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Bring the Draft Back?

July 10, 2013

One of the key concepts of the just peacemaking theory is looking at all options available to remedy grievances and reduce the potential for armed conflict. In America, there are few things the citizenry can do to slow a march to war. As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan appear to be winding down, there is an opportunity to open a national discussion on something which may reduce the speed America goes to war – the national draft.

Most of the casualties in the War on Terror are from middle to lower class homes. This has led many to believe there is an economically unbalanced representation in the enlisted ranks of the armed services. One potential solution is a national draft.

While the draft of the Viet Nam era was manipulated to allow the rich to avoid, or protect their children, from the draft, any new draft must remedy this problem. If there was a new draft, it must reduce the number of exemptions to a bare minimum. For example, the college enrollment exemption must be removed as it is clearly biased towards the wealthy allowing their children to avoid participation. Removing this exemption would eliminate the potential for the rich to avoid service by entering college. The only two exemptions should be for conscientious objectors and medical deferments which are verified by a military physician.

Many are asking at this point, how is this move towards peacemaking? The theory is by reestablishing the draft, the rich have equal chance of being called to service and this will affect the national decision-making process. This is by no means a guarantee to the reduction of conflicts and/or slow the decision-making process, but it is an option. Exploring options is what the just peacemaking process is about.

The question I pose today is: do you think reintroducing the draft with an extreme limitation on exemptions assist the decision makers in slowing their march to conflict?

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