Posted: September 3rd, 2013
Compulsory Military Service
Compulsory Military Service
In the year 2001 on September 11, the United States of America suffered one of the worst terrorist attacks in history. Similar to the time before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States of America looked up to the military for defense. The only difference is that presently, the security is being provided by volunteer military. When the terrorist attack occurred on September 11, the attack occurred on the world’s superpower; the nation with the most advanced and highly trained military, this is resulted to a catastrophe on the attacking as the Taliban and Al Qaeda later came to learn.
However, as the military of the United States of America was preparing to launch an attack, there were growing calls for conscription. This is the compulsory order of the citizens of a given nation to serve in national service and in this case military service. Analysts such as Stanley Kurtz called for America to consider a revival of the draft. The draft in question is the infamous conscription draft that was effected during the civil war and the first world war. The argument is that the current military is in a state of crisis. This has created an increased demand for on the military as a result of the intensifying war on terrorism.
This argument cannot be used to justify the need to implement compulsory military service in the United States of America. Imposing conscription during these modern times is a sign of retrogressing. The people of the United States of America abandoned conscription a long time ago after analyzing its adverse effects in contrast with the benefits of a voluntary military. Other nations have also followed suit in abandoning this past ideology. Nations such as France have dropped conscription as a policy, and Russia is currently professionalizing its military. The entire world over, there is no developed nation that is moving in that direction. The only nations that are currently employing conscription as a military policy are not the ideal nations or organizations that can be emulated. These are the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Hutu rebels in Burundi (Todd, & Peace Pledge Union, 2000).
The current state of the military of the United States of America is endowed with the unique ability of utilizing highly advanced weapons to enhance the annihilation of enemy troops and in the process minimizing American casualties. This is also echoed by William Owens, who served as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. He adds that the ability to utilize information in comparison to the adversaries is what sets the nation apart from the rest. This aspect becomes and unbridgeable gap in times of war.
The quality of the United States’ military is highly professional in comparison to the armed forces of other nations. The soldiers currently serving in the armed forces are by far smarter and highly educated than their predecessors who served in the draft-era force. This means that they are better suited to handling the highly advanced weapons. This aspect will become even more realizable in the coming future.
Surveys carried out within the forces indicate that the military is against conscription. This aspect is not merely because they are attempting to resist change, but because the current state of military prowess is at its best. Enforcing past policies that had already been abandoned may mean altering the current improvements. This view is also concurred by Gordon Sullivan, who served as the army chief of staff and who is currently the president of the association of the United States army. He further details that the military commanders are of the preference of high quality volunteers as opposed to mixed-quality draftees.
The current recruiting goals were made under FY2001 by the entire service. During this time, over ninety percent those who joined the army had high school degrees, ninety six percent who successfully joined the marines and ninety nine percent of those joining the Air Force had diplomas. The statistics further indicate that close to two thirds of those becoming part of the first three services had high scores in the mental categories I-IIIA (out of five); while three out of four of those joining the Air force were categorized in the same level. Statistics further indicate that recruiting was much harder in the years 1998 and 1999 even though not a single crisis occurred. The department of defense registered a short of six thousand and eight thousand recruits in those years. However, during this ti9me, the problem facing the department of defense was limited quality recruits, as opposed to a shortage in the number of recruits (Golden, 2001).
The All Volunteer Force (AVF) is much better than a draft military. By refusing to take in just any candidate, the department of defense has registered an increase in the percentage of “high-quality” recruits. The number of recruits with high school degrees and other certification has drastically increased since the inception of an All Volunteer Force. The number of successful recruits scoring above average scores in the AFQT test has considerably increased by close to fifty percent since the inception of a volunteer military, which dates back to the year 1973.
The current department of defense does not accept recruits with scores in category IV and V on the aptitude test carried out by the United States military to join the armed forces neither those without a high school degree; this is albeit with a few exceptions. The conflicts brought about by this policy could simply be alleviated by lowering the levels to fit those of a conscript military.
The volunteer force is seen to be advantageous in that the military is now filled with individuals willing to serve in the armed forces. This highly minimizes indiscipline cases and other vices. These vices, on the other hand, tend to increase with conscription. In the case of drafted military, the draftees tend to indicate minimal incentive to train, lack the relevant morale to take up greater responsibility or reenlist compounded by the fact that the military is obliged to keep them (Hewlitt, 1999).
This brings into light the fact that the military has high levels of attrition rates. The department of defense maintains the right to chose who remains, whereas in conscription, they fail to have the mandate to reject an individual even in view of the highest levels of malcontent since the move would be interpreted as a means of getting rid of those who want out. Reason indicates that a military is much healthier when it is filled with individuals who have the desire to serve than when it is inclusive of persons who are relishing the idea of escaping at any opportune moment (Parry, 2006).
The imposition of the draft would lead to a decrease in the quality of the enlisted servicemen. This is at the expense of directing efforts aimed at developing a specialized and professional armed force that is highly needed in the future. The arguments behind conscription are such as the need of enlistment of Chinese-speakers in the forces. This is similar to the medical drafts that are meant to ensure the availability of qualified professionals in a crisis. Such drafts have been defended for a long time as being highly essential during times of serious warfare or at the instance when there is lack. Now, the military is sufficiently capacitated having various professionals working in the forces.
A special draft ought to be considered in the event when there lacks a particular skill that is essential in the armed forces. However, in the event of conscripting, only Afghani immigrants would seem as an act of gross impunity and unfair to that particular community. This would also create an aspect where individuals with certain skills that are highly demanded to make the effort of hiding those skills. This may end up denying the entire nation the said skill. Others would also opt to take up expended sabbatical abroad or even change nationalities (Bourassa, 1917).
Bourassa, H. (1917). Conscription. Montreal: Edited by Le Devoir.
Parry, A. (2006). Conscription. South Yarra, Vic: Macmillan Education.
Hewlitt, A. (1999). Conscription. Toronto: Maclean-Hunter Learning Materials.
Golden, L. L. L. (2001). Conscription. Toronto: The Macmillan Co.
Todd, J. M., & Peace Pledge Union. (2000). Conscription. London: Peace Pledge Union.
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