scroll to top arrow or icon

{{ subpage.title }}

Annie Gugliotta

Does America need a draft?

A few days ago – while cleaning out a dresser drawer filled with some old pocket squares, a box of cufflinks, a bag of dead-battery watches, a wad of bills from Brazil, Russia, and Colombia, and a hollowed-out dried gourd filled with guitar picks – I came across something related to the news these days: my father’s US Army dog tags from the 1950s.

As a refugee from the various horrors that had befallen his home country of Czechoslovakia a decade earlier, my father chose to serve in the US Army, both as an act of gratitude for the US role in liberating Europe and as a way to root himself in his new home. For millions of other young men in those days, however, the army was compulsory – the draft was still in effect.

The draft, of course, lasted until the 1970s when it was scrapped as part of the national reckoning over America’s political and military failures in Vietnam.

Could it ever come back? Should it?

Read moreShow less

Subscribe to our free newsletter, GZERO Daily