An assessment of the political and social feasibility of a peacetime draft
Batt, Patricia Mara
Eitelberg, Mark J.
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What is the political feasibility of a peacetime draft? Throughout this nation's history, the military manning debate has focused upon two separate schools of thought. On the one hand, there are those who believe that a "professional" force, comprised of experienced, career military personnel, is needed for national defense. At the same time, others have argued that a force composed of armed citizens is the best expression of democratic, "citizensoldier" ideals. A return to conscription has been proposed as the best means of remedying the deficiencies resulting from a market-based recruiting system. However, the fact is that Americans are quite satisfied with the current system (according to a 1984 survey). This thesis seeks to place the draft revival question within the framework of the philosophical and historical issues that have helped to shape the nation's attitudes toward military service. A major conclusion of the study is that political acceptability of a peacetime draft in the United States is highly questionable.
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