I'm concerned about a future draft, but should I be?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by viperGTS, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. viperGTS macrumors 68000

    Nov 15, 2010
    Hey there, Macrumors. I've wanted to talk about something that's bugged me for a while, ever since I turned 18. But first, I'd like to introduce myself a little; I'm an American college student currently majoring in Computer Science. I'm 19 years old at the moment, and I turn 20 next year.

    Anyways, ever since I've turned 18, and applied for FAFSA, I realized that I'm registered in the country's Select Service System, which thus subjects me to induction into the military, should a draft occur. I've done some research, and it requires congressional approval to reactivate, so right now it's dormant, and almost all males age 18-25 are registered in the System, as required by US law. Originally, I brushed it off because I could always claim to be a conscientious objector (I am a Catholic and I do take it seriously; God and the like are always on my mind). But, it's obvious that it can't be that easy.

    I've also kept up with world affairs ever since I realized that I'm in the System, and it only stirs up fear in me that another war is imminent soon (whether it be with ISIS, Russia over Ukraine, or another conflict), even if that might not be the case. Every once in a while, it seems like things get better, and war seems unlikely, but as soon as that happens, something bad seems to happen again.

    My main question for you guys: do you see a draft happening any time soon, let alone ever again? Is this country ready to handle threats without the need of a draft? Do drafted people not always get sent straight to the front lines, perhaps into another field they may specialize in (which is why I mentioned I'm studying Computer Science)? I'd really appreciate the input from you guys; I've seen tons of intelligent posts here and I hope that maybe you can pass your wisdom onto me, whether it be to convince me to stop worrying, or accept an imminent fate.

  2. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    Short answer, no. Not anytime soon will there be a draft. Why, these people want to get re-elected. Will we see a draft within the next 100 years. I think we might. Enrollments might drop we might get into a world war situation and all hands on deck are needed.

    As for will you instantly see front line battle. No, you might get shipped off into a support mode somewhere quite and never see a fight. I think it depends on the situation. So as it stands now no draft. But who knows what tomorrow brings.

    Now my uncles who were drafted would say that dropping the draft was the worst thing the country ever did.
  3. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    I wish we would reinstate the draft so everyone has to go fight in our wars, it might change some people's votes when it comes to politicians that support wars.

    However unless the US is attacked similar to Pearl Harbour there is almost no chance of it coming back. Politically it would be suicide, plus the politicians that decide to go to war want to make sure that it is other people's kids that die in wars, and a draft would put theirs at risk.
  4. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    I think a small part of me thought the same thing at 18, but now at 25 and almost 26, I feel like I've mostly aged myself out of the situation - unless something really goes wrong (like World War scale).

    Then again, my old history teacher in HS got drafted to Vietnam as a 25 year old college graduate. He said he was often mocked as the old man of the group. If it did come back, there would be no college exemptions as everyone nearly does/everyone can get accepted into a school. I don't think they would be able cherry pick specializations to exempt either (e.g. nurses, doctors, engineers, chemists, physicists).


    Part of me sort of believes there should be some mandated civil service - perhaps every summer in college OR 2 continuous years in the armed forces, at a VA hospital, or local community service that AmeriCorps kind of does now.

    There's certainly the need in communities. Plenty of other developed nations do it. I wouldn't be totally against it, depending on how it was implemented.
  5. viperGTS thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nov 15, 2010
    Thanks for the response. I've reasoned something similar and it's comforting to know that someone else sees it the same way.

    Solid points. Though, I obviously disagree with brining the draft back, lol. I'm against it for fighting foreign affairs.

    Actually, deferments are provided for college students until the end of their semester, or if they're a senior, until the end of the school year.

    I appreciate all of your responses!
  6. DonJudgeMe macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2014
    I think you should worry about what you want to do in life, and focus on that. Be happy and thankful for what you do have. Don't wait for an uncertain future that may never occur. Instead, focus on what you want to accomplish and go get it.

    You are too young to worry. That's what parents are for.;)

    On the subject, although there has been a draft before, I highly doubt another will ever happen. There are so many willing to join, and weapons are so advanced, that if there was a large enough war to draft, we wont have to because the world would be blown to bits.
  7. MacNut, Nov 7, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014

    MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    When I was your age I asked the same questions. Of course this was during "Peace time" as in before 9-11.
  8. viperGTS thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nov 15, 2010
    Good advice :) I tell myself not to worry, but sometimes it just sort of happens... It's something I should work on.

    I'm glad I'm not alone in this. You guys are certainly helping, by the way :)
  9. DonJudgeMe macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2014
    It is a hard habit to shake. But, you will find out after many years and tons of stress, that it is silly to worry about things you cannot control. You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders, though. And don't forget, you can always go to to Canada.:D
  10. Technarchy, Nov 7, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014

    Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    Unlikely. Short of something massive WWII style.

    The military doesn't want people who don't want to serve.

    Under current global conditions you won't find many officers keen on being leaders to a significant portion of this current generation of "men". The sense of urgency wont be great enough to motivate.
  11. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    A draft would be political suicide. Not gonna happen any time soon.
  12. vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Midlife, Midwest
    Almost certainly not.

    The short answer as to why this would be comes down to this: The fundamental nature of both armies and wars has changed since the first half of the twentieth century (the peak in world history for conscript armies) in such a way to make a draft all but impossible.

    World War II, for instance, involved the movement and engagement of massive formations of troops: Army Groups (literally groups of armies) numbering sometimes more than a million strong on each side, fought for months if not years along battlefronts measuring thousands of miles.

    Due to advances in military technology this scenario will never play out again in engagements between modern armies. Improvements in the accuracy of artillery, to name but one weapon system, mean that it is unnecessary to mass thousands of wheeled cannon in order to destroy opposing fortifications and troop concentrations. Or consider air power: A single B2 Spirit bomber can deliver, in total darkness more high explosive, with pin point accuracy, in a single mission than could an entire Bombardment Group of WWII era B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft.

    Think of what that means in terms of manpower: A single three-person crew in one night can wreak more destruction in one mission than could the 96 crews, comprising 2300 personnel, of the WWII era could in a month.

    The nature of military service and occupations has changed in such a way as to make Conscription highly unlikely. Today's military requires a much, much higher degree of training and technical sophistication among its soldiers. WWII draftees could generally be trained in a matter of as little as a few months. Today the basic training for troops in most specialties lasts at least a year to eighteen months, and lasts much longer for most.

    In short, training a Draftee would these days take so long that their enlistment period of a year or two would be over before they had a chance to be deployed.
  13. Gutwrench Contributor


    Jan 2, 2011
    Nope, not all all. Besides, that's what we invented Canada for if it did return.
    (At least that seemed to the the general consensus in the area I used to live and work. :mad:)
  14. mwhals macrumors 6502


    Sep 16, 2012
    We are a volunteer military now. You will likely be out of the draft age long before we would have another draft.
  15. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    I agree with the so called feminists that girls now should be required for Selective Service. :eek:
  16. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    After 9/11 a middle-aged man sued the government to be kept on the roll for potential conscription (the government was excluding people over 40), and many of us old guys updated our information just in case it was needed. I am proably off the roll now.

    In any case, I cannot imagine conscription unless there was another world war (probably with PRC or Russia), but big business has its muzzle so far up the backsides of world governments I cannot imagine they would allow the economic boat to be rocked too much. Putin might very well be learning the consequences of making waves, for Russia's currency is tanking and I cannot imagine that makes billionaires happy.
  17. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    I am against a draft and don't think it's a great idea to send teens into battle like in Vietnam. That didn't work out so good.

    But the way it's set up you will soon reach an age they won't draft you (26) if it's even implemented in the first place. ISIS is said to have just over 10,000 real fighters not being coerced and with our huge military (with more modern weapons) I can't see any instance where we will put on a draft to take them on. With enough will we can easily wipe them out, but obviously not what made them mad enough to organize in the first place.

    During the last conflict we had in Iraq, I did try to join but I was way too old though not too old to contribute. But according to the army, I couldn't even do that stateside due to my age. During that time, 18 and 19 year olds were getting hit by landmines, RPGs, snipers. Men my age and older put up policy to invade while people the age of their kids do the fighting. It's always this way.
  18. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Not going to happen for a number of reasons:

    - It's politically toxic.
    - The military doesn't want people who don't want to be there.
    - Wars of the future will be fought with drones and cyber warfare, not million man armies. That type of war is only a part of the history books now. Our military is already bigger than the next ~10 countries combined.
  19. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    Agreed. I don't agree with the "political suicide" argument that has come up previously. Any war requiring a large mobilization would inevitably be "popular", at least in the beginning.

    But, it is difficult to imagine a U.S. war that would require a WWII type mobilization. The only countries that have a military strong enough to threaten the U.S. also already have access to nuclear weapons. And, for the typical smaller wars of today, troops are just so highly trained, there is just no need for armies of hundreds of thousands of men equipped with rifles.

    At least, unless someone decides that the U.S. needs to occupy some large countries.
  20. aaronvan Suspended


    Dec 21, 2011
    República Cascadia
    Send a brigade of Emo Millennials into Syria. While ISIS scratches their heads, perplexed by the tight pants, cloth sneakers, horn-rimmed glasses, and morose countenances, we could drop a few JDAMs on them.
  21. pdjudd macrumors 601

    Jun 19, 2007
    Plymouth, MN
    Pretty much all “wars” after Vietnam were voluntary draft - drafts in of them selves were very unpopular during Vietnam though. We have had over 30 years of not needing a draft - since then the world has changed as to how work get fought. You want to loose the population at large, you force them to fight in a war - that makes the conflict much closer to home since more people are directly affected.

    The more that our country becomes involved in war, the less popular they become. You start out from the beginning with a huge investment, people are going to be less interested in it - especially the big government types (drafts are big big government directly in the public face).
  22. jkcerda macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2013
    Criminal Mexi Midget
    Draft should be the only way to enter the military. No exceptions . Politicians kids should get front row tickets in any conflict they approve. Those "studying" overseas should lose their citizenship if they are called in & refuse
  23. DonJudgeMe macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2014
    How would we have a military if the only way to get in, is to be drafted? And what about the people that choose the military as a career because they are good at it?

    I'm all for drafting overpriviliged brats, but I don't trust an army full of them. What if war threatened our countrys well-being? It hasnt happened in 70 years, but if it did, I wouldnt stick around if they were our last hope.:eek:
  24. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    This, exactly. As proposed in a documentary we recruit our poor to fight and die for us. Why not spread the wealth? ;)
  25. Southern Dad macrumors 68000

    Southern Dad

    May 23, 2010
    Shady Dale, Georgia
    Unless US soil is directly attacked, I do not believe that we will see another draft in the USA. Truthfully, the US military has been laying off officers in order to reduce forces. So, at this time, I'd say that there is almost zero risk.

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