Day by Day



13 August 2007

We don't want you...



I have often said that the last thing our military needs is an involuntary draft imposed. The great economist Milton Friedman, partly responsible for ending the original draft, described it as the next closest thing to slavery. At our heart, we are a free society. That means we must act freely to defend our way of life – or not. If we choose, as some nations have, to hang our defense on allies and neighbors – Canada- then that would be our choice.



However, no one needs to serve against their will. In my opinion, this is tantamount to a state endorsed religion of nationalism – remember the Third Reich? Germany still retains compulsory national service, although not always military. A citizen may elect some non-military form of public service. This might include caring for the elderly or very young. A noble purpose, but this does nothing except prop up Germany’s already overburdened welfare state.



Frankly, as a military officer, I want no Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine serving who does not choose to be there. The commitment required to yourself, your comrades and the Constitution is not one to be created through duress or coercion. There are a host of other practical reasons no to have a draft in this nation, but most can be summarized simply.



A free nation should not want for defenders.



Simplistic, jingoistic and all that, but I believe it is true. There is ample evidence throughout the history of our nation. Despite the relative peace of our times, actual conflict across the globe has declined, there are still a long line of applicants who are willing to stand and defend the Constitution.


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can see the the bright shiny..candy like..bauble dangling above my head...what are those curved wire like structures just behind it?....

captjackharkness said...

Well said, but I think that we need some sort of mandatory service just to instill a sense of social duty in our children-the schools try, but fail miserably at this. One needs only look at the number of "chicken hawks" out there, who support the war yet have not signed up, volunteered, or want their children to do either-yet they are perfectly willing to for others to go into harms way.

(BTW-are you strolling the streets of Colchester to get your model subjects? Just asking....)

sonicfrog said...

Capt, I could be convinced to support some sort of mandatory civil service, but I wouldn't support it if it was limited to military service. Lets face it, for one reason or another, some people just aren't cut out for military
service.

I don't support the draft for two reasons:

1. An all volunteer army / militia tends to be better fighters / soldiers because they chose to join the military and are more willing and able to wage war when compared to conscripts (there are exceptions to this rule of coarse).

2. All volunteer army's are an excellent check and balance against long-term military campaigns not supported by the populace. If a large enough sector of the populace decides the military action in question is not worth the cost of their lives, then volunteer rates will go down to the point that the campaign is no longer sustainable due to lack of bodies to throw into the meat grinder.

Iraq is almost certainly headed in this direction. Save for a sudden tremendous victory in the mold of Yorktown, or the adoption of a "total war" strategy like that implemented by Grant in the civil war. The surge does seem to be having a positive effect on the situation on the ground, but I'm not convinced it is the "total war" strategy that is needed to bring the Iraq phase of the GWOT to a proper conclusion.

I would love to write more, but I got other stuff to do.

PS. Chicken hawks... interesting concept. You realize Lincoln and FDR fit nicely in that group. And don't forget, JFK was no chicken hawk, but he got us into Nam.

Citizen Deux said...

CAPT - glad to see you made it safe and sound. As you are now in the heart of the home of the longest standing all volunteer force in the world, I wonder what their perspective is on the subject. I think the model demonstrated by Germany points to the fallacy of the "mandatory" service aspect. Germany props up their social system with "service" labor.

We are a democracy. Each to their own. As to the chicken hawk argument, I am back to the orginal statement about who should have the right to govern?