Should the United States have a draft? Before attempting to answer this question, we must consider the goal that we are trying to achieve. Is the goal to enhance America's military power? Would we implement compulsory military service to train Americans useful skills and inculcate them with patriotism? Would a draft save money? Is a draft a way to ensure that all Americans serve their country?
I do not believe a draft would make the US stronger militarily. The first real draft was carried out by Napoleon over two hundred years ago, and the draftees swelled the ranks of the French army. These days, however, wars are not won by the side with the most manpower under arms. Today, technological innovations, such as drones, are more important to military prowess.
A draft may be effective in training large numbers of Americans. They would learn the importance of punctuality and some hard skills, too. There is little doubt that many American high school graduates lack basic knowledge in core areas. But should the military be used for remedial education?
Most other major countries have ended conscription. France ended it in 1996, and Germany did the same fifteen years later. On the other hand, Turkey still uses a draft. In Austria, men enlist for six months or do nine months of community service.
Personally, I would favor a draft only if it saves money. America spends far too much on its military, and not enough in other important areas, such as infrastructure.