The Case For The Draft

Historically it has had real virtues

As everyone in the United States is aware by now, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is a man of strong opinions. But Americans of all stripes, regardless of their feelings about the then-looming war, seemed to feel that the Secretary went too far last January when he responded to a proposal by Rep. Charles B. Rangel that the United States reinstate the military draft.

 
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More on Vietnam

When my daughter is old enough to ask about Vietnam, my answer to the question “What should we tell our children about Vietnam?” will include many of the points assembled in Bill McCloud’s article. If she asks what I was doing then, I will tell her that I never fought there. Instead, in the early 1970s, I was having the educational time of my life in college, with a comfortably high draft-lottery number in the 300s. None of my friends or acquaintances went off to war. Read more »

New York’s Bloodiest Week

The draft riots of 1863 turned a great city into a living hell.

We shall have trouble before we are through,” George Templeton Strong, a wealthy New Yorker and staunch friend of Lincoln, warned in his diary one July morning in 1863. Yet the first nationwide military draft, authorized by Congress on March 3 to fill the critically depleted ranks of the Union Army, began in a festive mood.