Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former top commander of international forces in Afghanistan, recently said that America should bring back the draft if it ever goes to war again, noting "if a nation goes to war, every town, every city needs to be at risk. You make that decision and everybody has a skin in the game."
America abandoned the draft after Vietnam. Is it time to bring it back?
Lawrence Korb, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a former assistant secretary of defense, joined The Daily Circuit Tuesday to talk about the possibility of a draft in future American wars.
"The all-volunteer force is, as the Joint Chiefs of Staff told President Ronald Reagan in 1981 when he was on the verge of reversing President Carter's decision to reinstitute draft registration, a peacetime force," Korb wrote for The New York Times. "When this nation gets involved in extended conflicts, Selective Service must be activated or else the strain on the all-volunteer force will be too great."
Elliot Feldman, partner and leader of Baker Hostetler's international trade practice, special project officer and consultant in the Defense Department during the Reagan administration, said the United States has too large of a population to institute a draft effectively. He also joined the discussion Tuesday.
"We have no rational way to decide who should don a uniform and who should get on with their civilian lives," he wrote from The Washington Post. "The certainty is that we cannot take every eligible, qualified person of age. We would never need forces that big and could not afford to train, house and maintain them. Nor could we afford alternative service for everyone or decide who would get to do alternative service and who would have to be a soldier. Such programs failed when we tried them, largely because they were fundamentally unfair."
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VIDEO: Gen. Stanley McChrystal at Aspen Ideas 2012
We heard from a lot more people than we thought who would support a draft. There was also a lot of support for required service and even out class disparities.