Last month Congressman Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.) proposed reinstating the military draft. He sees it as a form of vaccination, a way of inoculating the country against war. “A renewed draft,” Rangel argued, “will help bring a greater appreciation of the consequences of decisions to go to war.”
Rangel thinks a draft would also ensure that when the U.S. does go to war, the sacrifices of war would not be carried disproportionately by the poor and people of color. “If we are going to send our children to war,” said Rangel, “the governing principle must be that of shared sacrifice.” He pointed out that when Congress endorsed the use of force against Iraq last year, only one member had a child in the enlisted ranks of the military.