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that the citizen-soldier tradition was alive and well:After the event, there was debate about the readiness of somereserve units—especially those designated as combat units. Butthere was no debate about whether the reserve call-up helpedforge political support for waging the conflict. Reconfiguringthe military in this way emphasized the responsibilities ofcitizens for national defense. In effect, it revived the traditionalrepublican belief that the state must have the consent of thecitizens before marching to war.31Finally, the concept of an all-volunteer military has takenroot around the world. According to a senior Defense Departmentofficial, the American military has become “the envy of the world.”Civilian and military leaders elsewhere have come to realize that awell-trained volunteer force is a more effective way of staffing thearmed forces. A number of European Union countries have eitherabolished the draft recently or are planning to do so. Even Russiaand China have made their military less labor-intensive and moretechnically sophisticated.•Are volunteers more aggressive than draftees? Is anall-volunteer force more likely to start wars?MANDATORY MILITARY SERVICE46
Modern warfare, in which highly skilled soldiers operate sophis-ticated weapons, requires fewer but better-trained personnelthan wars of the past did. The draft is no longer an efficient wayto find the qualified people the armed forces need. Drafteesoften leave before they can be taught important skills, and theyalso create motivation and disciplinary problems while in service.Improved pay and benefits, and greater respect for those serving,have encouraged enough enlistments and reenlistments to makea draft unnecessary. Despite fears that ending the draft wouldattract the unskilled and uneducated, the all-volunteer militaryis considered the best-qualified force in the nation’s history.•Is the “citizen-soldier”ideal still alive? Or has it become a myth?The United States Can Meet Its Military Commitments Without a Draft47
48Reviving the Draft Would Benefit SocietyThe decision to end the draft was based largely on aneconomic theory that considered military service a tax andthe armed forces an industry that had to compete for workers.However, critics of the free-market approach consider it contraryto the American tradition of civic responsibility. They believethat a recruiting strategy that emphasizes financial rewards isa modern form of commutation, a practice that allowed menfrom well-to-do families to buy their way out of the military.Critics also fear that the all-volunteer military has created ageneration of Americans who have forgotten that they owe aduty to their country and who have become unconcerned abouttheir fellow citizens.