Thanks, Ann Jones, this piece is very informative, and as a Vet. a Vietnam draftee and Vietnam War protester, who uses the VA system, I appreciate your dedication to the soldiers and their welfare. I'm not going to repeat what I said on a different thread today, other than to mention that a draft is a necessity, professional armies have no place in this "representative democracy." Furthermore, it is naive to think that if everyone decided not to join the military, militaries will disappear, nothing could be further from the truth, to the contrary, that tact is a sure fire path to what I think is necessary, a draft.
"The root cause of militarism is war, and so long as we have the one we will be menaced by the other. The best defense against militarism is peace; the next best thing is the vigorous practice of democracy. The dissent against our government's actions in Southeast Asia, the opposition to the ABM and MIRV, and the increased willingness of many in the Congress to do something about the hitherto sacrosanct military budget are all encouraging signs of democracy being practiced. But there is much in American polity these days that is discouraging.
There seems to be a lack of concern among too many people about the state of the nation, and a too easy acceptance of policies and actions of a kind that a generation ago would have appalled the citizenry. The apparent broad acceptance of the "volunteer army" idea comes to mind- a concept completely at variance with our historic development. Up to now, a blessing of our system has been that those who go into the military service, whether by enlistment or through the draft, could hardly wait to get out. But today, because of the exigencies of the times, there is a chance that we may turn our back on this fundamental principle: a large, standing professional army has no place in this Republic." "The Pentagon Propaganda Machine" 1972... J. William Fulbright.
So I ended up repeating, so it goes.