A senior House Democrat said Sunday he will introduce legislation to reinstate the military draft, asserting that current troop levels are insufficient to sustain possible challenges against Iran, North Korea and Iraq.
"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," said Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. Read more.
If you were president, would you support a reinstatement of the draft?
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to jump into the debate!
Here's what FOX Fans are saying:
"No, the current volunteer army is working well. Why would you force people to do something that they do not like to do? Some young people may even oppose the military. Defenders of freedom treasure the privilege, and the pride, of serving their country at home and being their country's ambassadors of democracy abroad. We are talking about military life as a profession. The military structure and discipline is not what disinterested individuals would readily take." — Nelly
"I would support a reinstatement of the draft with the understanding that a person who did not want to go to a war zone did not have to. These people would help protecting the borders and assist in helping out in disaster zones." — Ralph
"I would not execute the draft. The draft is installed in that all young persons must register for it. However, it should only be executed in the face of a national catastrophe." — Mike (Lisle, Illinois)
"I would clean out the prisons in America and train them to be front troops." — J.T.
"Absolutely not! We are a free, peace-loving country. We are a conglomeration of occupations. Let those who desire join voluntarily, and those who don't, let them support the military just as they do other branches of government." — George (Kansas)
"I think the draft would do several things — but first, and foremost, it would help to install some patriotism in our youth. Secondly, the Army would probably deter some countries from reacting to quickly." — Chuck
"No, the draft causes ill will. If I were president, I would pull troops back, and use smart bombs and more strategic weapons. Look back, and remember that the only country ever nuked had the fear of our might instilled in them and they are now one of our strongest trading partners." — Steve (Prescott, AZ )
"Yes, I would support the draft being instated. The young adults of today lack respect for their country and do not understand that freedom is not free. There are countries that make the draft mandatory for at least two years." — Sandy
"I do not think the draft should be re-instated. The idea of men and women not being free to choose military service in the name of 'freedom' seems strange to me. How did the draft benefit the country during the years we were in the Vietnam War?" — C.G.
"Definitely, yes. This country needs commitment, discipline and structure. It's something that has been lacking for too many years. The military would give this country's young men and women a purpose in life and instill a degree of self-confidence and pride. I served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam and even though severely wounded, I am proud to have done my part for this great country. Both my son and daughter served in the Marines, and both will tell you it was the best decision they ever made." — Mac
"That is a hard decision. It would be good for every 18-year-old to serve two years in the service to learn patriotism and discipline. NO EXCEPTIONS, except for the severely handicapped. Our young people do not seem to understand or care what it takes to keep our country free and safe." — Joyce (Vancouver, WA)
"No way. As a 17-year Air Force veteran currently serving as an NCO in charge of four troops, the last thing I want to do is train, equip and care for someone's well being when they don't even want to be in the service in the first place. Dealing with troops who are apathetic to the mission and are only interested in serving-out their draft commitment is detrimental to the well-being of those of us who weren't forced into our service commitments." — William (Arkansas)
"I would not reinstate the draft. You never want to depend on people who are made to serve. Instead, I would be in favor of the government offering full scholarships that come with a contractual agreement to serve between three to five years in the military in some capacity. This would potentially kill two birds with one stone — increase higher education in the country, and increase military ranks." — John (Rio Rico, AZ)
"I have always felt that he draft should be enacted. This is the only sure method of ensuring that we all share in the good and the bad things. I seldom care what Charles Rangel thinks, but I am in tune with him on this one." — Cliff
"Every person in the United States should have to serve in the military. Six months of basic training and then six months of specialist training would serve the purpose. Military service changes attitudes and gives those who do serve a feeling of confidence they will never gain elsewhere." — Ben (Palm Desert, CA)
"I think that everyone that does not attend college should be enlisted for at least two years. This would give them good experiences and some discipline for life." — Randall
"I would not initiate the draft at this time. The war against terrorism must be fought differently than other wars we have engaged in. We are fighting against a group of radicals that spread across the world rather than with a specific country or group of countries that have declared war on us." — Melba (Livingston, TX)
“I would absolutely support reinstatement of the draft. The country needs all the support the citizens can provide in our effort to protect Americans against terrorists and the potential Iranian threat of the future.” — Clay
“Definitely not. The draft would no longer work. College is now the accepted norm, and nearly everybody who would be called would be able to claim college deferment. If they were to rule out college deferment, the economy would then be the one to suffer. There is also the morale issue to worry about.” — Brandon, Buena Vista University student
“I would support the draft for both men and women. I served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam conflict and latter served in the Air Force. I would not trade that experience for a million bucks. It is through military service that people learn loyalty, true teamwork and discipline — things that would benefit a great many Americans.” — Rhonda
“I think that we do need a larger military to meet the threat of terrorism, but I am in favor of a volunteer military and I think we can increase our military voluntarily.” — Joe (Rochester, NY)
“Yes, I would support the draft. I believe it is the obligation of every American who can and is able to do his or her duty, women included, in supporting and defending the United States. It should not be left to a few that realize that freedom isn't free and are willing to serve in order to keep us free. Everyone has something to give.” — David
“I would absolutely reinstate the draft!! The burden of protecting American freedom should be shared equally among the population. As it is, the many are guaranteed freedom because of the sacrifice of the few. Ours is a great nation and those who want to live here should be willing to serve and sacrifice to protect it. Those who are not willing to serve and sacrifice to protect the country that nurtures them, should hang their head in shame. They do not deserve to be called Americans.” — Russ (Beavercreek, OR)
“Yes, I feel that every American should serve their country and know that freedom is not free.” — Jim (Hillsboro, OR)
“No draft. The military is more effective when it is comprised of people who want to be there and not mixed with the disgruntled. Israel's military is compulsory for men and women. They are surrounded by enemies, hence, are coming from a survival worldview. However, we tout freedom, and therefore we must give our young people the freedom to choose.” — Mary (Steubenville, OH)
“It is my opinion the draft should be reinstated. At this point in time, most young people have given nothing to their country. Perhaps, they'd appreciate our country (and the military) a little more if they knew what the men and women who are in our armed forces give to protect this country.” — Ron and Valerie
"I do not support the draft because the military of today requires a certain skill set. This is not your father's military. These young men and women today are not just boots on the ground. They have to be computer savvy because of the weaponry that is used. I also believe that if instituted it will finally give us the military that John Kerry thinks we have. The rich will send their children to Canada, so you are left with those who cannot afford to skip the draft." — Erin
"It is unfortunate that many Americans fail to understand that freedom is not free. Where most of us would cringe at the possibility of our son going to war, America must have troops ready to defend our country from those who seek to destroy it; even if it means that some of those doing the fighting will be required to serve." — Gary (Elmhurst, IL)
"Bring it back for both men and women. They should all have two years of service somewhere either in the military or somewhere needed, like disaster areas or hospitals. Couple it with some educational grants and encourage college afterwards. We could also use draftees on our own borders. It could work if the politicians don't screw it up." — Frank
"No. I do not think the draft should be reinstated. We have a volunteer army that meets the goals of the various branches of the military" — Margaret (Worth, IL)
"Yes! Without a doubt the draft definitely needs to be in place again. There are not enough troops to protect this country and fight a war on foreign soil. Serving your country should be done proudly and without hesitation. If you want the rights and freedoms that the U.S. provides, then you should also be ready to defend them." — Donna (Brandon, MS)
"No, I remember the draft during the Vietnam War. The wealthy all went to college and got deferments. Only the poor, who could not afford college, were drafted. The draft should be equal for all, meaning no college deferments, etc. In this case, the sacrifice would be even more apparent and the Iraq war is really about oil and the interests of the wealthy, not about freedom for Iraqis. I am proud of our military and would be even if there was a draft, but let's make if fair this time." — Doris
"Absolutely not! This is supposed to be a free country with the ability to choose. Not one person should be forced to enlist and go to war if this is what they don't want to do in life. It is one of the freedoms we are supposed to enjoy in the United States." — Marlene
"I do not support the draft, however, we have a generation of people who haven't been taught the real history of our country and what it takes to have the freedoms we have. What we need is a program similar to what Israel has. When a person turns 18, he/she should serve a minimum of two years in whatever branch of service they choose, and then they are in the inactive reserves until age 40. Some may choose to stay and make it a career, but this will instill some sort of patriotism in all." — E.C. (Gulfport, MS)
"No, I do not think we should bring back the draft. I do agree that our leaders might not be so willing to rush to a military solution if they had a more personal connection with the people they send over there, but forcing people into service does not work. Permanently expand the military if need be. Give better pay, and better benefits." — Peter
"I would make everyone, male and female, serve two years in the service upon their 18th birthday or graduation from high school, whichever comes last. Only the physically or mentally disabled would be excluded. Upon fulfilling their two-year obligation, they would get a predetermined, inflation-adjusted grant towards college tuition. " — Tim
"The draft should have never stopped. All Americans should serve at least one two-year tour. However, it should be when people are 20-years-old, not 18. Furthermore, if it is never stopped, then it will, over time, be embraced and regarded as truly American." — Bill (Mooresville, IN)
"I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1970 and served with a few draftees during my four years. They were malcontents then, and they would be now. I believe they poisoned morale, were largely insubordinate, and did more to tarnish the image of military service than anything. Keep the military all volunteer!" — Larry (Lancaster, OH)
"Bringing back the draft would not deter politicians from sending our troops to unpopular conflicts. It never has before. The wealthy and privileged have always found a way to avoid that kind of service. I know, I was in Vietnam, and I did not serve next to anyone from a privileged or political background. The old send the young to war, and apparently the old have forgotten what it was like, or never had a clue to begin with. Let the military stay a professional organization, just use them a bit more wisely" — John
"I think it is every citizen's obligation to give some time to the defense of our country. Two years active duty or active reserve is not too much to ask of any of our citizens. I served during the Vietnam conflict, and to this day I'm very proud to have answered the call." — Eddie
"Yes, for all those out there who want to 'go long' or 'go big.' Also, for all those conservative Republicans who have supported this war, let's put them in a situation where they can put something beside their big mouths to work. I think we should 'go home!' We never should have gone in the first place!" — Gil