In an op ed piece in The New York Times today, Thomas E. Ricks says: Let's Draft Our Kids. He writes;
"In late June, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the former commander of international forces in Afghanistan, called for reinstating the draft. “I think if a nation goes to war, every town, every city needs to be at risk,” he said at the Aspen Ideas Festival. “You make that decision and everybody has skin in the game.”
"This was the first time in recent years that a high-profile officer has broken ranks to argue that the all-volunteer force is not necessarily good for the country or the military. Unlike Europeans, Americans still seem determined to maintain a serious military force, so we need to think about how to pay for it and staff it by creating a draft that is better and more equitable than the Vietnam-era conscription system."
Very interesting proposition, particularly since the major reason the US quit the draft system was because Main Street was affected by it, prompting massive protests over the War in Vietnam. I thought that argument was over, particularly since so much of the jobs formerly done by grunts are now done by contract workers with the profits spread around quite cozily.
But maybe it will be open again, which might be a very good idea. As Ricks ends his essay: maybe "having a draft might, as General McChrystal said, make Americans think
more carefully before going to war. Imagine the savings — in blood,
tears and national treasure — if we had thought twice about whether we
really wanted to invade Iraq"