Mandatory national service

National service is no longer mandatory however the United States can reinstate the order should a national crisis arise.

Citizens argue that it’s unjust for a government to demand mandatory national service for the following reasons:

  • A government does not own its citizens and cannot make them work for months or years at a time
  • Citizens are not there to provide the government with forced labour
  • The government can criminalise a citizen for refusing to comply with national service
  • Even if the majority of citizens support the call for national service, that doesn’t make it right
  • Even if the labour provided by young people during their national service is important, it may still be viewed as a form of state-sanctioned slavery

While national service may be necessary if the US ever faced a national attack, it seems that this is not the sort of threat the US faces today.

The federal government can raise the troops they need by other means such as hiring outside contractors who have the necessary skills, increasing wages and benefits, or providing tax incentives.

In modern conditions with high-tech equipment, a properly trained and motivated paid force would deliver far better service than inexperienced conscripts forced into military service. Even many veterans are against the draft and their experience is credible. 

On the other hand, some people believe that exposing draftees to mandatory national service would build a greater sense of national unity, expose draftees to people of other backgrounds and make sure that service in the forces is more equitable. There is also the perception that once draftees have been exposed to war, they would not be so eager to see military force used.