII. He started off as a Navy Gunners Mate. He was wounded on the Indianapolis. Came home, and changed his name, because his DD-214 said he could not be drafted again, or serve because of his injuries. So, after changing his name, and doing over a year of therapy to get strong again, enlisted in the Marine Corps, and was on Iwa Jima. Got wounded again, and tried to change his name a third time, and was caught, and had to stay home.

    That is honor. I wonder how many people today would do that?
     
  22. macrumors 6502

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    #22
    If we assume the following to be true: The current military/volunteers are not enough for current or future operations.

    I see 3 ways to go to fix the situation:

    1) Institute a new draft, including women, totally random (or as close as we can get) with similar guidlines as WW2, and Vietnam.

    -Pro: Totally fair (Theoritically), as anyone within the given age range should have an equal chance at seeing action.

    -Con: Probably not going to get the best of the best. Many people will be there and not want to be there. Most of these will do all in their power to survive, not do the best job.

    2) Pick and choose the best people out of industry or other workplaces.

    -Pro: You get the best (hopefully)

    -Con: People won't want to be there, borderline kidnaping, very disruptive of the economy and domestic life.

    3) Lastly, and possibly the most palitable, is to increase Defence Department Funding expressly for paychecks, not for new toys. You then increase pay scales accross the board, such that as a the entry level enlisted get paid $30K-$40K per year. Along with this, you increase technical requirments for most jobs.

    -Pro: You attract the best, most agressive people. All voluntary, so no-one is there that doesn't want to be there.

    -Con: Expensive

    I personally prefer the 3rd option. Especially if it includes adding a 5th branch of the Armed Forces. Add the Peace Corps., but give them equal funding as the Army, Airforce, Marines, and Navy. This new branch would be perfect for what we are doing right now in Iraq. After war clean-up/Policing/re-educating/Medical. In peacetime or when not needed in other countries, there are plenty of jobs for this branch to do domestically.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #23
    Good idea sturm! Let's apply the same logic to teachers, firefighters, police, EMT's etc. All the people who serve this country should be able to make a more reasonable fraction of what they could make in the private sector. It would attract and retain a much higher quality person to the job. In addition, lets cut a whole bunch of the bureuacratic middlemen out of the mix.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

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    #24
    First and foremost, if he is still with us, give your grandfather my thanks. That is true dedication to one's country.

    I have to disagree with you, or at least offer a differing view point on the draft. As you stated, your grandfather voluntered for the extra duty, it was not forced upon him. And although I applaud him, as well as anyone who serves in peace or war, that lifestyle is not for everyone.

    It is true that some people need, and even want, the rigors of military life. We as a sociaty do not need everyone to go through this. We need the "free-thinkers" and dreamers in this country, just as much as we need the "team players." Just look at most of the great people in history/science. Advances are mostly made by those (pardon the catch phrase stealing) that "think different."

    I am not saying that someone can't go through basic training and still be able to "think different." I am sure some do, however I bet 9 times out of 10, the "dreamers" will come out of training/military having had that inovative spirit stifiled.

    Just something to think about.
     
  25. macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Just gut the Department of Homeland Insecurity, whittle down the Pork, and re-create the '90s Internet Boom, and we can pay for it.:D
     

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