Western history’s tradition of universal military service reaches back millennia, and with good reason: “…young men began their early training with military service so that they might grow accustomed to command by obeying, and learn how to lead by following others….” [i] In fact, “To run for office [in the Roman world], according to Polybius, ten years’ military service was required….” [ii] In the United States of America awareness of this is reflected in the Selective Service Act as administered by the Selective Service System.
Yet it seems that many jeremiads regarding American youth in the days before World War II apply still: “A Gallup poll of October 1940 found a prevailing view of American youth as “a flabby, pacifistic, yellow, cynical, discouraged, and leftist lot.” [iii] Think of the disruptive behavior of many within the American Academy. Then ask yourself, “Why is this so? Why is it tolerated? Who is behind this?”
We are again at war and ought to reinstitute the draft to better go after those who would destroy us. We should do so without delay. We should also do so because it would better make young men grown up…
[i] Pliny, Letters, Books VIII-X, Panegyricus, The Loeb Classical Library (LCL 59), Edited by Jeffrey Henderson, Page 35, year 2004.
[ii] Cannae, The Experience of Battle in the Second Punic War, by Gregory Daly, ©2002, Routledge, London and New York, Page 121.
[iii] An Army at Dawn, The War in North Africa, 1942-1943, Copyright © 2002 by Rick Atkinson, Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, Page 9.