Should Military Service be Required in the USA?

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Military service in the United States should be compulsory (required) because it will provide economic and social benefits to those people who are serving as well as create a benefit for the general public as well as nation as a whole. “The United States relinquished mandatory military service after the Vietnam War in 1973” (Kestnbaum, 18). Since then, the idea of reinstating a draft entered the public discourse on several occasions. Its proponents were particularly vocal in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 and the US military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Although reintroducing conscription might provoke concerns of infringing on the rights and liberties guaranteed by the US constitution” (Cowen, 170), mandatory military service constitutes part of everyone’s civic obligation and would greatly help our country become better protected in the face of rapidly proliferating global threats. “From the onset of World War II until July 1973, the draft was a fact of life for American youth” (Warner & Asch, 169). Throughout this period of time, men were drafted into the service in an attempt to fill voids in the Armed Forces, which would not be filled through voluntary resources. Conscription was ended on June 30, 1973, and since then the U.S. Armed Forces have relied upon volunteers to fill their ranks. Currently, the number of active personnel serving in the U.S. Armed Forces is estimated at approximately 1.5 million people. Hence, only around two percent of the U.S. population is servicemen, who defend our domestic security as well as protect American interests abroad. In an effort to resume the military draft in the US, several lawmakers introduced a series of legislative initiatives in 2003, 2006 and 2007, which be... ... middle of paper ... ... to protect ourselves against potential threats. To sum up, serving in the U.S. Armed Forces is the least we could do to make sure that we live in a free and democratic society. A return to obligatory military service would be beneficial from at least two angles. First, it would help young people pay their due for living in such a great country. This would also convey to other societies what the American nation truly stands for. Perhaps most importantly, the draft would increase our ability to defend ourselves from grave threats to national security and allow us to protect our interests at home and abroad more successfully. I think President John F. Kennedy states it best, “I look forward to a great future for America - a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose.”

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