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25A Voluntary Draft vs. a Mandatory One

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  • Shlomi Fish
    May 8, 2002
      What are your thoughts about making the IDF a voluntary army, and about
      voluntary draft vs. a mandatory one in general. The recent situation
      seemed to inspire me a lot in this regard. I recall that Ayn Rand opposed
      a mandatory draft, but I don't know in what book she expressed her
      sentiments against it, nor read this particular text of hers.

      In any case, here are my thought on the issue:

      1. First of all, a military with a mandatory draft has little motivation
      to improve the conditions it offers those who join it, improve the way
      they are treated and they feel about it, etc. It tends to put people in
      arbitrary positions, regardless of their capabilities or desires, and
      other such non-competitive side-effects.

      2. More over, a malicious government can decide to abuse a military so it
      follows its whims, and involve in an activity that its soldiers and/or the
      public in general does not approve of.

      3. The word "must" is a very big de-motivator. We can see it in the
      increasing number of people who choose to get a release from the army in
      a myriad of ways. I got a release too, (albeit I actually wanted to join
      the army in the first place), and since then I heard from many people who
      served their before their academic studies, that I missed very little, and
      that their service was a waste of time. I've encountered a very small
      number of people who claimed they enjoyed their army service.

      4. I'm not sure that a non-mandatory draft necessarily implies less people
      joining. I take the stand that the majority of people out there are
      responsible and would voluntarily join the military if they see it fit.
      Those who do not wish to join only de-motivate the rest and make the lives
      of those who do miserable, anyhow. Would you like to be forced to work in
      your workplace? (If only the Technion understood that and gave me a 4 1/2
      years/115 points degree - ;-)).

      An army can also work for creating a tradition of joining the army,
      voluntarily, willingly and happily a posteriori to making it voluntary.

      5. The army can potentially get more qualified engineers or other
      qualified people of such sort, because some people would decide to join it
      only after they finish their studies.

      Naturally, you can see that I'm almost entirely convinced that a voluntary
      army would be a good thing. What are your thoughts about it?


      Shlomi Fish

      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
      Home E-mail: shlomif@...

      He who re-invents the wheel, understands much better how a wheel works.
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