RE: AntiDraft Policy - a failed standard of the Sixties

Tue, 6 Aug 1996 15:14:09 -0400

I second Drieux's comments about the value of a draft and the dangers of
a professional military. It's important to keep the guys in the
pentagon from becoming too infatuated with power and war games. There's
nothing like civilian dissent to keep 'em from adventures.

Drieux is quite right that a professional military is a class-based concept.
The military should pose an inescapable problem for everyone. I strongly
suspect that there is a terrible brain drain in the military right now
because people who don't like it and who would criticize it simply don't have
to face membership in the ranks. The generals should be nervous that the
troops might just decide not to fight an absurd war.

Another irony that John Keegan speaks about in _The Second World War_ is
that the military is often an engine of social progress because the power
structure has to "pay off" the troops at the end of each war. Or the
troops might just decide not to turn in their weapons when they are
discharged. I suppose some of the boys in Montana have such notions, but
I really wasn't thinking of their activities as "social progress." I do
think, however, that their activities do have their genesis, at least in
part, with disaffection with the military during the Viet Nam War.

Ed Hagan