Military service in the United States should be compulsory (required) because it will provide economic and social benefits to those people who are serving as well as create a benefit for the general public as well as nation as a whole.
“The United States relinquished mandatory military service after the Vietnam War in 1973” (Kestnbaum, 18). Since then, the idea of reinstating a draft entered the public discourse on several occasions. Its proponents were particularly vocal in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 and the US military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Although reintroducing conscription might provoke concerns of infringing on the rights and liberties guaranteed by the US constitution” (Cowen, 170), mandatory military service constitutes part of everyone’s civic obligation and would greatly help our country become better protected in the face of rapidly proliferating global threats.
“From the onset of World War II until July 1973, the draft was a fact of life for American youth” (Warner & Asch, 169). Throughout this period of time, men were drafted into the service in an attempt to fill voids in the Armed Forces, which would not be filled through voluntary resources. Conscription was ended on June 30, 1973, and since then the U.S. Armed Forces have relied upon volunteers to fill their ranks. Currently, the number of active personnel serving in the U.S. Armed Forces is estimated at approximately 1.5 million people. Hence, only around two percent of the U.S. population is servicemen, who defend our domestic security as well as protect American interests abroad.
In an effort to resume the military draft in the US, several lawmakers introduced a series of legislative initiatives in 2003, 2006 and 2007, which became known as the Universal National Service Act (HR2723). Its goal was to ensure the common defense by requiring that all young persons in the United States, including women, serve in the Army for a period of time. According to the authors of the bill, reintroducing the military conscription would strengthen the national defense and enhance homeland security. The proposed term of service was limited to 15 months, which is the same amount of time that the country asks a service member to spend on a single deployment. Currently, these bills are stalled in Congress although last year, the Universal National Service Act of 2010 was proposed for debate.
Hence, legislators seem to be quite reluctant to authorize the mandatory draft and their stance largely echoes the public opinion that prevails in the U.S. at the moment. The military conscription is a sensitive topic for most Americans, especially those who have already lost their sons and daughters in combat or for those who directly participated in military action. However, simply ignoring this matter will not strengthen our security. “While reinstituting the draft would challenge certain liberties granted to citizens in the Constitution” (Freeman, 333), such a sacrifice...