Inclusive Military

All young men and women must be “invited” to serve their country. Be it the military or national service – everyone should be required to serve for at least two years. What an opportunity for both parties.

What finally ended the Vietnam War? The military was comprised of your sons and daughters. By and large everyone was subject to the draft. People with influence, money, and status had to face the fact that their kid was going! Lots of people joined the “less likely to get killed” branches such as the Air Force which meant you gave four rather than two years as in the Army. In the Navy you served three years. Because all Americans had a stake in the military, the level of public and press involvement was ever present and not “embedded.” Congressional decisions were scrutinized, daylight shined on unarticulated military orders (“kill anything that moves”), protestors were legitimized, and finally the war ended.

Compulsory draft or national service would surely undermine the Republican Party’s hawk policies and eager expansion of war contracts, weaponry, and power. Rather than overpaid crony contractors who rip us off ad nauseum, a well-trained military could do the actual work, be trained for the civilian world, and save us all massive amounts of money (and lives).

It would pivot the discussion and the budget to all strata of society to stop using our young people as gun fodder. Harsh? You bet.

I am a four-year veteran of the Air Force, Vietnam era.

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