Social Issues / Rough Draft
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Autor: anton 05 December 2010
Words: 1912 | Pages: 8
The constant threat of a military draft has been plaguing in the back of young peoplesâ€™ minds since the terrorist attacks of 9-11. Now with the increased tension of North Korea, prolonged war in Iraq, and the all volunteer military struggling to make recruitment numbers, the draft seems almost inevitable. But is that a bad thing? In order to create equality in our military, save tax payersâ€™ money, and end the war in Iraq, I feel that a military draft may be necessary. Many people believe that the draft is a horrible thing, because normally when a person thinks of the draft the refer back to Vietnam. Of course Vietnam was only one instance where the draft was used. In fact the draft was instated as early as the War of 1812, and even used in the civil war. The draft was also successfully used in both World Wars, the Cold War, and The Korean War. Although many problems surfaced during Vietnam, the draft has been refurnished to assure fairness and eliminate loop holes. â€œIf a draft were held today, it would be dramatically different from the one held during the Vietnam War. A series of reforms during the latter part of the Vietnam conflict changed the way the draft operated to make it more fair and equitable. If a draft were held today, there would be fewer reasons to excuse a man from service.â€ David M. Halbfinger New York Times.
"The playing field outside the military is not level. Life structures you into certain choices, and you wind up in the military." Ronald Walters, a University of Maryland political science professor. â€œWalters and other observers note that 38 percent of the military's 1.1 million enlistees are ethnic minorities, while they make up only 29 percent of the general population. In the largest branch, the Army, the percentage of minorities approaches half of all enlistees, at 45 percent.â€ A military draft would level the playing fields. It would ensure that all races, class levels, and social standings would be accounted for in the military. Although many argue that enlisting in the military is a choice, others believe that for some ethnic groups it is their only way out. "Your way out is to defend this country, or you're not going to get the fair shake that's due you," said William E. Spriggs, executive director of the National Urban League's Institute for Opportunity and Equality. It has been said that the military has been targeting the so called ghettos, and more urban areas of the United States. According to Goarmy.com a private makes $15,282 for two years of service, and a Sergeant $21,769. The federal minimum wage is $5.15 as of right now. If you worked forty hours a week for two years that would equal out to $19,766 before taxes. A person holding a minimum wage job and working full time is getting paid almost as much as a Sergeant in our Army.
African Americans solely account for nearly 30 percent of Army enlistees, according to Defense Department statistics in 2000. â€œActivists say that is because minorities face more obstacles to employment in a society where corporations discriminate against them.â€ (Darryl Fears, Washington Post Staff Writer). In comparison to the 2003 census African Americans make up 43 percent more of the army then they do the general public. (Tim Kane, Ph.D) It is an inequality that can not be excused. Because of the low salary of the military forces, it does not appeal to many high class citizens. The average income of a California house hold in 2005 was $51,647 (www.census.gov). Honestly it does not make sense to join the military if you are middle class or above. It is not fair that the high class citizens can change the channel on their plasma big screen, go back to watching Days of Our Lives, and distract themselves from the war, while the low class mothers watch every moment of the CNN coverage desperately hoping they do not see their childâ€™s name. A military draft would ensure that all social classes, and races are accounted for. Many people claim that a draft is unfair, but the draft may just be the most fair thing in America.
Another issue of inequality in the military is the â€œstop lossâ€ or â€œbackdoor draftâ€ that has already been initiated. â€œThe Army will announce as early as Tuesday new orders that will forbid thousands of soldiers from leaving the service after they return this year from Iraq, Afghanistan and other fronts in the war against terrorismâ€ (USA Today 1/5/2004). If you have served your time, you should be able to go home. With a draft there would be an unlimited supply of soldiers that would be able to replace the oneâ€™s who have paid their dues. Militarypost.com suggest that enlistees know that this is a possibility when signing their contract, they just do not know that it is actually going to happen. During the War on Terror there have been four accounts of a stop loss policy put into action. â€œStop-Loss 4 kept about 260 soldiers on active duty who had potential separation or retirement dates between now(Sept. 5) and Sept. 30, and it released another 370 who had been impacted by previous Stop-Loss decisions. The total number of active-duty soldiers affected by Stop-Loss during this fiscal year has been 2,900.â€ (Staff Sgt. Marcia Triggs , Published in Army News Service). With a draft all 2,900 soldiers would be home right now, because there would be no need for any stop loss programs.
Many people oppose a draft due to the fact that we have military contractors. Why should we instate a draft when we can pay corporations such as C.A.C.I, Black Water, and Halliburton? What is wrong with paying someone to fight our war? Well I guess nothing as long as you know that the other country canâ€™t offer them more money then you. Trustworthiness may be the first concern that comes to mind. How do you know that they are not being employed by terrorist to sabotage you? When money is involved people can become very greedy. This is not a small amout of money either. 10 billion dollars a year is being given to Halliburton alone. When dealing with large amounts of money like this there is a lot of room for corruption. â€œHalliburton, meanwhile, is contending with two new scandals. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company had overcharged the government by sixteen million dollars on a bill for the cost of feeding troops at a military base in Kuwait. And last month the company made an astonishing confession: two of its employees, it said, had taken kickbacks resulting in overcharges of $6.3 millionâ€ (Jane Mayer The New Yorker). Jane also states that â€œThe day after this disclosure, the Pentagon awarded yet another contract to Halliburton, worth $1.2 billionâ€ That money comes straight from the tax payersâ€™.
The real question is what are these companies doing that cost so much? Nothing. These companies are being paid to do the same jobs, or even less remedial jobs as our army privates that are making 15,282 every two years for enlisting. These corporations are being paid billions to do laundry, cook and serve food, set up tents, transport goods, build facilities, and even just stand guard. Most of these employees even have to be trained by our military. There is not one job that our military could not do that these war profiteers are doing. One of the worst parts is that the contractors are not even doing the jobs correctly some of the time. Soldiers claim that when their laundry comes back, it feels worse then when they sent it off covered in sand. When a mishap occurred in water monitoring our soldiers were showering in contaminated water. Dining facilities are only being opened for an hour per meal, so our troops have to wait in long lines, and eat quickly sometimes not at all. These people are risking their lives for us. I feel that they deserve better. If a draft was instated the U.S. government could save billions of tax payersâ€™ dollars. Even if we did not save tax payersâ€™ money we could at least give it to those who actually serve in our military. The draft could ensure enough military personal that no contractors would be needed. We could have our own personnel doing the same jobs for less and most likely doing it better.
Many people feel that the draft military draft is unfair. That no one should be forced to fight in a war that they do not believe in. They should not be placed in harms way if they do not want to be. If a draft did occur those drafted would not necessarily be placed directly on the front lines. In fact according to The Associated Press draftees would not be placed in combat areas unless absolutely necessary. They would in fact be placed somewhere that they already have skills in. If someone was a construction worker, then they would be placed somewhere in the rebuilding process, police would be placed in a MP position, and technical people would be placed somewhere using a computer. Hopefully draftees can take the place of contract workers one day.
America is deemed as the â€œgreatest country in the worldâ€. Many Americans take this for granite, and do nothing for their country. Along with everything else in the world you have work for it. 83% of the countries that make up the United Nations have a mandatory military sentence. A draft does not seem so bad considering that military sentence is only mandatory when in dire need, and even then there is a possibility that you may not even have to serve. Not only do 83% have a mandatory military sentence, but 100% have a draft. In some countries such as Italy one are not considered a citizen until you have served your mandatory two year sentence. Considering that, a twelve month sentence by lottery, doesnâ€™t seem that horrible.
Overall, I feel that a military draft may be necessary. Not only would the draft create equality in our military, it would create great equality in America. If a draft was reinstated any war would personally affect everyone. If one was not evolved in the war one would defiantly know someone who was. It would bring America closer together, and may even unite us as one. Tax payersâ€™ money could be put to a better use, and we could even end the war altogether. â€œEither this war is worth every citizenâ€™s effort, or itâ€™s not worth any soldierâ€™s lifeâ€ Joan Vennochi The Boston Globe
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