When it comes to Iraq,

When it comes to Iraq, I agree with Jeralyn Merritt: a draft would probably lower morale, lower troop ability, and would hurt the military effort more than it would help. But as a matter of principle, I would support an Israel-like “draft”; i.e. one in which all citizens served from age 18 to age 20. The military has ceased to be seen as the hallmark of patriotism and sacrifice that it once was considered. It is now seen as a haven for the working poor, the stuggling, those who have nowhere else to turn. The military consists mostly of lower-class twentysomethings, and has a much higher minority population (as a percentage) than the country at large. This is wrong; service to one’s country shouldn’t be motivated by financial need. It should be motivated by love and respect for one’s country. Only with obligatory military service can the armed forces cease to be the way the are; only then will residents of both the Upper East Side and Harlem be fighting for their country. And more than that, obligatory military service will instill a civic, and patriotic, mindset into our nation’s youth. It will lead to a more active, and more altruistic population. In short, it will lead to a better America.

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