August 7, 2012
The last time Americans were drafted to go to war was the Vietnam War (1961-1975). Since then, the military has successfully sustained an all volunteer force. However, the former US commander in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, recently pushed for a reinstatement of the draft to ease the strain of the current volunteers force constant rotation of deployment.
In June of 2012, McChrystal stated ”Less than one percent of Americans are touched by this,” referring to military personnel who have been deployed numerous times for long rotations in recent years. McChrystal went on to state how our professionally trained military has never been in extended wars for such a lengthy period of time without a draft.
In Vietnam, draftees represented 25% of the total military force, but accounted for over 30% of combat deaths. Many Americans are passionate about the subject of a draft. Let’s examine the pros and cons of a draft:
- More troops
- Troops will be representative from all segments of society
- Lower cost, per troop, to train and deploy
- Shorter deployments for current troops
- Professional troops have to fight alongside sparsely trained troops
- Most drafted troops lack motivation
- Drafts are largely unpopular among the civilian population
- Very expensive to provide equipment, food and resources to tens of thousands of extra troops
Is America ready for another draft?
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