Should the United States have Mandatory Military Conscription?

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Absolutely, positively, emphatically, unequivocally, without a doubt, NO! Not now, not ever! Well, maybe for one reason, in the event of an existential threat to our nation. Now that I have stated my opinion I will back this up with information from several studies providing evidence for continuing the worlds greatest all volunteer (entry) military force.

For the vast majority of our nation’s history, the United States has had an all volunteer military. During our nations over two hundred and thirty seven years, only about thirty five, most of which in the 20th century, was conscription or a “draft” was in effect. The United States, up until the Civil War, rarely kept nor desired a standing Army. Relying on individual state militia’s, the forerunner of today’s National Guard, was the norm for supplying a fighting force when needed. Nonetheless the only major conflict between the Civil War and the first Persian Gulf War that did not have compulsory military service was the Spanish American war. (Bandow 1)
The inequity of the Union draft requirement instituted by Congress in 1863 quickly became apparent when substitute soldiers could be hired for a draft exemption fee of three hundred dollars. (Asher 9) In 1917, in order to prepare for our country’s entry into World War I Congress passed the Selective Service Act, initially widely accepted, once the war ended, so did the legitimacy of the draft (Rostker 25). The first peace time draft in our nation’s history, The Selective Training and Service Act was enacted by congress in 1940. The act attempted to address the perception of inequality that accompanied previous attempts at conscription. Deferments for government officials and for those “employed in industry, agriculture or other...

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...14. < http://www.cato.org/pubs/fpbriefs/fpb-006.html> A brief discussion about the history of conscription and the United States military situation prior to the Persian Gulf War in January of 1991.
Janowitz, Morris, Volunteer Armed Forces and Military Purpose, Foreign Affairs, 1972. Web. 12 Feb 2014. < http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/24330/morris-janowitz/volunteer-armed-forces-and-military-purpose> This article was published during the time the draft was being phased out and discusses the expectations for the all volunteer force.

Rostker, Bernard, I Want You! The Evolution of the All Volunteer force, The Rand Corporation, 2006. Web. 12 Feb. 2014.

“A comprehensive record of the more than 30 years of policy and economic analysis that was responsible for today’s all-volunteer force”.

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