Don't reinstate the draft

Published: Monday, January 12, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 11:07 p.m.

A return to a military draft is not a well thought out option for our current military posture.

In the past, under a universal draft, the sons and daughters of the affluent were easily able to obtain exemptions and the poor, unable to obtain these exemptions, filled the drafted ranks. Often these draftees didn't want to participate and were known to have a negative attitude toward their military service.

In contrast, those who served in purely voluntary military areas, such as the submarine service, attracted a better educated, more intelligent and highly motivated individual. They were working where they wanted to be and surrounded by others who were there for the same reason. This positive attitude created an efficient, highly motivated branch of the US Navy. This alone should make the case for an all voluntary military.

After World War II, our government changed the Department of War's name to the Department of Defense. Civilian political leaders were to make future decisions to go to war and the military leaders were to conduct the war.

In Vietnam, when the political leaders began to make the decisions as to how to conduct the war and overrode the decisions of the trained military leaders for political reasons, our country slid down the slippery path to disaster.

A reasonable person could decide that individuals voluntarily working with others of a like mind would provide a more motivated military able to conduct successful military operations. That person might also decide that the politicians should leave the conduct of a war to those who are trained to do so.

To reinstate the draft, as proposed by professor Diane H. Mazur in the Jan. 9, column in your newspaper would be a terrible mistake.

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