Draft would be counterproductive

Derek Thurber

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Soldiers die every day all around the world and with the war in Iraq more troops are dying all the time. This poses a problem for the military, which must find ways to keep their number high in order to continue the war. In the past during extended engagements the U.S. government has instituted a draft to solve this problem. Yet, as history has shown us, the draft is not a good solution to troop levels.

In the modern age, gender brings up several problems around the draft. The rate of rape for women inside the military is much higher than for the same-aged women who is a civilian living in the United States. It is hard to say that it would be just to force women to go into the military knowing what awaits them.

It would raise many social problems not to draft women, though. Much of the labor and workforce of the United States would be dismantled. And, unlike in World War II where the women took over their husbands’ jobs, many of the women today already hold important jobs that they could not abandon to fill their husbands’ jobs.

More than just women, a draft army is much less effective. The men and women who currently serve in the army do so, for the most part, because they chose to. The power of this will is very strong. When the soldiers desire to fight for freedom and the U.S. it changes how well they perform in combat situations.

In World War II and every other war in which a draft was instituted, for example, the death rate is much higher among those drafted than those who volunteered. Those who fought in the first year of World War II were more than twice as likely to survive the war than any of the other people who fought.

The ability to accomplish anything and effectively win a war is more difficult with troops who don’t wish to fight. Paralleling what happened in the Vietnam War, the troops who have no will to fight can go and die forever but fail to win.

This, in itself, raises another, more troubling, reason why the draft is ineffective. The draft allows those in charge to have a seemingly limitless supply of troops to send into combat. With this power, the value of the individuals is greatly decreased. A general is much more likely to “throw troops at the problem” when he can just get more. This decreases the strategy of war and does not help accomplish, and often hinders, the victory of the army.

It is, also, very morally repulsive. War is not a realm of morals and good people, but to so easily discard human life is taking it one more step. War can be immoral, or it can be repulsively immoral. The draft turns it into the latter of these two.

The draft is a device of convenience that does little, if anything, to help win wars. It should not be instated for the current war for any reason.

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