Opinion: We Need to Reinstate the Draft Before We Jump Into Ukraine

The Old Man

Are you willing to send your children or grandchildren to keep Russia out of Ukraine?

We are barely out of Afghanistan and now US officials are looking to join another conflict in a faraway corner of the world. What’s mind-boggling is the fact that fifty percent of Americans support this initiative — would they still support military intervention in Ukraine if there was a chance their own children would serve there, perhaps die there?

That’s why we need the draft back ASAP. We need a shot of reality. Our citizens need to know that when we go off to war it's our own sons and daughters who could be lost. The draft ensured that every American had some skin in the game when it came to war.

You may not be old enough to remember the protests across the country during the Vietnam War. That was when we had a draft and I remember anxiously awaiting my lottery number to weigh my chances of being drafted. The graduating classes before mine were decimated, friends returned looking shell-shocked with PTSD, other friends did not return at all.

With the draft in place, all US families weigh the consequences of war differently. Families are unwilling to watch twenty years of war go by without protest. During the Vietnam Nam era, universities were literally on fire with protests against the war.

Back to my original question for all the US families, is Ukraine worth the life of your child or grandchild?

I don't want to waste another American life defending an ideal. Look at Vietnam. It is a communist country now — where was the threat to democracy that we were fighting and dying for? We lost, Vietnam now has a thriving economy, a trading partner, but certainly no threat to democracy.

We just spent twenty years in Afghanistan making the world safe from terrorists — what did we accomplish?

I think before we get caught up in another military action, we should weigh the potential cost in American lives. We have to ask ourselves is this conflict worth the lives of my children or grandchildren? That's why reinstating the draft is so important. It causes us to view the war at a personal level. This is not a conflict like WWII. This is just one more regional squabble.

To be honest we are struggling to make democracy work right here in the US. Many in the US are ready to embrace fascism and chuck democracy. Half of US citizens want to break the country apart into smaller pieces — no more one nation under God, rather ten nations separated by our differences.

We have so many pressing problems right here in the US that we fail to address. How many more homeless veterans do we need? We fail to support the ones we have now. How many more of our citizens must be maimed by another senseless war? As for the war, we fought to defeat terrorism yet we have our own home-grown terrorists to deal with to the extent that I fear the US-born shooter more than any foreign terrorist. We can’t afford universal health care or discount university fees, but we can afford to wage war on the other side of the globe?

I no longer have faith in our government to make rational informed decisions for the good of the multitude of our citizenry. We have two political parties who have lost the art of compromise to the point where every action is aimed to thwart the opposing party. Is this the government to trust with the decision to go to war with Russia?

Not to mention the instability of our government — McConnell and his supporters only grant the US an operation license for about six weeks at a time before they threaten to shut down the government and default on the world over the debt ceiling. Imagine conducting a war in that environment — sorry joint chiefs, no funds until we can work out our domestic squabbles. Minority Leader McConnell needs his time in the spotlight. Perhaps you could lean on dependent families to crank up the bake sales and garage sales to keep the troops fed.

The very thought of defending Ukraine is extremely dangerous. Russia can put up a serious force that will cost many American lives to counter. Bring back the draft, before we become engaged in another twenty-year quagmire. We need the rioting protests on campuses across the country to restore our nation’s conscience. Without serious protest, we will be back at war once again.

I certainly do not want my grandchildren to serve and perhaps die protecting Ukraine.

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Looking for solutions to improve our world. I write about politics, education, climate change, and any issues important to average Americans struggling to survive in a world gone mad.

Chico, CA

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