Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Obama & The Draft?

"Recall that Obama has said: “But it’s also important that a president speaks to military service as an obligation not just of some, but of many. You know, I traveled, obviously, a lot over the last 19 months. And if you go to small towns, throughout the Midwest or the Southwest or the South, every town has tons of young people who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s not always the case in other parts of the country, in more urban centers. And I think it’s important for the president to say, this is an important obligation. If we are going into war, then all of us go, not just some.”"
Other Congressional democrats have specifically said they want to return to a draft and apparently conscripted military service. Are there reasons to think that our recent reliance on voluntary military service has not served the country well? If the country returns to conscripted military service will a larger number of men and women in uniform mean a greater incentive for Washington to use those forces worldwide than would be the case with a smaller voluntary military?

1 comment:

Tim Canon said...

I always hate to make arguments about government efficiency, since it seems like a lost cause. But it does seem that the gov't may or may not go to war regardless of the populace's opinions. And it does seem that with less soldiers to deal with (that is, in a voluntary system) they would have to make what forces we have better. More trained, better equipped, and just better soldiers.

After all, it's generally in a President's self interest to have a decent military, correct?

I guess what I'm saying is people usually decry giving government less resources to work with. But if the incentives are correct, narrowing resource availability can encourage gov't to make better use of them. Of course, this does not always work, but I'd say in the case of national defense it certainly does.