Why We Don't Need a Military Draft

Topics: Conscription, Conscientious objector, Conscription in the United States Pages: 5 (1625 words) Published: August 3, 2008
With long, drawn-out wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, regularly scheduled deployments to other areas of the world, and tensions between the U.S. and Iran threatening to ignite another war, our military is spread too thin. For our military to complete its mission of defending our country effectively, it is obvious that more personnel are needed. One way to ensure the military is not under-manned would be to reinstitute the draft. Reinstituting the draft would ensure the military an unlimited supply of new recruits. However, there are other, better, and more cost-effective ways to ensure that our military is properly manned without resorting to a draft. There are plenty of logical, valid arguments to support not reinstituting a military draft. A draft would be a huge waist of tax payers’ money. Just getting draftees to recruiting stations to go through the process of physical and mental examinations is not an inexpensive process. There would also be an issue with draft dodgers, which there would be plenty of in this day and age. The process of finding these people, prosecuting them and eventually incarcerating them would be another unnecessary cost to society. There would also be many people who would claim conscientious objector status. Infield (2005) states that even though the draft has not been reinstituted, pacifist churches are beginning to prepare it’s male members on how to become conscientious objectors, for fear a draft is imminent. And as if there would not be more than enough people trying to get out of military service on their own, authorities at the Selective Service System, of all places, are advising the leaders of these churches how to prepare their member’s on how to successfully apply for conscientious objector status (Peace Churches Plan Alternative to Military Draft). Another argument against the draft is that Americans simply do not want to see the draft’s return. Though it has not always been the case, a majority of Americans today are against reinstituting the draft. According to Jones (2007), most Americans were in favor of reinstituting the draft in 1980, when President Jimmy Carter discussed the possibility of the draft’s return during the Cold War. However, the majority of Americans had become against the idea of the draft returning after Ronald Reagan took office in 1981. The below line graph illustrates the results of Gallup Polls conducted at various time beginning in 1980 and ending in 2007. “Yes” represents people who voted in favor of reinstituting a military draft and “No” for those against it. The last poll taken in August 2007 show an overwhelming majority of Americans are against reinstituting the draft. Pro-draft proponents may argue the reasons the anti-draft numbers are so high is only because of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the poll shows that the current feeling toward the draft has been around since 1998, well before the events that led to the U.S. going to war (Vast Majority of Americans Opposed to Reinstituting Military Draft).

There are also arguments against the draft that are not very logical, and border on insane. The absurdity of some these arguments serve to only hurt the logical and valid arguments of the anti-draft movement. For example Gregory (2005) writes that the most important argument for not reinstituting the draft is that the draft is a form of slavery (The Most Important Argument Against the Draft). While it is true that many people would be forced to do a job that they do not wish to do, serving in the military is not slavery. It is the price of living in a free society. If a draft were to be reinstituted, many of those called upon to serve would make more money than they ever could in the civilian sector, and they would have medical and dental benefits, for themselves and for their dependents, that no civilian employer could ever provide. The pay and benefits that today’s U.S. military personnel...

References: Infield, T. (2005, June 19). Peace Churches Plan Alternative to Military Draft. Philadelphia
Inquirer. Retrieved April 11, 2008 from Gale Power Search, Apollo Library.
Fick, N. (2004, July 20). Don’t Dumb Down the Military. The New York Times. Retrieved April
11, 2007 from EBSCOhost, Apollo Library.
Gregory, A. (2005, July 11). The Most Important Argument Against the Draft. Retrieved April
11, 2008 from the Future of Freedom Foundation, http://www.fff.org/commentaries.
Jones, J. (2007, September 7). Vast Majority of Americans Opposed to Reinstituting Military
Draft. Gallup News Service. Retrieved April 11, 2007 from EBSCOhost, Apollo Library.
Koch, N. (2004, July 1). Why We Need the Draft Back. Retrieved April 11, 2008 from
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