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The idea of military service is and idea that has very strong feelingsamong countless citizens. In a time frame when the unpopular wars in Iraq andAfghanistan are forcing American service members to spend a great amount oftime in combat zones and even less time with their loved ones, the idea of a draftis something many people are opposed to. The idea of a draft brings the anti-Vietnam sentiments of thirty years ago, back to life in the hearts of many.Opponents of such programs claim that the thirteenth amendment to theconstitution, banning slavery, protects them from the draft being permissible totake place
. But as Chief Justice Edward White stated “It would be a contradiction
in terms to declare the Government of the United States a sovereign, endowedwith all the powers necessary for its existence, yet lacking in the most essentialof all
the power of self defense.”
The verbiage of his statement begins toseparate the powers between self defense and military strategy. Some citizensof the United States see a military as both an offensive and defensive force ableto conquer lands or protect the native soil.The idea of a strictly defensive force, a group of citizens who areorganized to protect the homeland, from a variety of different enemies, is a newidea to many Americans. These enemies could be terrorist, natural, or even ourown neighbors. To remedy this, a solution of public service conscription shouldbe enacted. These individuals would serve as the domestic military following therules of their local population and enforcing them through a variety of means. Agroup of individuals trained and equipped by the very people they are assigned
Leon Friedman, "Conscription and the Constitution: The Original Understanding,"
Michigan Law Review
67, no. 8 (June 1969): 1496, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1287481 (accessed May 5, 2009).