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Conscription (Drafting) - Your Views
Posted 1/11/07
There was a request for a "serious" thread.

So...

Should countries enforce conscription?

I believe not, verging on the edge of being a pacifist; I think it will create nationalist nations in which Nazi-esque feelings are fostered (such as Switzerland).
I know people from a few places where conscription is enforced, my german friends have claimed a mix of mental disorders, judaism and homosexuality (faked) in order to be exempt from doing a year in the Forces. In their view it takes too much time out of your life when you could be getting on and getting a job or qualifications.
A russian friend of mine is scared of being drafted, the russian army is litterally a prison sentence for a year! The conscripts are (apparently, according the Economist Newspaper) forced to steal by their superiors in order to survive.

Anyway, that's enough of my opinion, now it's your turn...
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28 / F / UK
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Posted 1/11/07
! they can do that! they dont have a choice?!
i dont like the idea- people probably want to get on with their studys or aim for a job they want. perhaps a month instead- just so everyone can get a taste of it- they might decide/realise they like it.
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32 / M / New York
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Posted 1/11/07
I have a couple of friends from Israel who are thankful that they had to join the armed forces for a year. They were also glad that after the mandatory year, they weren't pressured into going career.

I personally don't think anyone has the right to tell anybody else what to do. If I want to join the armed forces then I will, if not I won't. If the gov't has to force people to join, then maybe it should re-evaluate it's position as a military power. You can't force your people to do something like that, it's not right.
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28 / M / The Land of Oz
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Posted 1/11/07
Conscription will not create a high moral army. The kind of person that is forced to join the army will probably not make a very effective soldier.
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30 / F / Canada, BC
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Posted 1/11/07
s_j_b: a month doesn't help you realize what you want to do for the rest of your life... That's not long enough experience for anyone to base any decision on.

I don't like the idea of conscription. Everyone has a right to decide what they want to do with their lives and no one should have the right to force anyone to do anything against their will. If conscripted soilders were forced to fight the wars their heart won't be in it and they will always be looking for ways to get out of it. This is what happened to Ancient Rome... they became lazy and forced or "conscripted" soldiers from areas they had conqured to fight the wars for them... and that was "good bye Ancient Rome"...
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28 / F / UK
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Posted 1/11/07
^i know a month isnt really much use
i was just trying to be fair- its not a year and it still exists
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Posted 1/11/07
No way, it's unethical in my opinion to force people to do this, and if it's in a country like mine ( Colombia) where the government stinks and poor 18 year old kids who have lived all their lives in a city are sent into guerrilla dominated areas whose members have weapons 10 times better and 10 times the experience. Unfortunately the 45 year old war has no signs to stop so the mandatory service will not change anytime soon.
I don't know why some people here in the US think is a good idea to make the service mandatory again.
I really don't know much about this, hopefully azrael910 will respond to this one.


And thanks for posting this topic.
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30 / F / Canada, BC
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Posted 1/11/07
To those people who say that conscription is a tradition just remember that killing people who were gay and arranged marriages were once traditions too...
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28 / M / The Land of Oz
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Posted 1/11/07
I believe if the state really wanted to reinforce their army they should provide some benefits such as complete citizenship to those who served in the armed forces.
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28 / F / UK
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Posted 1/11/07
does someone know more about this? i didnt know it still existed! what does it involve?
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Posted 1/11/07
I'm not a fan of the draft; it takes away a way for someone to show their beliefs (moral and political).
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35 / M / 中国
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Posted 1/11/07
--This is very long, and if you're a lazy reader, skip down to "the bottom line" but don't take fault unless you've read the entire thing--

First for reference point, I was active duty enlisted US Air Force for 4 years. I was an Avionics technician on the F-15 fighter aircraft. I deployed a few times during that period and even went to the middle east, where I got to do the whole tent city thing.

Like Roy said, a draft isn't genuinely feasible for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, logistics. It's not like they just toss you a uniform and it's done. There is alot of other money involved. I myself was in training for a total of 9 months, including basic. Personally, I don't feel this country is in the position to spending more money, let alone on defense. If we were to spend more money on defense, that should go to updating and improving equipment and training instead.

Secondly, we have more than enough active duty troops to do the job. Personally, I think the whole thing is being managed horridly but the troops we need are already there.

Another concern is that involved with the benefit of selective service. I voluntarily joined, raised my right hand, and was prepared to put my life on the line. Once in, you can't really blame anyone other than yourself if you don't find it to you liking. Also, anyone who voluntarily joins typically does so for a reason. It ranges quite a bit, but more popular reasons are pursuit of education benefits, desire to pursue a military career (as in the full 20-30 years), dare I say patriotism, desire to leave home (for some it's one of few ways to escape their deathtrap small town), and also the desire to be able to provide for their family. Military will give a married man a decent paycheck and home to live in (us single guys were herded into dorms like cattle - but that's a pet peave).

I think the draft isn't totally a negative thing, in concept at least. First, most kids in high school have a very limited view of the world. The military provides one with practical real world experience. And by practical, I mean for however long you are in you are expected to show up to work every day, work, and follow orders. Second, right now there is a pretty negative public oppinion of the military, well outside of red states at least, and I beleive alot of that's due to ignorance.

For the draft to work, I beleive it would need to 2 years in length for non combat or one year in length for combat potential deployable jobs (mainly MPs) with draftee given the choice. I also beleive it should be exclusively Army - other branches have no serious need of it at all. Also, some compensation needs to be given aside from a paycheck, such as a stripped down version of the MGIB (say a discount for going to in state colleges or something). I aslo see no need for females to be exempt.

On the moral issue of whether a draft is right or not, I have mixed feelings. On one hand I feel if you live in a country and enjoy the benefits of living in said country, then you should be prepared to defend and serve it if needed. On the other hand, I don't beleive an individual should be forced to do anything that conflicts with their moral beliefs. Personally, I feel that the reason most american's don't join the armed forces isn't a moral conflict, but they just have no desire for the military lifestyle and the restrictions it places on you.

Would a non volunteer force be as effective? No, but it wouldn't unaffective either. The military has a nack of motivating people. Military prison is a very unpleasent place. And I mean prison for military personel, not a place like Gitmo. It's basically like living in a basic training nightmare 24/7.

I think forcing juvenile delinquets who are in and out of jail at a young age are fair game and all systems involved would benefit a great deal to promote that avenue of invuluntary service before we go after law abiding kids. That'll keep the kids behaved - "if i get caught smoking this joint they may send me to Iraq!" Or prehaps give High School dropouts a higher priority on involuntary service than high school graduates, with dedicated college students being exempt totally.

Bottom line - The draft is currently an unreasonable and unnecessary option and isn't likely to see the light of day anytime soon, especially given the new democratic congress and the likely upcoming democratic president. Aside from that, it would all depend on how the draft was executed. In an ideal situation, there would certainly be some benefits.

But if all they did was force you to join like any other enlisted troop, and force you into combat, then I would be very much opposed to it. Forcing you to be a paperwork desk monkey serving stateside or something tame like that for a couple of years isn't the end of the world. Like I said, I think those who elect for a combat related job (particularly MPs) or maybe even really unpleasant jobs services (cooks basically) should only be required to serve a year.

If it were necessary - which it isn't - it would all boil down to the execution. And I'm not sure I have the confidence in the government to do it properly, though I suspect in the next 4 years we'll have a very different government than we do now.
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25 / M / Not Where I Want...
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Posted 1/11/07
I believe the draft is wrong although in the US its gone bc it was unconstitutional. on the other hand in other countries the draft is still in effect in which is separating families which can lead to catastrophic events after loneliness settles. The point i want to make is the draft strips people of their right to choose but if it so happens that more and more people begin to show cowardice then the draft is inevitable.
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31 / F / Insert Semi-Cleve...
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Posted 1/11/07
wow azrael910, that was very informative....i cant help wondering what motivated you to join the armed forces though?

here in the UK, conscription is totally out of the question. especially forced ones. and unless theres a WWIII in the near future, i dont think its gonna be an issue anytime soon. the UK was reluctant enough about it in WWII, concription was just unavoidable then because it was the matter of the survival of the kingdom. sea or no sea Germany was right outside the doorstep.

speaking of which though, i was amazed by how big the presence of the military was on my freshers week at Uni, they were apparently offering officers training, where the military would sponsor them to go and finish university in exchange they'd be willing to go through some military training, and even work for them for a while. i thought it was a good idea myself. the temptation of having no loans to pay back after uni was extremely tempting. but for all these enticement you know its just another way of conscripting. it was all new to me so i was quite surprised, i thought straight after secondary school thats when you decide to go or not...i was quite ignorant.

anyway another thing, enforced conscription has been a practice for a long long time, i'm sure its not gonna go away completely. if ever. and i dont necessarily think its 'evil' , i know a lot of people do, but if i got conscripted myself i won't demure. because of a variety of reasons. and henz_lan mentioned something about conscription in Germany created the extreme nationalist feelings? that was the other way round. nationalist feeling was already high in germany even before Hitler came to power. Hitler's National-Socialist (Nazi) party was voted legitimately by the people 2 years before Hitler broke the '100,000 troop and no consciption rule' the Versaille teaty imposed. so can't really say conscription was a major cause.
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77 / F / in the club
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Posted 1/11/07
@ Azrael - May i ask your opinion regarding First Lieutenant Ehren Watada's case?
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