Posted June 2008/Published October 2006
With mounting threats to our security and a military already dangerously stretched, it's now time to reinstate the draft.
Even neutral Switzerland has a universal draft in place to 1) protect its policy of neutrality, 2) ensure the availability of a trained and readied homeland reserve during times of national emergencies, and 3) enable society to derive the benefits of a citizenry which is more self-disciplined and appreciative of its democratic rights and responsibilities.
Except for bonafide medical and conscientious objection deferrals, a compulsory 6 months of military training and service followed by 8 years of reserve service should be required of all young men--no exceptions--who turn 18. Again, service should be universal and compulsory--rich, poor, black, white, ivy-leaguers, and deadbeats all.
The primary mission of this "homeland security force" would be upon border security and domestic disaster relief--not upon "frontline" combat duties overseas. This would relieve our regular volunteer forces of these additional duties, thus strengthening their ability to more effectively provide frontline combat services overseas.
Women should also be allowed to volunteer for this 6-month training/service. And both men and women who qualify, the opportunity of transitioning into our elite all-volunteer force following successful completion of active duty service should be an option.
This abbreviated 6-month active/8-year reserve service requirement would be relatively unintrusive for draftees, affordable for taxpayers, and the economic, security and societal dividends derived for America, I believe, would be incalculable.