Bob Herbert, in today's New York Times, points out the extreme hardships and horrors suffered by the families of soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Herbert suggests that if there was a new draft, politicians would be less likely to start such wars in the future, since they would be fearful for their own kids and meet a strong public backlash.
I like Bob Herbert but he's entirely wrong on this issue. A draft would only make things worse. And the sons and daughters of the rich and well-connected would STILL find loopholes to avoid service. Congress would see to that.
How do you feel about a future draft? Do you actually think it would "spread the sacrifice" or just spread the pain and suffering to many more Americans?
Bob Herbert, who I tremendously admire, has a column in today's New York Times, about why the nation should consider resuming the military draft. Herbert is sincere about this and he's coming from a good place with good intentions:
But Herbert couldn’t be more wrong about this issue.
Instituting a new draft, or something requiring either “domestic” or military “national service” would be a disaster for all Americans. It would increase the problems we already have. A new draft would ensure a steady supply of “fresh meat” for those armchair war hawks who see either monetary or ideological gain in starting new wars in the future.
It’s bad enough that so many lives have been destroyed, and so many families adversely impacted by the horrors of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Spreading this pain and anguish to many more families---against their will---isn’t a solution. It would only make things worse. Much worse.
It is also somewhat naïve---or just wishful thinking---to argue that a new draft would create wider opposition to these wars---and that they would then end sooner. It wouldn’t. The sons and daughters of the wealthy and influential would find some loophole, in one way or another, to escape any real obligation or sacrifice. Very few members of congress would would ever have to worry about their own children; they’d make sure of that.
If there were a draft, the wars would continue to be fought largely by the underprivileged, and ultimately nothing would change; except that more families would now be forced to sacrifice their children, whether they wanted to or not.
Does anyone really think that a new draft would end these wars, or prevent any similar future wars? I don’t. I think a draft would probably make such wars easier to conduct and much more likely to occur in the future.
What do the rest of you think? Do you really believe that a new draft would "force" Congress to come to their senses and think before they start new wars like the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan, or do you think it would only force more Americans to take a direct role in this madness and tragedy?