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Raise Taxes, Fire up the Draft.


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13 hours ago, jazzdude said:

In theory, this is one of the benefits of a college education; exposure to new ideas and to people from a larger circle of people than your immediate community. Same could be said for athletic programs.

You're always going to have loopholes, no matter how hard you try.

Here's a challenge with having different service opportunities: there a limited number of spots for each, which creates competition, and the wealthy or well connected will try to get the "better" duty.

Should someone have to do government service right after high school if they are headed college? What if they are on an ROTC contract? Or going to a service academy? Or studying a critical skill (like nuclear engineering)? What's about other community service, like firefighters or police?

What about life circumstances? Single parent with a kid at 18? Or a couple with a kid? Deferments for pregnancy? Medical issues? (Sure, maybe you could find a desk job for them based on the health issues, but it probably isn't going to be infantry, creating an incentive to find a way out of the suck).

What about if they had wanted to enlist in the guard/reserves? Or would they have to fulfill their AD stint first before transferring over to the guard/reserve (i.e. No more off the street hires)?

Plus, what would the military do with a large influx of minimally trained people? Not just with finding things for them to do, but just the issue of managing and housing those people. What it would turn into is basic training being conducted in way more places closer to the conscripts' home, with their duty station close to home to minimize PCS costs. We'd definitely need to open up several more bases (billions of dollars easily) as well.

No doubt on loopholes and deferments/alternatives would be required.

Refining this idea, maybe a draft is part of the solution and really it is a choice of national service programs to provide multiple benefits to the American people, particularly the young.

The Draft/Conscription could be a short military enlistment (18 months) with an overseas tour (Korea, Alaska, Eastern Europe, etc...) or completion of Basic with mandatory Drills following then release from service, thinking 2 months in the summer to allow students to muster and then return to school.  I would open this option to 16 year olds to allow service to begin earlier.  At least 4 drills, no more than 6. 

The 18 month program would come with a bonus to encourage selection but both programs would earn full GI Bill benefits and Veteran status.  This is gonna cost and require further reform at the VA but so be it.

As most young people don't qualify for military service, the military options in my little musings could be selective as I would want them to be the most desired form of national service in this new program.

Young people mostly unqualified for military service and careers (usatoday.com)

Others could be AmeriCorps, CCC, Peace Corps, etc... 2 years of service in these programs would equate to 2 years of college/technical school paid with federal hiring preference in lieu of veteran hiring preference. 

As to the logistical bill of this large influx (primarily to the Army I imagine), I would want to steer that to our heart land and cities that could use a boost in population.  Goal would be to put 300k thru military training/service each year.

Money, imagination and political will; @congressman make it happen.

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Bake a cake for a same sex couple.

The all-volunteer military has resulted in never-ending conflict. The price of war is low.  The eternal trickle of military involvement feeds the military-industrial complex, which is chairman-ed

I’m for SOME sort of national service out of high school. Make part of the deal for free college/trade/tech school require that one must spend 2-3 years in government service. It could be military, Pe

14 hours ago, jazzdude said:

In theory, this is one of the benefits of a college education; exposure to new ideas and to people from a larger circle of people than your immediate community. Same could be said for athletic programs.

 

Unfortunately this is becoming less so at an alarming rate. 

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4 hours ago, jazzdude said:


 

 


I think you've got it backwards. The identity and mindset existed first, which led to accepting military service as necessary for their survival, and not military service inspiring identity.

I don't think mandatory service drives their identity. They've had to fight for their country and culture to survive for a long while, and have faced attacks and occupations (mainly from Japan, but also the communists) that galvanized who they saw themselves to be.

They also have a real threat on their border that drives a sense of responsibility to their country, which I believe makes them accepting of national military service. Plus many of them remember what Japan did too the last century as well.

There is also the drive to reunify families turn apart by the north/south split, but that's facing fast as the generation old enough to have ties across the border are dying off.

So the factors that make national military service tolerable in Korea don't seem to apply to the US.

 

Yeah wasn't an exposition on the tolerance so much as my impression of the effects. I agree you're partially right on the identity but the mandatory service definitely grew it more. The term has significant meaning there. 

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14 hours ago, Breckey said:
17 hours ago, pawnman said:
Maybe we can revisit the CCC and work on some of that crumbling infrastructure we hear so much about.
We're already spending trillions on Covid bailouts.  May as well get something for those tax dollars.

The issue is that there isn't a lot of infrastructure labor that isn't skilled in some sort of way. We don't need paths cleared through the mountains, we need major civil engineering work.

I'd argue there's plenty of grunt work to be done after the civil engineers figure out what to do.  The guys shoveling a new layer of blacktop onto a highway before the steamroller smooths it out don't need engineering degrees.

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No doubt on loopholes and deferments/alternatives would be required.
Refining this idea, maybe a draft is part of the solution and really it is a choice of national service programs to provide multiple benefits to the American people, particularly the young.
The Draft/Conscription could be a short military enlistment (18 months) with an overseas tour (Korea, Alaska, Eastern Europe, etc...) or completion of Basic with mandatory Drills following then release from service, thinking 2 months in the summer to allow students to muster and then return to school.  I would open this option to 16 year olds to allow service to begin earlier.  At least 4 drills, no more than 6. 
The 18 month program would come with a bonus to encourage selection but both programs would earn full GI Bill benefits and Veteran status.  This is gonna cost and require further reform at the VA but so be it.
As most young people don't qualify for military service, the military options in my little musings could be selective as I would want them to be the most desired form of national service in this new program.
Young people mostly unqualified for military service and careers (usatoday.com)
Others could be AmeriCorps, CCC, Peace Corps, etc... 2 years of service in these programs would equate to 2 years of college/technical school paid with federal hiring preference in lieu of veteran hiring preference. 
As to the logistical bill of this large influx (primarily to the Army I imagine), I would want to steer that to our heart land and cities that could use a boost in population.  Goal would be to put 300k thru military training/service each year.
Money, imagination and political will; [mention=11373]congressman[/mention] make it happen.


What's to keep someone that doesn't want to do military service from eating a bunch of cupcakes to be deferred to Peace corps or something else that doesn't involve going to the infantry?

I agree with some of the premises in the article you linked-it's not just what happens at 18, but requires an overhaul of K-12 education (and an increased emphasis on physical fitness)

Plus, any veteran or service preference in hiring would likely go away with conscription, for both government jobs and businesses (likely lose tax incentives to hire veterans). It'd be expected to serve, so no bonus points from the government for serving or serving longer.

Ultimately the question comes down to "who pays for this?"
-Upfront infrastructure costs
-Land costs
-Basic pay and allowances for a large, junior force
-Training for that large, junior, untrained force (likely at least half a year of initial skills training, unless you cut quality)
-Feeding that large force
-Equipping that large force
-Purchasing a large amount of transports: probably mostly ships and trucks (a big military does you no good if you can't get them to the fight)
-De facto nationalized healthcare for everyone, at least for a period of time in their life while serving, and perhaps as a kid to ensure they are healthy enough to serve (unless the plan is to "give out 800mg motrin like candy and tell people to hydrate and change their socks" and consider that a suitable medical plan).

It's say your probably closer to acceptable with basic training and follow-on drill periods (like the Swiss). Mustering 16 year olds? That's just JROTC.

It'd likely take a significant tax increase to fund all of this (ignoring any debate on the politics on if this even the right away to go, this would be a tough battle, especially for conservatives), as well as major changes to our education and healthcare systems.

We can't even fund the military and it's operations now without deficit spending, can't imagine growing the force severalfold would be any cheaper.
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Yeah wasn't an exposition on the tolerance so much as my impression of the effects. I agree you're partially right on the identity but the mandatory service definitely grew it more. The term has significant meaning there. 


Mandatory service reinforces that identity and helps perpetuate and grow that identity. No disagreement there.

Also, being a homogenous society ethnically also helps create a very strong national identity, as the two (nationality and ethnicity) become intertwined. Race doesn't matter, until it does. (If you haven't noticed, asians can be very racist, especially to other groups of asians, furthering that strong sense of identity).

Though South Korea being all in during war is likely practical: they are a small country geographically, and surrounded by water on 3 sides and an enemy on the other, so they don't have much of a choice. Everyone has to play a part, because you just can't hide it escape the fighting. Same with Israel.

Contrast that with us. How many people here would actively push their kids to volunteer for military service as a top option post-high school, even if it's only for an initial commitment before moving on to something else? Do you think making service mandatory would make the service experience any better (and build a positive service experience), or worse as resources are stretched thin?

We're also a fairly diverse nation, with multiple races and ethnicities, so ethnicity doesn't act as a unifying bond. Our unifying bond is an idea, and not a physical characteristic in our population, which makes that bond tenuous when we disagree on those ideas and the direction we are heading.
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1 hour ago, jazzdude said:

What's to keep someone that doesn't want to do military service from eating a bunch of cupcakes to be deferred to Peace corps or something else that doesn't involve going to the infantry?

Unfortunately not much due to the demise of shame in our culture.

1 hour ago, jazzdude said:

I agree with some of the premises in the article you linked-it's not just what happens at 18, but requires an overhaul of K-12 education (and an increased emphasis on physical fitness)

Concur and I am totally ok with that, more sports less bullshit.

1 hour ago, jazzdude said:

Ultimately the question comes down to "who pays for this?"
-Upfront infrastructure costs
-Land costs
-Basic pay and allowances for a large, junior force
-Training for that large, junior, untrained force (likely at least half a year of initial skills training, unless you cut quality)
-Feeding that large force
-Equipping that large force
-Purchasing a large amount of transports: probably mostly ships and trucks (a big military does you no good if you can't get them to the fight)
-De facto nationalized healthcare for everyone, at least for a period of time in their life while serving, and perhaps as a kid to ensure they are healthy enough to serve (unless the plan is to "give out 800mg motrin like candy and tell people to hydrate and change their socks" and consider that a suitable medical plan).

It's say your probably closer to acceptable with basic training and follow-on drill periods (like the Swiss). Mustering 16 year olds? That's just JROTC.

It'd likely take a significant tax increase to fund all of this (ignoring any debate on the politics on if this even the right away to go, this would be a tough battle, especially for conservatives), as well as major changes to our education and healthcare systems.

We can't even fund the military and it's operations now without deficit spending, can't imagine growing the force several fold would be any cheaper.

Yup, it would cost a lot and I am not flippant about that but I'm still a believer in it as a net positive for America.

As to the cost and paying for it, likely I would want a separate funding stream from the NDAA with a designated funding vehicle (tax) that is statutorily limited to only funding these military programs/operations/logistics.  

To limit costs on compulsory service, I'd would not apply that time to TAFMS for the purpose of pension eligibility or calculation, not allow single individuals to acquire dependents while on compulsory service, married individuals would have their immediate family covered but no new dependents and to preclude an unwarranted growth in operational capabilities, I would not plan for conscripted units to be part of an O-Plan that requires less than 72 hour mobility from them.  Most likely, their operational capability would planned on using by being in place in an AOR if we are attacked (in place in South Korea, the Baltics, etc...) and if required for deployment for a contingency or deterrence, I would plan on moving them via the CRAF or NDRF as able.  Basically if they are in place when the shit hits the fan we use them, if they are not there we will get them to the fight or another backfill mission as able if other units are sent forward.

Those are good critiques and as always, my ideas on BO are worth what you paid for them but if we are to bind together our nation or try to it seems to me that we are going to have to work against all the things that driving us to atomized lives, this I think could be one of them and at one of the most consequential periods in a persons life.

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22 hours ago, FourFans130 said:

Where is Robert Heinlein when we need him?! 

Heinlein, indeed.  In Starship Troopers you had to serve in order to vote, which is a very interesting idea.  I personally like the idea of compulsory service.  However, the flip side is where do you draw the line between useful and not-useful draftee?  There will be a small, but not insignificant, number of young people with minimal ability to learn.  They'll need to be given make-work projects with questionable return on investment.  Of course, that might be better than 2-3 yrs of welfare.  

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On 2/15/2021 at 8:29 PM, jazzdude said:

In theory, this is one of the benefits of a college education; exposure to new ideas and to people from a larger circle of people than your immediate community. Same could be said for athletic programs.

Sadly this theory clashes with tenure...

Uber left-wing professors (who outnumber uber-right wing professors by 100:1), now use college to indoctrinate rather than educate, which is a horrible waste of key time in a young persons life where they can think critically and develop their own viewpoints.

I spent some time at a place that is supposed to be the apex of our collegiate educational system, Harvard.  Instead of a great period of enlightenment it was daily hand-to-hand combat defending a viewpoint that dared to drift from extreme liberalism.  It is no shock our political system has become so dysfunctional, as every new administration brings in the Ivy League big brains to solve problems...further entrenching the extremist ideas.

Until we find ourselves back in another situation deemed national survival it will be difficult to employ a Clausewitzian total war approach to service to the nation. 

On 2/16/2021 at 9:08 AM, jazzdude said:

The challenge is getting the average American to buy into us being at risk for survival (at least enough to support conscription), especially when the threats and fighting seem so far away and conscription goes directly against the notion of individual freedom. If it was implemented, sure, long term it could be a shared american experience, but that transition will be very rough, for both the conscripts and for the military.

IMHO a better approach in current times would be to highlight the personal benefit and growth that comes with service to our country.  Whether is be military service, time in the Peace Corps, the National Health Service, working on a Native American Reservation...etc, there is tremendous opportunity to expand your mind and make a difference.

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