One of the most serious negative side effects of having an all-volunteer armed services is that our leaders and political candidates appear to be more willing to go to war because they do not fear what the voters may think. Military action directly affects the lives of very few Americans, and as a result there is little national debate and investigation of the so-called facts given for waging war.
Recently it seems at every presidential debate, the tough-guy and tough-gal candidates who have never worn a uniform call for more military action and get a loud and rousing applause. This would not be the case if we had an armed services that relied on the draft to fill its ranks.
We need an equal-opportunity military draft to help keep us out of wars, not to fight more wars. As soon as every eligible man and woman, rich and poor alike, face the possibility of seeing combat, you will see a much-needed national debate about going off to war. When politicians and their families, as well as our children and grandchildren, have to fight, the political rhetoric will get real very quickly.
Bill Rutherford, Meridian