Uncle Sam says, 'I Want You!' The Politics of the Draft and National Service   [open pdf - 438KB]

"There currently appears to be a widespread general consensus among politicians, military leaders and academics that the military draft is no longer a viable policy option for the United States in the twenty first century. Despite this general consensus against the draft and given the questionable viability of the all-volunteer force (AVF), this monograph explores the critical question: Is a military draft still available manpower policy for the United States? The framework for analysis combines Professor John Kingdon's notion of policy windows and Carl von Clausewitz' 'paradoxical trinity.' A detailed analysis of the four major draft enactments/periods in U.S. history: Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Cold War will show that the factors that resulted in a military draft in our nations past are just as relevant in the twenty-first century. Given the unique demands of the global war on terrorism, a volunteer national service program that calls for military or civilian service is needed, even though the current political climate appears to offer little chance of enactment and acceptance. A volunteer national service program could consist of four types of service: the military, AmeriCorps, homeland security, and the Peace Corps."

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