It's a free country, it's silly to say that someone can't voice an opinion about the military or military affairs simply because they never served...however, it all depends on the issue and what they are trying to say about it as to whether anyone should listen or just laugh them off as a crazy moonbat. Some things require experience and detailed technical knowledge as the basis for an opinion, others are bigger policy issues or require broader knowledge than a professional's perspective, not that everyone who served was actually a professional by a long shot. The problem with the moonbats is that to be taken seriously, an argument on any proposition needs to have an open mind as its starting place, which virtually guarantees failure for them.
I'm also surprised Taverner didn't beat Bugsy to the punch on seconding that, he's been posting a ton of anti-military tripe lately.
I dropped out of school after my freshman year at Valparasio University because I was bored. I couldn't/wouldn't apply myself to things that I should have. Then I enlisted. Nothing taught me more about self-discipline, self-motivation, and life in general than that first tour.
Zeus has it right in his sig...
I support universal conscription after high school graduation.
All that being said, no system is perfect. But on the job, and in my town, and in my neighborhood, I prefer to associate with those who have had some honorable military service. I still think that the structured military environment is more beneficial for young people than not. Not always but, for the most part in my experience, they have been more trustworthy and honest.
They don't call WW2 vets the "greatest generation" for nothing. I don't know the percentages, but there were more draftees than volunteers.
Just my 2¢.......
Well, the kid is flapping his gums because at the moment, it's sorta cold in Mommy's basement and the flapping sort of disguises his teeth from chattering.
Until the asshat actually rucks up and shoulders a weapon, he's just another punk kid who's trying to find a purpose in life. Even he knows at his reduced intellectual level that Mommy's basement ain't the place to spend much time.
That said, I can't agree to compulsory military/federal service. It takes too much time, effort and training to convert a civilian into a soldier vice, perhaps, 50-60 years ago and I would like to make sure that the guy I'm going to war with really wants to be there.
The Selective Service System is still in place to deal with national emergencies, so there's that option -- not likely it would ever be used in this day and age of limited-scope conflicts.
I agree with you about the benefits of military service, and I think that those of us who have honorably served bring character traits to other areas that many civilians lack, but the impulse to force those traits on the general population is, I think, misguided. It's sort of like Nancy Pelosi arguing that we needed to double the number of Special Operations troops in the services, without understanding that in order to do that, we'd have to lower standards in order to accommodate the increase in graduates. We can draft the vast majority of students, but a peacetime draft will leave them idle most of the time, or worse, tempt the federal government to use them in inappropriate ways (think of what Obama would do with a vast army of conscripted labor), neither of which would provoke the attitudes that we want to incur in them. Volunteers understand that they have chosen our profession, and that they have to take the bad with the good, but draftees would simply bristle at the time wasted and the opportunities delayed. It wouldn't give them the right attitude, and the cost of keeping them equipped, paid, fed and housed would impose massive hikes in the defense budget, for little gain, since we'd end up having to take much of that money from Force Modernization, training and other critical areas. Right now, we have a small, effective and lethal force, but a conscript army would, by neccessity, be a large, cumbersome and ill-equipped force, and that would actually undermine our defense, since that force would be less effective in combat, especially if the powers that be decided to use them as green-suited social workers.
We can argue for the benefits of a draft in wartime, but in peacetime, or in a time of limited warfare, the consequences do not justify the limited benefits.
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