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Reflections on the draft


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The Volunteer Army concept allows our citizens to offload the risk to certain economic classes and remove personal interest in the effects of foreign policy. Intuitively, I’d guess that those who rise to positions of policy making are least likely to have served in the military and lack a visceral connection to the consequences of their ideas. I’d trust policy makers who have carried a rucksack more than those who study game theory while others serve.

Compartmentalizing the risk to certain demographics drives a wedge between a society and its Army.

If framed along these economic lines, it is a short step to contractualization of the force, and we can already see evidence of the effect of widespread commercialization of formerly military functions on the professional ethic.

Charley Rangel, a veteran, has articulated the moral argument for the draft, and it is easy (and maybe  even true) to describe that position as posturing., but themoral argument is larger than the specific purpose he may have for making it.

I favor the draft for moral reasons; it makes foreign policy a personal issue, forces debate into the public consciousness, invigorates morality, supports democracy, and reveals character

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