Nations fighting for their survival can’t allow citizens to opt out of that fight. The US and (if it survives) UK will need to face this sometime soon.
But not yet:
The Pentagon sharply rejected Monday a key general’s assertion that a return to the military draft has always been “an option on the table” and should be considered…
The US military found that it preferred voluntary service to universal conscription because it drew better educated, more highly motivated recruits looking to make a career of the military.
But if the nation’s survival is at stake, conscription is essential to achieve the equality of sacrifice needed to sustain a long war. Here’s an Israeli mother talking about the end of a long friendship:
We came a long way together: Neighbors, friends, raising children and dogs together. Here and there we both expressed our anger over the destructive occupation or the discrimination against women – but more than anything, we saw our children growing up together, ready to conquer the world when the time comes.
Your firstborn didn’t join the army. Faithful to your ultra-left wing world, you declared that the military is an occupation army, a machine that exploits the young and innocent. Your son, you said, would not be a part of it. Your son was exempted from service and traveled abroad, enrolled in university and played the guitar in his spare time…
Meanwhile, my son joined a commando unit. He gave up a career in sports because he wanted to do “something worthwhile” in the army, as he put it…
I asked you candidly for the first time: How is my son different to your children? Why can he contribute while your’s can’t? You responded with your familiar answer about the occupation army, which only exists to perpetuate itself, and that the army should have been dissolved and turned into a professional army with salaried personnel…
And I hear myself telling you angrily: Perhaps, but meanwhile the children of others are serving in this army and risking their lives. You say that “everyone” and “for the sake of the country” is not a valid argument. Your children will do their bit when the time comes, if and when they choose. And you add: “Don’t forget that your son wanted this, he volunteered.”
…After the long years of friendship, I am sorry to say that the break is inevitable. We have reached a point in which what’s political has become personal, and what’s personal touches a raw nerve, and the things that mothers of soldiers experience on nights replete with worry are not experienced by others.
The Israelis face a succession of wars, so they’ll have to fix the guitar player problem – maybe by enrolling them as stretcher bearers, as the Brits did in earlier wars.
And we need conscription too. It might make us less ready to make war, but there’s no harm in that. It would politicize our wars, but it’s hard to see how they could become more so than at present.
Above all, we would all be in it together, and free nations that are undivided don’t fail.