J F.Kennedy once coined the adage on people “not ask what the country to them but what they do to the country.” In the contemporary society, it appears that the modern-day American’s only roles are to participate as a taxpayer and voter. Beyond these two roles, most Americans are uninterested in the plight of the country’s military men and women being killed and killing others overseas. Perhaps the high cost of living does not allow citizens to take an interest in what their fellow citizens are doing overseas. On the other hand, it could be borne out of ignorance that most citizens do not care about the activities of the military. After all, it is easier to stay updated with the recent episode of Game of Thrones than watching an update of the ongoing wars in Asia where the country’s military is deeply involved. While taking an interest in the war is one thing, the other option of mandatory service to the military always draw a sharp divide amongst its proponents and opponents with both sides failing to find common ground. In retrospect, there is no common ground to mandatory service (Ruschmann 7). However, in this argument, reasons for the compulsory enlistment of the able men in the army service are outlined. Therefore, the argument maintains that able men should be forced to mandatory military service to make war a shared responsibility of citizens, ensure that it is everyone’s duty to protect the country and that it promotes democracy when individuals have equal responsibilities as citizens.
The last institution where American citizens participated in the draft was during the Vietnam War. Thousands of articles have been written in opposition to the draft, which makes it the most detested and aggressively resisted draft not only in the US but globally (Ruschmann 6). Nonetheless, it is evident that the draft managed to bring the issue of war to the forefront with the issue becoming an important subject among Americans. In effect, nearly all Americans knew or had someone that was fighting in the Vietnam War, which implied that the ramifications of the war were felt across the country in a war that was not at home but overseas. However, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars failed to have a similar personal connection to most Americans with the all-volunteer force attributed to the situation. Gallup and Newport indicate that “public support for the military is lacking” (p.230) and this could explain the reason for the lag in the recruitment. Hence, higher recruitment is attainment in the military when mandatory draft is revoked.
Having a mandatory draft to war makes it a responsibility of every American, and to a greater extent, there is evidence of shared interest in the war. Accordingly, winning a war depends on the morale and support of home and the country. However, if all is left to be a volunteer mission, then the military or the army may not have the commitment, support and seeing the need for fighting for a country or citizens whose interests are far from what the country stands for in the global politics (Kanz 37). America has a strong position in the world as a superpower and maintaining this dominance requires much commitment from the citizens, not only by paying taxes but also acting as a useful resource in the war. Given above justifications, a mandatory draft makes war a concern for every citizen, provides support to the army of which the force does not depend on enlisted men but a wide resource-base of abled people who have to join the war to fight for the country and protect the American pride.
Citizenship is not a title that people hold ceremoniously, but privileges and the rights that come with it implies that there are certain duties that people or the citizens must respect. Since the mandatory draft was terminated in 1973, many wars have been fought within and abroad. On the contrary, is quite saddening to see most of the Americans currently living in comfort and ignorance and are protected from the sacrifices that need to be shared by the individual or every citizen during war situations. Due to this ignorance, a situation has been created in America whereby all responsibilities that need or should be shared are left for the particular and unfortunate individuals who commit their efforts and time to make America great. Accordingly, Simon and Nicholas (372) suggest that service in the army should be an obligation that works towards protecting the country. It is quite disheartening for the few individuals to risk their lives, commit to service in the army just for few people to enjoy the sacrifices made. Therefore, an obligatory draft is necessary to ensure that the responsibilities of protecting the country’s pride and position are shared among all individuals, thus calling for any or every able-bodied person to a mandatory enlistment to the army.
America is a democratic country whereby democracy implies having equal responsibilities. To some extent, compulsory or forceful recruitment of individual citizens into the military is an outright radical decision, and for opponents, may seem extreme, it is quite evident that Americans have misplaced their patriotism (Gallup and Newport 232). Having or ensuring compulsory military service has to be an option in the country. Few individuals must not fight at the expense of the elite enjoying their stay in the country because war has consequences that must be shared among the individual citizens. Therefore, a mandatory enlistment, if not so, show be reconsidered in the country.
In summary, compulsory military service for the abled citizens is a necessity because it ensures that people have a shared responsibility towards protecting the country. Also, public support improves military recruitment, and this is only possible through mandatory military service. Another primary reason for supporting the mandatory service is the need have a newer look or approach to patriotism. Patriotism implies feeling and being concerned about what others are doing to protect the army, and this can only be achieved through mandatory military service for the able-bodied citizens. Defending the country should be a responsibility of every citizen. When people focus or channel their efforts and attention towards the army and its foreign and regional operations meant to protect the position of the nation in the global politics, then America can win many wars which have recently been lost due to the reluctance and lack of public support.
- Gallup, Alec and Newport Frank. The Gallup poll: Public opinion 2005. Rowman & Littlefield, 2006.
- Kanz, Martin. “Dismissing the Draft.” Harvard International Review, 24. 4(2003): 37.
- Ruschmann, Paul. Mandatory military service. InfoBase Publishing, 2009. Print.
- Simon, Christopher A. and Nicholas P. Lovrich. “Sources of support for mandatory military service in the context of the war on terrorism: Survey evidence pre- and post-September 11, 2001.” Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell), 90. 2(2009): 368-386.