(*Originally a “hypothetical” essay written for my Critical Thinking course)

Regarding Congressman Charles Rangel’s possible plans to introduce legislation aimed at reinstating the U.S. Military draft, I would advise you, Jay Donato, to strongly appose such a thing, as a member of the House. Assuming that this bill makes it to congress, I ask that you swiftly vote no on it. I believe that the rallying for this reinstatement is purely a reactionary measure, given the current situation in Iraq, with numerous U.S. military causalities daily, and the president’s approval rating at record lows. As more and more United States citizens come to the realization that our current war was enacted on false pretences, as well as witness the poor physical and mental condition of our returning troops and subsequent lack of government support delivered, tolerance is waning. With lack of consistent support from its own citizens, the government is forced to call back previous volunteer troops for service.

Not only would this bill impose upon our modern freedom of choice regarding military service, but it would also hurt the strength of the military, and our country’s image, rather than so justly support it, as others may claim. With our current volunteer army suffering, having a nonnegotiable draft, although providing the government with a consistent increase in muscle within Iraq, and in general, would substantially lower the overall moral of our country’s armed forces. This is only logical, as both protestors of the war, as well as previous supporters, and “arm chair quarterback” military boosters would now be required to serve. With backing of the president and belief in just premise of our presence in Iraq gradually shrinking, it is almost certain that, by the time this bill could be passed, the majority of citizens drafted to military service in Iraq would strongly not only not support the war, but organize a revolt against their required service. Simply put, although, yes, we as citizens have a responsibility to serve our country in a time of war, it is irresponsible and inappropriate on the part of our United States Congress to vote in place a mandatory call to military service, in the midst of a war so openly surrounded by controversy, and in opposition by our country’s own citizens. If this legislation were put up for vote and passed, we, as individual Americans, would quite literally be strong-armed into fighting a war that most fail to support, and was never our own to begin with.

Although our current volunteer army may not be the most “convenient” for our government officials at the moment, given their more limited number of soldiers, I feel it is the one with the most integrity. Regardless of my feelings toward our current administration of the war, I must admire the courage and strength that our volunteer troops possess, especially with the continued scrutiny of the war ongoing. A military assembled by lottery may provide the U.S. administration with more feet on the ground in Iraq, and a large revolving number of men and women available for service, but, consequently, it will then inevitably face the rigors of a proportionate number of increased causalities as direct result. At any other time in history, this would be considered an equal sacrifice for our men and women to have made and for us as a country to be willing to make, in comparison to the massive nature of the cause being fought for. However, within the context of Iraq, and the cloudiness of the Bush Administration leading us in its midst, I feel it is purely unfair to not only ask us to serve and sacrifice for something like the Iraq War, but to, bluntly, force us into it. A vote in support of a draft, given our country’s current unnecessary circumstances, and resulting instability, is not only wrong on paper, but, in consideration of the concurring lives that would be lost as a result of that vote, is inhumane. It is for these reasons that I passionately request that you, Jay Donato, rightfully deny Charles Rangel’s legislation, should it make its way to congress in January, 2007. Thank you for your consideration.


Mike Phelan O’Toole.

Mike O’Toole

Critical Thinking 100

Massbay: Fall 2006

Professor Donato

P M I : The Draft

PLUS: – Assumingly, there would never be a great shortage of troops at any one time.

– Those who would’ve not normally chosen to be involved in the military would get a chance to see how things operate from the inside, as well as reap any benefits from their service.

– Although their service may be involuntary, upon completion, more people would receive the financial benefits given out by the government (whereas, if they had not been put in a position to serve, they would not have those benefits, etc.) More troops (involuntary) involved may mean an increase in benefits (given to either the soldiers themselves, or the family’s of causalities.

– May increase a feeling of unity as a country or people to those involved.

MINUS: – Imposes upon our freedom of choice (regarding military service)

– Troops as a whole would have a poorer moral, as most may not want to be involved with the military, or more directly, a war (Iraq War, etc.)

– Would proportionately increase the number of U.S. causalities (more troops involved in war, thus more lost, etc)

INTERESTING: – It would be interesting to see how U.S. citizens, as well as other countries, react, should the draft be reinstated. – It would also be interesting to analyze statistics associated with the draft ( I.E. do causalities increase/decrease? Is general efficiency & accuracy increased/decreased? Is military moral/teamwork instilled?)