How the Draft Could End the Threat of Extended Military Engagements

It seems as though the United States is on the brink of entering more than a few new military conflicts. Recent days have seen attacks against Syria and the positioning of American naval vessels within striking distance of North Korea. With the threat of violence looming, how can America keep from getting sucked into another conflict similar to those from the war on terror?

During the fateful 2016 presidential election, one of the major promises that Donald Trump put at the center of his platform was the adoption of a somewhat isolationist stance when it came to foreign affairs. The idea was that closing off America’s borders, as well as refusing involvement in the refugee crisis and Middle Eastern conflicts, would go a long way toward making this country great again.

The appeal of this stance is not hard to see. After all, it has been nearly sixteen years since the attacks on the world trade center in 2001, and yet, the United States has had troops in the Middle East “fighting terrorism and promoting democracy” for all nearly fourteen of those years. For college-age, young adults, most are unable to remember a time when American troops were not engaging hostiles in the region. You can understand how the promise to end U.S. involvement in these conflicts would appeal to a great many American citizens.

Now that Trump has been sworn in and has officially entered the Oval Office, though, it is becoming more clear with each passing day that such a stance will not happen. It’s been less than ninety days since our 45th president shouldered the burden of commander-in-chief, and already, the nation has seen multiple military strikes carried out in foreign countries against international actors.

How the Draft Could End the Threat of Extended Military Engagements
Missile Strike (Image via Business Insider)

Whether it was the raid he authorized in Yemen against al-Qaida, just days into his presidency, or his recent military strike in Syria, in response to the human rights abuses committed by the regime of Bashar al Assad, it is becoming clear that Trump has no intention of implementing an isolationist approach toward international affairs.

This fact is further compounded by his wish to increase the military’s budget by $54 billion. To be fair, Trump is hardly the first commander-in-chief to authorize military action overseas. Both Barack Obama and George W. Bush held and used expanded military powers following the aftermath of 9/11. The issue isn’t one that President Trump has started, rather one that he is continuing to be a part of. There are without a doubt times when the United States is called upon and morally obligated to step in and assert a military presence in order to prevent atrocities, such as the Holocaust and Rwandan genocide.

To his credit, I believe that Trump’s recent missile strike against Assad falls under this category, as it was in response to a horrendous chemical attack committed against Syrian civilians. The major issue with this attack, though, is that it was not approved by Congress. Trump acted on his own accord and, though he made the right decision this time, who’s to say that the next strike he orders won’t be a disaster.

And yet, bypassing Congress in order to more efficiently carryout military endeavors has become the modern norm in America. Despite the fact that the United States has been “at war” in the Middle East for as long as I can remember, Congress has not issued a declaration of war since the World War II in 1941. So, all of these modern “wars” that American soldiers have been sacrificing their lives for are not really wars; rather, they are simply “Extended Military Engagements.” One of the major issues with these engagements is the fact that they aren’t official, which means that they have the ability to fly under the radar to some extent.

When a country declares war, it is a huge deal, and it is a fact that weighs heavily on the minds of it citizens on a daily basis. When the United States enters an “Extended Military Engagement,” though, citizens may have moral issues with it, but with the exception of those who have loved ones in the military, civilian life will rarely be affected. Because of this lack of impact, putting a stop to such conflicts is extremely difficult. After all, nothing stops wars faster than a change in public opinion; however, if these conflicts do not affect the everyday lives of Americans, the sad truth is citizens won’t care enough to bring an end to such engagements.

Historically, the only real exception to this is the Vietnam War. Though the word “war” is a part of its name, there was never a declaration of war passed by Congress. There was, though, massive public outcry, an outcry that can be attributed to the institution of the draft. Nothing grabs the public’s attention faster than sending its sons and daughters off to die.

The quickest and easiest way to reduce extended military engagements by the United States, in other nations, is to bring back the draft. I understand that the idea of being sent off to war and being forced to fight for something you don’t believe in is infuriating, but that’s the idea. This nation has been engaging in controversial conflicts for far too long. So long, in fact, that these unofficial wars have become the norm. It is easy enough to say, “I think we should bring our boys home,” but if you don’t have a family member in the armed services, you really have no stake in the war.

If a draft is put in place, though, all of America will suddenly have a stake in the conflict. No parent wants their child, sibling or spouse to die a violent death in a distant land. So, despite the fact that the reinstatement of the draft may seem counterproductive to peace, the threat of having your loved ones put in harm’s way would anger and scare the public to such an extent that they would quickly put an end to the majority of these conflicts.

  1. What an illogical and contradictory news letter this was in all form.
    The idea that you want peace through death is very dangerous thought you have been brainwashed to in thinking. Beings shouldn’t buy into this gibberish. Go back under the darkness where you belong.

    1. But to some extent it does seem as if Americans take the entitled teenager stance on war. Someone else will do it. A recent poll showed 53 % of Americans​ think we should go to war with north Korea. If draft was reinstated do you think it would be that high? So even though I agree a draft is not a way to peace but a way to wake America up. It’s ok to support some other kid dying but not mine?. That’s twisted too. God bless America

  2. This has to be one of the worst things I have ever read about the draft. You think that the threat of your loved ones being forced to fight and die against their will is the most effective way to create peace? Yes, it would definitely be an effective way to bring serious awareness to anti war efforts but not in any way that is at all worth it. I have friends who already are thinking of ways to avoid the draft such as injuring themselves to make them unfit for service all because they fear Trump starting WW3. Best way to remove the draft is to do it without actually enacting the thing.

  3. Bad article is bad.


    1. I couldn’t agree more Alex, however you need to check your spelling. Den is then, peeeple is people, git is get, not do is do not, me is I, no is dont, take out everybody and replace it with then there will be peace.

      1. The evil and tyranny of man will never end peacefully​. Greed, a hunger for power is what Trump is the very embodiment of. Save the rich money while the sick die because they can’t afford insurance. Really a class act. Makes me wonder what does Trump’s vision of a great America look like? Only time will tell

  4. End conflict and gain peace by… sending citizens to death and instilling fear upon them. What a radical and dangerous idea that is. How very low of you to think we could solve our problems by using fear and more death.

  5. I say to hell with it..let them bring back the draft 😠😤 my father was in The Nam and he manned up and did what he was sent there to do in a time that this country needed him and others as well…I think the draft is exactly what congress needs to put into effect ASAP!!!!! America needs to wakeup and start showing their care for this country and to let the world know that if there’s any country out there that doubt us Americans won’t stand up and go to war and fight for our country than they’re wrong!!!Let them try and bluff us and they’ll see our love for our country up front and in person…So you ask me if I’ll go to a foreign land and fight…?🤔 Your d..n straight I will!!😡 I’m ready to defend my country and mother Liberty any day of the week!!A Good&True Patriot

    1. Can’t agree more, however, times have changed. I’m applying for the Air Force and yes more people need to stand and fight for our country, however, most are either afraid, incompetent, or don’t care. And that is messed up.

      1. I don’t know how the draft would bring peace in any way? Drones and other technology are well beyond what a citizen forced into combat. And how do both of you feel about women being a part of the draft? My one big argument against it is for the soldiers​ that want to be there. Personally I would much rather have an enlisted soldier have my back than a person man or woman that were forced to be there. I also may have some bias as I have a 17 yr old that gave birth to an angel a year ago, as well as a 13 yr old little girl. I say instead of draft clear out violent criminals from the prison system. Form a battalion thats sole mission is recon. Save taxpayers a lot of money.

      2. Really does it matter who wrote it. We all know Trump is doing a great job making America great again. A president being investigated for obstruction of justice and possibly being involved in rigging the election. In Trump’s mind corruption= greatness as fellow Republicans are gunned down. My favorite comedic line from another unqualified President. Who knew health Care reform would be so difficult. Not a liberal, tree hugger, or Republican they are all corrupt and​ between our two choices they both need to do time.

  6. H.R.1509 military draft wrote by NY Dem. Congressman Charles Rangel. Women were added to it before Former President Obama left office. This is BS President Trump has nothing to do with the draft. With an act of war or the use of military force bring it back. Look the Bill up H.R.1509 see who wrote it and when it passed you will be surprised

  7. Liam Chan Hodges makes a salient point about bringing an end to unwarranted conflict in the United States. When the draft was discontinued in favor of the volunteer system more affluent and educated families were no longer directly engaged in military conflicts. Once their children were no longer in danger of getting killed in a far away land they fell silent.

    This created a perfect storm for increasing military activity worldwide as families with businesses, money, and influence were no longer engaged personally with the wars, and in fact, were offered opportunities to develop and deploy new tech and equipment to the military. Case in point, Ronald Regan’s Star Wars Program, which never really ended.
    While the military is being automated and reducing the need for foot soldiers a mandatory draft system would bring any prolonged conflict legal, or otherwise, to the public forefront simply because families with influence, political savvy, and power would not tolerate sending their children to war to fight for control of natural resources for the corporations.

    A volunteer system hides the war from the public in plain sight.
    Remember, wealthy families don’t want to fight in wars because they know its all about taking what the others have, not about rightness, Justus, or moral obligation.
    Get them personally engaged in wars by drafting their kids and fewer will occur guaranteed.

    This is precisely how the Vietnam War was ended.

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