Inclusive Military

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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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.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Horrible idea, we don't need a nation that's further militarized.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 18, 2013 at 3:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So let's see, all the Democrats in the Congress/Senate are against this war? it.

How about this for a suggestion: "Beware of Foreign entanglments" -George Washington-

By the way, remember when Bill Clinton was dropping bombs on what used to be Yugoslavia? Then there was the Sudan and other places.

Last time I looked a lot of politicians on both sides of the aisle supported this war, and let's not forget about "foreign aid" to "ensure stability in (pick a given area du jour) the region."

Partisan politics at play here.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
June 18, 2013 at 6:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

In addition, mandatory military service hasn't exactly kept Israel or Iran from unnecessary military hostilities.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 18, 2013 at 6:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

A compulsory draft won't undermine anything- why the heck did they end 'don't ask don't tell'? Because if they ever do bring back the draft, the "gay loophole" will no longer exist! (Think about it, if you wanted to be found ineligible for the draft, what better way to escape than show up at the induction station with your same sex partner!)

And as a veteran of 4 years in the US Army, I can tell you that that gays openly serving in the military are not and never will be truly welcome - they get endless abuse with no hope of justice just like women always have.

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
June 18, 2013 at 6:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Don't forget that Bush didn't suffer the same fate as Nixon did in Viet Nam, primarily by dumping on the national guard and military reserves to perform the service that draftees would have normally have been called upon to do. Many reservists ended up doing multiple tours of duty just so Bush could avoid instituting the draft.

We also paid a fortune for "contractors" to take the place of draftees as well.

Botany (anonymous profile)
June 18, 2013 at 7:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I understand Benefield's point though. She might have drawn more sympathetic comments had the suggestion been that children of members of Congress must be drafted.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
June 19, 2013 at 8:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Her point being, of course, that unsympathetic decision makers are more likely to choose an option if it doesn't personally cost them anything.

And we know what a rare commodity sympathy is these days.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
June 19, 2013 at 8:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

over 13 years ago, I might have agreed with this idea. With the ease of Washington's decision to wage wars, I have changed. It is Clinton and Obama considering Syria now. Let them have their revolution, we need infrastructure and sane healthy people who haven't been scarred by war. I realize your argument is that with everybody having a stake in the war, we could relive the era of protest that ended Vietnam. Instead, we need to revolutionize our government. It is ruled by $, not people.

spacey (anonymous profile)
June 19, 2013 at 12:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)


"I understand Benefield's point though. She might have drawn more sympathetic comments had the suggestion been that children of members of Congress must be drafted."

I'm sure you already know this, but in case you don't, this is a point that is actually made in the Michael Moore, movie "Fahrenheit 9/11". [Btw, I call it a "movie", as opposed to a "documentary", because even though I tend to agree with Moore's general direction, I thought it was highly biased.]

equus_posteriori (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 1:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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