pjbogart wrote:Notice, John, that I specifically laid out a scenario where EVERYONE needs to do basic training even if only career military fights the wars. This gives the military the pick of the litter according to how people performed in basic training.
Notice also that I said a "sizable" number of young men would be better off. I'm under no illusion that every veteran is a model citizen.
First, just to be clear, I agree that a sizable number would benefit from basic training. And that society as a whole would benefit from them having received it. Most of them, anyway.
(So I can assume that you served and have or will encourage your kids to join the military?)
The main question I have is would the military benefit? Basic training is pretty basic and doesn't really qualify anyone for anything other than basic entry level military tasks. So it is not like we would have some reserve forces just waiting to be called up.
The military might benefit from everyone serving 2 years. That would at least be long enough to learn some basic skills. But I am not even certain of that.
Another problem is where do we get the funding to run this? There are about 1.5mm male 18 year olds in the US. About as many, I think, as in all the military at present.
Then there is the issue of involuntary servitude. Do you really want a military of people many of whom do not want to be there?
And why only men? Seems discriminatory on its face. I understand the practical reasons, I just think it is discriminatory.
As many benefits as there may be to people serving in the military, I see far more problems.
The military is not a social welfare program. The military and defense is one of the few legitimate functions of any government. Turning it into a social program as you seem to be saying will destroy its main function.