Senator Chuck Hagel (R-France) wants to restart the draft.
A senior Republican lawmaker said Tuesday that deteriorating security in Iraq may force the United States to reintroduce the military draft. “There’s not an American … that doesn’t understand what we are engaged in today and what the prospects are for the future,” Senator Chuck Hagel told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on post-occupation Iraq.
“Why shouldn’t we ask all of our citizens to bear some responsibility and pay some price?” Hagel said, arguing that restoring compulsory military service would force “our citizens to understand the intensity and depth of challenges we face.”
The Nebraska Republican added that a draft, which was ended in the early 1970s, would spread the burden of military service in Iraq more equitably among various social strata.
“Those who are serving today and dying today are the middle class and lower middle class,” he observed.
How does forcing rich kids and poor kids into service improve our military? The purpose of our military is to kill people and break things, Chuck, not to make you feel better about the demographics of those who serve.
James S. Robbins aptly summarizes the problem with Hagel’s view:
Why should the United States destroy the world’s most-effective armed force, delay promising careers of young people who can contribute more to society in the civilian workplace, and establish a mammoth public-service bureaucracy, just to encourage our elected officials to deliberate more soberly about issues of war and peace? If that is the problem, a much-easier way to achieve the same result is to draft better candidates for Congress. Or maybe just have a lottery.