To Conscript, or not to Conscript
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The question on whether the United States military should be based on a conscription style of enlistment has been debated for many years. The US has had several instances where conscription, or “draft” as it was referred to a few times, was enacted to supplement troop numbers during a period of conflict. Some proponents for conscription believe it would be a benefit to the military, where others believe it would cause more problems than it solved. This paper discusses some of the pro's and con's of conscription and discusses whether or not this is a good ...view middle of the document...
, & Glastris, P., 2005). They also feel that the military would have access to a true cross-section of Americas youth, thus upgrading the quality of recruits (Gill, K.). As nice as it sounds to have young people contributing to the defense of the nation, I am not at all in favor of a conscription military. In my opinion this system would simply not be fiscally possible, especially during a time when the armed forces are already facing huge cuts in manpower and equipment spending, and for the sheer fact that the military wouldn't have enough open “positions” to place these new recruits. I also believe that a free nation should be defended by people of their own free will and choice. This means people who actually want to be there are doing the jobs to the best of their ability versus someone who feels forced to be there and may not give 100% to the task(s) at hand.
Being a US Navy veteran of 21 years, I feel military consignment would be too financially taxing on the national and defense budget. Not only does basic pay have to be considered, but many other areas are affected by a large increase of personnel. Increased spending for initial outfitting of recruits to include clothing/uniforms, daily meals, equipment, and miscellaneous training items would be a large initial expenditure. Housing structures would need to be expanded or built to house more recruits. Larger capacity recruit training facilities would also be needed, along with larger classrooms, dining facilities, and recreational centers. Construction and expansion costs would be enormous. Benefits and allowances paid would put a huge dent in the defense budget. On top of basic pay, military personnel get paid housing allowances (if they live off base), clothing maintenance allowances, sustenance allowances, and a number of other “special” pays if they qualify (ex. Combat pay, flight pay, etc.). Equipment maintenance and procurement already suffer because of the high cost of these pays taking from the defense budget.
After the initial outlay of funding to accommodate the large number of recruits, there would simply not be enough open positions for these new people to fill. Conscription would also not provide the trained officers and non-commissioned officers to man effective units; it would only turn out freshly trained junior enlisted recruits (Gill, K.). Existing bases would have to be modified to become much, much larger in order to accommodate increased personnel. New units and possibly entire commands would need to be commissioned to open new positions for new and existing personnel. This would include aircraft squadrons, ships, and infantry units. These new units would now need to be provided with equipment (aircraft, etc.), not to mention the cost of ship building and the cost of high-tech aircraft and weapon systems. Complete new bases would have to either be built or expanded. Considering that Congress ordered several Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) rounds in the not...