If this were to occur, I would think it is a bad idea and would never work. First, we need to have a military that volunteers to defend our country. Only then, will we continue to have the best military in the world. Second, I don't think it would work to have a draft because there would be such outrage over the idea. I don't think our country would go for the idea of "forcing" someone to be in the military. It doesn't seem like a good idea to put weapons in the hands of someone who really doesn't want to be there.
I to have always opposed this notion of mandating our youth for military service. At this point in time the military, by some accounts, is over staffed. I personally know career military people who have been offered early retirement.
Let me reply to post 6 by saying that I would never say (and didn't say) that a majority of our armed forces enter the service out of a lack of options. I too know many people who have served of their own volition, and indeed several who have sacrificed potentially lucrative careers in the civilian sector to do so. I just wanted to say that the burdens of war seldom fall heaviest on the wealthier and more educated people in our society. The only way two ways to change that, in my mind, are mandatory military service, or avoiding wars. I favor the latter option.
I have always been opposed to the draft, since I don't believe in forcing young men and women to serve in the military and put their lives on the line in wars overseas usually started by aging politicians. Presently, our military is larger than needed, and there is no shortage of recruits, so the reinstatement of the draft is both unnecessary and one terrible idea.
I don't think I can agree that the majority of young men who enter the military do so out of lack of options. That is true for some. I am sure there are plenty of young men and women who enter the military because they don't have a choice. However, I certainly don't think this is anywhere near the majority. I've lost several friends to the war in Iraq. They entered the service willingly, knowingly, and gave up plenty of other options to do so. I have a cousin who received many honors in the military and he entered by choice not because of lack of options. I think a draft is a really bad idea. We want men and women defending this country because they choose to and not because they have to. The draft was never fair and I certainly don't think it should be started again.
If every draft age male and female had a choice of doing some form of national service, I would be for such a program. Each could choose from a variety of forms of service, including a military option. There is nothing wrong with having to give to your country, I believe, but I agree with those who have raised the advantages of the all-volunteer military. We really do want people who want to be there defending our country, and if everyone had to serve, with the choices, for example, of work in schools, hospitals, food banks, or the military, there would still be a "volunteer" aspect to military service. We could give people the choice of a deferment for college or allow them to serve immediately after high school. This would tend to free up the job market to some degree, particularly during times of high unemployment, and provide people with either some real on-the-job training after high school or a means of applying their college experiences to something of value after.
I agree with the previous posts. I "only" had one of my former students die in Iraq, but the point holds. We have an all volunteer military and that is good for the quality of the military. But it also means that we have a military that is generally made up largely of people who have few other really good choices.
I do like the idea of a draft as a way of causing shared sacrifice among Americans when we do go to war. However, I also think that it is a bad idea because it would introduce some of the same problems we had during the Vietnam era. So I would be very conflicted.
I too am opposed to a draft. But the realiity of today's military is that many who are allegedly "volunteers" enter out of a lack of other options. I have taught dozens of young men who made the choice for precisely that reason, including two who are casualties of the war in Iraq. A draft, properly implemented, would certainly remove many of the class inequalities in our military, and may even give leaders pause to consider the political costs of pursuing warfare as a foreign policy tool.
If I were to address the President and Congress in regards the the reinstatement of the Draft, I would highly recommend against its reinstatement. Given that the world is a much different place than it was during the Draft, I would suggest that the government simply try a different approach to increasing manpower in the military. Unfortunately in America today, and saying this as an American, many people are not as "hard" as they were historically. The government needs people "cut-out" for the military to make its different branches as strong as possible. Our weapons are better now, training is better now, and those serving our country have dedicated their lives to it. Some Americans have become "okay" with how the world is and would not be proper soldiers (even with training). I would fear that those drafted would be an impediment to the military.