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< Back to question Should military conscription be banned? Show more Show less

Conscription, also known as compulsory military service, is the practice of requiring military service of all qualifying individuals within a nation. Chiefly known for having been employed during the First and Second World Wars, the duration of modern-day conscription can range anywhere from two weeks to two years. But does conscription foster hyper-nationalism and unhealthy aggression? Is the government sending the message that war is inevitable? Or is conscription simply a means of building character and strength?

No, military conscription should not be banned Show more Show less

Military conscription provides more benefits than otherwise and acts in the greater interest of a nation's security and welfare
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It promotes national unity and pride

Countries that practice conscription create a culture that allows those who have undergone service to bond over and acknowledge the work of those in the military
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The Argument

As countries like America continue to debate issues regarding healthcare, immigration, education, and a variety of other topics, there is a resounding feeling of division, both politically and economically. However, such a reality is mended with the implementation of a mandatory conscription. [1] Such a program will bridge such divides, encouraging solidarity in the process. This is specifically executed through military training, missions, and shared goals. [2] As made clear by Army veteran Tom Wolfe, "There is nothing in the civilian workforce that can approximate the bonding that occurs in the wardroom, ready room, or foxhole. Military personnel in those environments put up with much hardship— long hours, stressful working conditions, danger to personal safety, separation from loved ones, and more. However, because they all [are] in it together, they get through it." [3] Thus, by creating mandatory conscription, this shared experience will be true for all. Citizens will truly understand and even develop an appreciation for the sacrifices so many have made. In turn, such camaraderie will continue into civilian life, subsequently promoting national pride and unity. Moreover, of the thirty countries that require military service of their citizens, Switzerland is among those that have witnessed the greatest success. Similar to other countries like the United States, Switzerland is composed of numerous ethnic groups. This is significant as such differences amongst its citizens most often work against any hope of unity. Yet, the implementation of their own mandatory draft has proved successful in promoting national solidarity, altogether bridging cultural and linguistic divides.[4] As a result, Switzerland is identified as one of the happiest countries in the world by the United Nations.[5] In turn, other countries will similarly benefit.

Counter arguments

Although mandatory conscription would allow for all men and women to have a shared involvement in the military, not all of these experiences would be unifying in nature. On the contrary, some will prove more divisive. For example, in 2019, more than one-third of active-duty US troops claimed they witnessed racist ideologies and white supremacy in the ranks. Moreover, troops who responded to a Military Times poll cited that they believed white nationalists to be a greater threat to the military than both domestic terrorism and immigration.[6] Cassie Miller, a research and investigations specialist for the Southern Poverty Law Center explained that "historically this has been a problem for the military... We've been pushing the Defense Department to take this issue more seriously since 1986. There are certain parts of the white power movement that value military experience and are often recruiting there."[6] Furthermore, these numbers have only continued to grow as these groups adopt more extremist agendas. Such divisions do not stop at racism, instead, similar statistics and stories are reported regarding both misogyny and homophobia in the military. For example, as openly gay men and women enter into the military, headlines like the following begin to appear: "I Thought I Could Serve as an Openly Gay Man in the Army. Then Came the Death Threats." [7] In looking to misogyny, a marine by the twitter handle @iAmTheWarax tweeted: "As a leader in the Marine Corps I helped perpetuate a culture of sexual violence and victim-blaming. I wanted to protect my Marines, and so I echoed sentiments and beliefs to them that I now know to be wrong. It's my greatest failing as a leader and I want to talk about it..."[8] Within this twitter thread, some say that their gender bias against women unfairly impacted their military careers, and they share their transgressions in hope of promoting change. However, this change has yet to come. Thus, a mandatory draft would be unfairly subjecting individuals to cruel punishment that will simply make them resentful towards both each other and their country.

Premises

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://www.cfr.org/blog/national-security-and-national-unity-case-compulsory-service
  2. https://www.medicineandthemilitary.com/community-and-lifestyle/military-community-and-camaraderie
  3. https://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/career-advice/on-the-job/military-camaraderie-on-civilian-job.html
  4. https://www.businessinsider.com/countries-around-world-still-mandate-military-service-2019-2
  5. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-with-mandatory-military-service.html
  6. https://www.businessinsider.com/over-one-third-of-us-troops-seen-racism-in-military-2020-2
  7. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/10/magazine/lgbt-military-army.html
  8. https://twitter.com/iAmTheWarax/status/986334514006937602?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E986334514006937602%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fconnectingvets.radio.com%2Farticles%2Fiwaswrong-veterans-acknowledge-culture-misogyny-military

This page was last edited on Friday, 26 Jun 2020 at 03:21 UTC

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