Section IV - Perspectives on Today's Military
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 January 2023
We conclude our studies and personal recollections with a variety of observations. CHAPTER A draws on Section II and provides a historical study of the role of the draft in the American military in the twentieth century and its replacement in 1973 with the All-Volunteer Force.
CHAPTER B summarizes the heart of the book—our eight shared recollections of military service and its influence on our lives. We were all young men influenced by the prospect of military service prompted by the draft during the Vietnam War and the middle years of the Cold War. A half-century of young Americans men since then have not experienced that exposure to military service.
CHAPTER C moves the focus to the present day. We look at the current American military and the challenges facing it and America. We examine factors that might call for a larger and more diverse military in the third decade of the twenty-first century. We also examine opposition to mandatory military service that might not have been present half a century ago. What factors could impel the American people to support or oppose a return to conscription?
CHAPTER D moves to legal questions. If popular opinion supported a possible return to the draft, the burden would shift to Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court to answer tough questions about the specific features that would be required in law if the country were to reimpose mandatory military service. The primary burden is on the Congress to answer most of those questions. But it is a certain that whatever Congress settles on, constitutional challenges will follow that would inevitably reach the Supreme Court.
CHAPTER E examines the wide range of issues facing America in its immediate future. We review the extraordinary events of 2020–22. How do they impact decisions about American foreign and domestic policy and the raising of its armed forces?
We write from the perspectives of our active military experiences detailed in Section III and from our reflections on those experiences today. Our experiences since the end of our active service have included academic study of the military, membership in veterans’ organizations, and thoughtful consideration of American military, foreign policy and public policy issues.
- Military MemoriesDraft Era Veterans Recall their Service, pp. 153 - 182Publisher: Anthem PressPrint publication year: 2022