Where do you stand on conscription/the draft?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by ThisBougieLife, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. ThisBougieLife macrumors 65816

    ThisBougieLife

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    #1
    As an 18-year-old American male, I've had to register with Selective Services. The Selective Service System is not synonymous with "the draft", but it is registry of all those who can potentially be conscripted into the military in the event of a draft.

    There are many exceptions to conscription: conscientious objectors, student deferments, special exceptions for divinity students, and of course, being female.

    The lessons of Vietnam have enamored many against conscription, especially when it involves wars of dubious foreign entanglements.

    What is your position on conscription? Do you think women should ever be conscripted (they are in some nations, like Israel)? Do you think it's likely that a draft will ever be implemented again? Do you the type of war being fought changes people's opinions on the draft?
     
  2. jkcerda macrumors 6502

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  3. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #3
    It is an unpleasant hangover of a time when nations, including the United States, raised armies of millions of young men to go and kill each other in support of causes we barely remember today.

    In the modern world, it's a largely useless anachronism.

    The nature of modern combat is such that any shooting war between advanced powers would almost certainly be over before the first inductees made it through basic training. The highly technical nature of most modern combat systems is such that even the lowest-ranking serviceperson needs two to three years of training to be militarily effective. Meaning that any mandatory period of peacetime national service would need to take an inordinate amount of time from a young person's life. And since we couldn't draft everybody, the burden of conscription would fall overly harshly on an unfortunate few.

    Experience has shown that a professional, all-volunteer force meets the needs of the nation, and its military, far more effectively.
     
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #4
    Do I think it should include women? Yes - if men are included.
    Do I think anyone at all should be conscripted/drafted for the military? Not at all. I think we should eliminate it entirely. I myself am legally blind, and was therefore not up for consideration for the Danish conscription (The Defence it's called... Rather generic name). However, I find it stupid that such a system even exists in the first place. To a large extend, there are enough people who choose to go into some form of military themselves, and furthermore, with today's warfare, there are more important factors then numbers if it comes to that. If **** really kicks off... Billions could die in seconds.
     
  5. LizKat macrumors 68040

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    #5
    I always thought when the draft was killed they should have simultaneously installed a requirement for a year of national service. Defer away, but "must serve" would apply unless one had a permanent disability.

    So yes, women way back at that point should have been required to register with Selective Service. Now there's really no excuse since women are eligible to serve in combat as well as in more "traditional" military support services.

    Do I think we'll reinstate the draft? Not unless we find some way to make friends with each other again first. If you think fragging was a problem in Vietnam, imagine what it would be like now. We can't even have a discussion of whether or not an infrastructure bill is a good idea at the average dinner table these days.
     
  6. ThisBougieLife thread starter macrumors 65816

    ThisBougieLife

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    #6
    @LizKat There are some nations that do have a "national service" requirement that does not necessarily mean military, let alone anything violent. It could be a way to restore confidence in the nation and to set aside differences. The problem is when would it occur and how would it conflict with college, etc.? Certainly if we had a requirement like that, there would be no reason to bar women from it.
     
  7. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #7

    The Danish Defence (mentioned by me above), is a system where you can either be in The Defence, which is sort of military service in some way, or say "No-thanks" and do a sort of community service kind of thing instead. What's crummy about it however, is that it often does conflict with education as you mention. And even if it's then postponed it'll conflict with work or whatnot. Better to just not have any system like that at all
     
  8. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    #8
    Well, throughout all of recorded human history (close to 5000 years now), all known human communities have at one time or another chosen to go to war with another human community (or to rise up against itself). The manner in which this is accomplished varies, but fundamentally, to be a member of a community generally requires one to accept engaging in the defense (or even the offense) of that community.

    In the modern era, I think the first serious form of "conscription" took place during the French Revolution, where in order to defend themselves against the elite professional soldiers of many other nations, the young French Republic chose to arm all of their citizens (at least the male ones) and put them onto the battlefield. This was fundamental to the success of the Revolution, and to the later successes of Napoleon; the enormous size of the armies, and the (surprising to rulers at the time) ability of common peasantry to stand up to professional soldiers on the battlefield gave France an enormous edge over other European countries.

    Therefore, every other nation quickly adopted conscription in turn; doing so was now a matter of survival. Thus, you get the appearance of "total war", the effort to apply every single resource and every single man towards achieving victory, all the way from the American Civil War to World War II.

    So long as the number of men on the battlefield is the major factor dictating success or failure. conscription will be the major factor as to whether a particular society can or cannot defend itself.

    With the appearance of weapons of mass destruction, however, I'm not sure armies on a battlefield are the major factor dictating success or failure any more; it may be that modern "total war" ends up being whoever manages to survive after the first 15 minutes. No draft required. :(
     
  9. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #9
    In the US between five and six million people turn eighteen every year. That's eleven thousand per day, and almost half a million each month. Even if you weeded out the severely mentally and physically disabled, the criminals, psychopaths, and drug addicts (surely some "loopholes"?) that would still mean we would need to house, feed, and train more than 300,000 young people each month.

    The US military couldn't possibly do that. We don't have barracks space to house them. We don't have the number of rifle ranges and PT courses to train them. We'd have to assign virtually every NCO in the military to work as drill instructors.

    And for what? The US doesn't need an army of ten million to fight ISIL or al-Quaeda. I can't see how an army in the millions would be any use whatsoever fighting China, or Iran, or anybody you can imagine.

    Keeping five or six million young Americans involuntarily in uniform would place an incredible strain on our economy. It would probably reduce our GDP by a trillion or so per year. And with millions of young Americans cleaning rifles and scrubbing latrines, there would be increased demand for labor from illegal immigration.
     
  10. LizKat macrumors 68040

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    #10
    Right. By "defer away" I meant that you could request a deferment for something like college, being a stay-at-home parent or caregiver to elders, but that you would at some point have to serve America for a year. And not necessarily in the military. Expand on the efforts like AmeriCorps, Teach America, whatever. Roll up sleeves and help "make American great again".

    It would always have been a good idea in the USA, an underpinning of the egalitarianism written into our Constitution. To try to re-introduce that very diverse experience now would probably be very difficult, and not just politically. Kids going to a diverse college, even a small private one, can't even manage it and they're catered to while they're encouraged to adjust. I roll my eyes imagining taking a uni class of freshman and putting "Serving America!" T-shirts on them all and sending them out to do anything together, maybe even including going to a concert.

    We're not going to become a country of getting along better with each other by starting with Congress. It has to be by starting with kids. A year of national service would have been a good thing. Getting it to work now, I dunno. I have seen 4th graders ignore and/or celebrate racial and religious diversity. I've also seen 7th graders bully peers for being "different". So there's a window in there during pre-teen years when it's easier to imagine kids all getting along, but that's WAY before the traditional ages of serving one's country together.

    "The medium is the message" still pertains, whether it's TV or "the internet". Kids today increasingly learn from those models (and from their parents who do the programming and who oversee media usage, or fail to oversee it) to be snippy and harsh with each other. Later they learn the hard way that in real life, bosses expect people to do assigned tasks and to get along while doing them. They show up to jobs or school now with chips on shoulder and an attitude of being special that drives employers nuts. They'd drive their "Serving America!" bosses nuts too.

    My generation and the boomers after them somehow managed to create this situation. I don't know how to help remedy it. We're probaby going to die before it gets fixed. I just hope we don't take the planet with us. There is a point when cooperation seems the better part of fighting with each other. Maybe we can get there while there's still time. Somehow a year of national service together with other Americans from all walks of life still seems a possible hook to a better sense of what it means to be "an American". It's just getting there seems politically out of reach.
     
  11. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    #11
    Mandatory draft and just take what the military needs . No need to put everyone in
     
  12. HEK, Jun 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017

    HEK macrumors 68030

    HEK

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    #12
    As long it applies to Trumps Don's, daughters and son in law, as well as offspring children and grandchildren of all cabinet members and advisors.....I all for it.

    Otherwise no way.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 3, 2017 ---
    Planet is just fine. These issues are short term as far as planet is concerned. Many more asteroid strikes, super volcano eruptions and ice ages to go.

    Probably not so good for current life forms infesting the planet. But hey, 99.9% of all life forms that ever existed are extinct. So probability that current life forms will last the additional 5 Billion years of planet's existence are rather remote.
     
  13. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #13
    Completely against it. I do not in any way want to participate in wars that some high officials think we need. If I want to fight against someone, let me volunteer. Otherwise go stick a grenade in your behind as you see fit.

    Now, I do think we need both civil control options and a professional army, no matter where we are.
    For the civil control options, I believe there are enough volunteers to maintain local control. At least, it is not a problem here in Denmark, where the home guard has plenty of people to do those things.
    And for real wars these days we don't need cannon fodder, so a small, but highly focused professional army is all that is needed. And in that area, I also think that there's enough people that want to get out there and shoot stuff, and if not, the government can provide long term benefits for those that do volunteer, to increase numbers - Pension, free public transportation, 50% off on new TV's/whatever.

    War is changing, again, and therefore the way we approach it from the public side also needs to.
     
  14. LizKat macrumors 68040

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    #14
    @HEK by "I just hope we don't take the planet with us" I wasn't actually referring, at least in this thread , to climate change or pollution.

    I meant that my generation and the next generation somehow have seemed to instill an attitude in our children and so unto their children and grandchildren that we Americans are really really special and possibly have even more rights than someone else in some other countries just because we're Americans.

    Past that, thanks to our politics, that set of attitudes now seems to extend into negatively stereotyped views of each other as Americans, along urban/rural, racial, religious, socioeconomic lines. We seem to be developing more narrow views of what "fellow American" actually means.

    For that reason I had long thought that a requirement for a year of national service would take some of that edge off some nasty assumptions about each other. Working shoulder to shoulder with people across all walks of life can change and has changed a lot of minds and hearts. On the other hand, there are anecdotes that suggest some people look to situations like that to confirm their worst suspicions about "the other", and in that case they can usually find them.
     
  15. Huntn macrumors G5

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    #15
    Back in the 60's young adults hated the draft because of the long waste of time Vietnam War.. So we got rid of the draft and the volunteer military became a small percentage of those folks we don't know for the most part.

    Oh, some of them got killed, lets give a cheer and a thank you and be on with our normal lives. Oh, you are too poor to get out of ghetto? Go become cannon fodder and if you survive, we'll give you some paired down benefits. You know, we just can't afford to give as much like the good old days. And maybe we just can't afford to give you a 20 year retirement any more. That was my partially sincere sarcasm.

    For foreign adventures carved our by our wise leaders, we really need to have the majority of society engaged in these decisions. It's much too easy to let them go get killed for that stupid war. Make it your spouse, kid, or your grand kid and then maybe more of us will give a hoot when we go to invade a country based on BS.

    Agreed! Said before by me and others- and put politician's kids at the top of the draft list.
     
  16. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #16
    Heeeey! Fellow Danishman! And we're on the same page regarding this topic.
     
  17. HEK, Jun 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017

    HEK macrumors 68030

    HEK

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    #17
    Probably due to the easy life most kids have had. Sheltered from reality, given most everything. Parents tend to want to give their kids more than they had. When in truth, hardship, struggle, tend to build character. When you have a generation that survived a world war, they tend to regard petty jealousies, and power plays by elites as something to plow through. No frat house rules, BS bosses, idiotic rules will stop someone that has been shot at and had to kill to survive. Or gone hungry standing in bread lines. These people, when they survive tend to cut through BS like hot knife through butter.

    Today's kids are ill equipped to face the harsh realities facing them after college, with huge debt, no significant job prospects, and divisive politics of non functional government all around them. They long for that lost life where they were provided for, and no issues really effected them. Makes the past seem wonderfully nostalgic.

    They fall back on what they are fed, that they are special, better than others, and will once again have the promised land if they only follow this or that leader and their nonsense beliefs. You know we are in trouble when the situation we find ourselves in is blamed on "the other" other people, other politics, other leaders, others period.

    Infrastructure falling apart, pick up a shovel and do something about it. Looking for someone to blame, won't fix anything. Health care falling apart, don't solve the specific issues, blame a flawed system that didn't address what is wrong. Believe in a leader that tells you what you want to here, with zero plans to fix what's wrong.

    Look around you, open your eyes. The people with the power, with the money are not lacking or wanting for anything. They have not had a single year where things have not gotten better for themselves. You on other hand the vast majority, the 99.9% continue to become endentured servants to the rich. By borrowing till you will never repay it all in your lifetime. Then be fed the politicians paid for by the rich, to lie to you till you can't see truth from lie.

    This country was never truely a democracy of the people. We came close in the sixties, but the powerful saw that the republic and they that controlled it were loosing control. Since then the backlash has been relentless. Ever ncreased wars, ever increased defense spending, less and less spent on infrastructure, politicians who for most part were different in name only. More and more power centralized in corporations, super packs, till the common man's vote is next to meaningless. Shrink the middle class, destroy the unions, convince everyone to think only of themselves. Raise up false straw men that took away your way of life.

    It's been the biggest con job ever perpetrated. It's so clear that what made America great was the rise of middle class after WWII. The distribution of wealth across largest segment of population. A foreign policy that had begun to care about everyone on the planet. Innovation through education of the masses, GI bill. Investment in future tech like silicone chips. Concern for environment, air, water, regulations that didn't leave the corporations to decide what they should do. Everything boomed during these times.

    When you pay a working man a good wage, with overtime and benefits, the whole economy benefits. That person buys homes, cars, furniture, takes vacations, buys boats, planes, second vacation homes. The money is spent bolstering the entire economy. When you do this over millions of workers, everything gets better.

    If you have CEO that makes 300 times what the worker does. Or the investor that makes money speculating, not producing anything. The wealth generated gets sent to Caymen Islands, and is held onto by the rich. It does NOT get re-invested for the most part. It just fuels more speculation until the rules are removed and major fraud is perpetrated and the market collapses. Resulting in the biggest socialistic bailout in history of the rich by the working class via taxes.

    What is so utterly amazing is that so few see what is right before their eyes. They are fed so much BS for so long, they actually believe it, stop questioning, and just go along being good worker bees, in debt up to their necks, and blaming the "others" for what they don't have. Lead free water, potholeless streets, bridges that are not falling down, health care they can afford, honest elected officials working for them, good schools, and regulations to keep the wolves at bay in the chicken coop.

    Dang, LizKit, you got me all worked up........calm down.....think covfefe.
     
  18. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #18
    I believe the government has the right to draft its citizens. I think the draft should however be expanded to include women. That said, I don't think the draft should ever be utilized, at least for an offensive war such as Vietnam. In the case the US needed to defend itself, I'm sure people would be more likely to volunteer. Otherwise the government should incentize people to join if they need soldiers.

    Having spent time in Israel, the concept of conscription is very different. As you probably know, military services is basically mandatory, with a 2 year term. Nearly all political parties support the conscription and people who dodge the draft so to speak are generally looked down upon by society- even make it difficult to get a job. I suppose the benefits of this are that it teaches skills and responsibilities to young men and women. It also supports a sense of national unity.
     
  19. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Excuse me?

    Aren't you the same guy who has a conniption fit every time the government puts out a regulation that might cause a few minutes of inconvenience filling out the paperwork on the sort of automatic firearm you are allowed to own?

    But you are perfectly happy with the idea of the Government dragooning hundreds of thousands of innocent young people into giving up a couple of years of their life doing something they don't want to do.

    At the very least, I would suggest you might need to do some hard thinking about the issues under discussion.
     
  20. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    #20
    Apples oranges. See Huntn post. Politicians kids to the front of the line
     
  21. Eraserhead macrumors G4

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  22. satcomer, Jun 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017

    satcomer macrumors 603

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    #22
    You know why I laugh hard at you nerds arguing about a draft! When I was in 1990s US Army was small town kids and inner city kids in the Army! My father whom was a Vietnam Vet said he saw the same thing in the 60s when he was in the Army!

    You all in the suburbanites need to check your privilege before you put in your support arguments about Selective Sevice just think when girls will have equilty and have to sign up for Selective Sevice, that will be the real fight! :rolleyes:
     
  23. smallcoffee macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    I support having a draft for both men and women of all ages. No deferments or anything whatsoever. If you're number is drawn you stop whatever you were doing and now you're in the military.
     
  24. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #24
    I received my "Greetings!" from Ike in November, 1953. Did Basic at Fort Bliss; thence to South Korea for occupation duty. Terminal boredom. Two-year deal. I re-upped for the opportunity to be stationed in Gay Paree, which was worth every minute. :D Lucky that I did, since a routine chest X-Ray picked up TB that I had contracted in SK. Didn't have to fight the VA as an ex-GI. So, GI Bill and disability and off to college.

    While in service, I met other draftees. Some already out of college. Some from fairly well-to-do families. More of a cross-section of the population than is now the case with the all-volunteer system. Note that few elected officials nowadays have any military experience--but the Congress has a lot of say about all facets of our military system, even when they know next to nothing about the military.

    So I'm mixed about the draft. I don't argue against the philosophic arguments opposing the draft, but the draft enhances our having a military which is representational of the population at large.

    IMO, the military is an honorable occupation--but it has been and is being misused and abused by our government.
     
  25. dogslobber macrumors 68020

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    #25
    Rich people shouldn't be drafted because they're rich.
     

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