Honesty being the best virtue, I am just trying to kill five minutes before my next class. That being said:

I would like to promote the idea of conscripts in the United States. I believe that military service for 2 years is something that would benefit our society and those that live in it. Whereas, the level of respect the average young person has for the rules and those his/her senior has depleted over the last twenty years and noticing that numerous men and women have been cited as improving their lives by joining the military - I think it is a great way to make life better in America.

By requiring all healthy men who are physically capable of service and who choose not to enroll into college to go to basic training their first summer out of high school and then enlisted for two years in Active Duty, Reserve, or National Guard service in any branch of their choice we will help curve unemployment and improve the physical fitness of America.

Additionally, all men who choose to enroll into college should be required to take a minimum of two years of ROTC (officer training) in any of branch they see fit. This will promote leadership in young people and help make the college graduates of the coming years more than just well educated followers.

With these increased numbers of National Guard members, states would have access to increased labor that would be able to help fix roads, renovate public facilities, and improve the infrastructure of the state.

The increased reserve numbers would allow our military to train more people in technical fields and make them ready to enter the work force at the age of 20 with work experience rather than a diploma.

Finally, the increased active duty numbers would allow our troops more time in between tours of duty and our commanders access to more troops for surges.

Class just started so I will continue this later. What does everyone think?

Views: 86

Tags: conscripts, draft, military, service, war

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Comment by Steve on January 27, 2010 at 12:07pm
On conscription: "Draft beer, not people." ~ Bob Dylan
Comment by Steve on January 27, 2010 at 11:36am
"You cannot prevent and prepare for war at the same time." ~Albert Einstein

Pacifists do not serve in armed services, and many withhold a portion of their income taxes because they do not want to monetarily support war.

I don't want this to turn into a debate, or get off the topic of conscription, so I'll leave it at that.
Comment by Gus on January 26, 2010 at 8:23pm
This is not necessarilly a bad idea. It can depend alot on if the service is actually a civic duty or service for real people. It can become a syphine for partisain causes or political campaigns. ACORN is an example of this and the Republicans have other organizations as well. Work like the CCC's would be great and should have tangable rewards. I wonder how many of the "Shovel ready jobs" would actually be recieved well if the prospective workers were given actual shovels? Many are also unfit for duty in combat arms and conscription should be a last resort and reserved for large threats, ie the mongul hordes invading. Some men are true conciencous objectors and are admirable. Men who pretend to be such and are more concernedwith saving their own skin are much the opposite. Service is a priviledge, not a right. The unfit do not deserve the privilidge of service. War is not glamorous, but, service is honorable.
Comment by Steve on January 26, 2010 at 7:36pm
I think this is a bad idea. Let me explain:

It is undebatable that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man's man. A man who is strong in his convictions, and made a life of service so dedicated it cost him his life.

Rev. King was a pacifist, and it would have been contrary to his conscience to force the man, against his convictions, into military service. This holds true for me, and many other men.

In Europe (and other places) there is an option for military or social service. I do think it is good for everyone to be involved in social service. I don't think it should be compulsory though. I think Mr. Obama had a good idea when he suggested in the campaign that two years of civil service should be rewarded with a college education. Having just read the article on the CCC service, I think civil service does indeed build character, something much missing in our society.
Comment by Dave Harvey on January 25, 2010 at 8:40pm
Theodore-
Glad you were able to get the gist of what I was trying to say. There's a big difference between the military doing certain tasks on an ad hoc basis, and changing their primary function to make those tasks central to their overall & continuing mission.

As for your next post, I personally would be leery of writing up anything that *requires* folks to do something, be it military, civil service or whatever. You can (and no doubt will) argue that it SHOULD be that way - and I'd even agree with you - but it's just not the sort of thing that will happen in this country. People are way too used to having their individual liberty, and any imposition of their "rights" would certainly be met with strong opposition. I think any system - however benevolent - that relies on coercion (in this case, making it a crime to not participate) to fill its ranks is inherently flawed. In effect, you would be saying to the whole population of 18-25 yr olds: "You are all lazy, undisciplined slobs. I know what's best for you and I will make all of you do this because you can't be trusted to form your own opinions and reach your own conclusions. You have no right to self-determination."

Plus, any system that requires mandatory participation of a certain group will quickly find itself emeshed in trying to do its job properly. Why? Because you are going to end up with a high percentage of people who don't want to be there in the first place, and who will make it their job to screw the system at every opportunity. Heving been a Plt Cdr and Co Cdr, I know that it only takes a few disgruntled individuals to throw some large wrenches in what would otherwise be a well-oiled machine.

Making it attractive is much better than making it mandatory - it's the ol' carrot vs. stick thing.
Comment by Theodore Kruczek on January 25, 2010 at 8:00pm
@Dave - "I would say that the Guard (in all its forms) should not do what you are suggesting. It would require a lot of extra expense to train and equip such a large body of people for what would amount to civil service. Additionally, there would surely be a number of "conscriptees" who would object to carrying arms and being sent overseas, but who might be quite content to do various projects that would benefit their state. It would be much more feasible, and economically viable, to have some sort of conservation program that is tied to an educational incentive. IMHO, that's what we SHOULD do."

I believe with the exception of a few posts that seems to be the general consensus here. I am going to write up another post here detailing a hypothetical mandate to require civil service and see what you think of that. Like I said before, just trying to generate ideas and see where stuff goes - gonna have to agree with your point, most military didn't sign up to fix things.

My last comment on this topic, my apologizes for the confusion. I thought by saying I shouldn't suggest another branch do something mine isn't that you were saying the National Guard is Army and being in the Air Force I shouldn't try to suggest new plans for them. I see now your point is that the Guard is not the Active Duty and they are more complicated then I make it - and I would have to agree.

Good debating Dave, I enjoyed it.
Comment by Dave Harvey on January 25, 2010 at 5:50pm
@Theodore-
Define what you mean by "building infrastructure" and I'll tell you if our efforts in Af are working towards that goal. I'm not belittling it, but you mentioned in your original post that one of the purposes of the Guard would be "renovating public facilities."

Thank you for providing the link to the Big Bend story - I was unaware of their involvement in that effort. However, I would argue that this is a one-off type of situation, and not indicative of the role that the Guard should play in the future, as it would fundamentally change their nature and purpose, just as it would any other branch that was tasked with these roles. My argument is not that they CAN'T do it, just that it should not be seen as their primary function. It makes far more sense to create & fund a civilian conservation corps at the state level (as many have done) and use them for such purposes.

"While this is only a few men, it is a perfect example of what I had proposed in my original post. You have every right to oppose this and argue the National Guard SHOULD not do this, but there is no reason that they can't do it. If we were to have conscripts in this hypothetical there is no reason we can't change other laws too."

CAN and SHOULD are two words which are inextricably linked when talking about the same issue. But just because you CAN do something doesn't mean that you SHOULD do it. In this case, it's like taking a thoroughbred racing horse and harnessing him to a plow. CAN he do the job? Certainly. SHOULD he be doing it as opposed to running races? Of course not.

"In response to your second paragraph, I have no intention of flying jets. I intend to apply for civil affairs so that I can help do exactly what I proposed in the Middle East or Africa."

Congratulations on your choice of MOS. No doubt you will enjoy the challenges and rewards of such service.

"As for applying it to my service, the Air National Guard qualifies as National Guard in my mind."

The active duty Air Force and the Army are distinct entities from the National Guard/Air National Guard. I won't bore you with the details, but comparing the AF to the Air National Guard is a big leap - for all intents and purposes I would still say they are separate services. The only link b/w them is the uniform they wear.

"Dave I can tell you feel very strongly on this, and that makes great debate, but it is more productive to argue what we should do, rather than what we can do, in a hypothetical."

Ok, point taken. In that cases, I would say that the Guard (in all its forms) should not do what you are suggesting. It would require a lot of extra expense to train and equip such a large body of people for what would amount to civil service. Additionally, there would surely be a number of "conscriptees" who would object to carrying arms and being sent overseas, but who might be quite content to do various projects that would benefit their state. It would be much more feasible, and economically viable, to have some sort of conservation program that is tied to an educational incentive. IMHO, that's what we SHOULD do.
Comment by Theodore Kruczek on January 25, 2010 at 4:21pm
@Dave - Do you not agree that the main goal in Afghanistan is to build infrastructure? If you want to belittle this as just unclogging toilets, that is your prerogative, but none the less that is a function of the military in today's world. Example:

"Date: January 7, 2008
Contact: David Elkowitz, 432 477-1108

A National Guard unit consisting of 12 people will spend 60 days in Big Bend National Park repairing several badly eroded sections of backcountry dirt road along River Road East. The road repairs are part of a cooperative effort between the Park, the National Guard, and the U.S. Border Patrol. Repairs are scheduled to begin the week of January 7th.

Road repair will benefit both the U.S. Border Patrol and the park’s visitors by allowing easier access and travel on River Road along badly eroded road sections which have caused frequent closures during the past year.

Read more: http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/national-park-news/national..."

While this is only a few men, it is a perfect example of what I had proposed in my original post. You have every right to oppose this and argue the National Guard SHOULD not do this, but there is no reason that they can't do it. If we were to have conscripts in this hypothetical there is no reason we can't change other laws too.

In response to your second paragraph, I have no intention of flying jets. I intend to apply for civil affairs so that I can help do exactly what I proposed in the Middle East or Africa. As for applying it to my service, the Air National Guard qualifies as National Guard in my mind.

Dave I can tell you feel very strongly on this, and that makes great debate, but it is more productive to argue what we should do, rather than what we can do, in a hypothetical.
Comment by Dave Harvey on January 25, 2010 at 2:09am
@Theodore-
Regardless of whether you were making the suggestion currently or in the future, it simply is untenable. "Civic duties" such as fixing roads & renovating public facilities is NOT and NEVER WILL BE the role of the National Guard. According to the Guard's website, "the National Guard can be mobilized any time natural disasters or other emergencies occur within America’s borders, and also serve alongside U.S. combat forces in other parts of the world." Does that even remotely sound like what you are suggesting?? Why would someone join the military to do those things?

You're at the AF Academy, right? How would you like to be told that instead of flying jets upon graduation, the AF was going to send you out to Podunkville, UT to fix potholes, unclog toilets at rural rest areas, and "improve the infrastructure" of the nation? Sound like fun? Didn't think so.

A number of states have their own brand of Conservation Corps, where 18-25 yr. olds can serve for minimum wage and help out on a number of different public works projects. Please don't denigrate the military any further - even unintentionally - by suggesting that they fill some type of public worker bee function.

If you wouldn't apply it to your own branch of service, chances are you shouldn't apply it to another. How 'bout you just admit that was a bad statement and we move on.
Comment by Theodore Kruczek on January 25, 2010 at 1:36am
@Dave I was not suggesting that the current national guard did those kinds of civic duties. I was saying that with everyone in the military it would be possible to use the national guard for civic duties too. Sorry for the confusion.

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