The Military Draft/Conscription


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Copyright 1998-2011 Roger A. Lee and 09.21.11

"The History Guy" is a Registered Trademark.

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The Military Draft/Conscription

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In 1973, at the end of the Vietnam War, the United States ended the military draft. The draft, also known as conscription, had been in place since just before the United States entered World War Two, and had been continued by the government after that war due to the needs of the Cold War conflict with the Soviet Union and other Communist nations and groups. After the draft ended in the 1970s, the U.S. military became an all-volunteer force. The volunteer concept worked well through the smaller and shorter conflicts the U.S. engaged in up until the Afghanistan War, begun in 2001, and the Iraq War began in 2003. With the conflict still raging in 2010, the strain on the U.S. military is becoming apparant. Some members of Congress have called for a resumption of the draft to provide more manpower for the military, as well as ensuring that all social and economic classes in the nation bear an equal share of the risks inherent in defending the country. The leadership in the military, as well as both the late Bush Adminstration and the current Obama Administration, insist that they do not want a resumption of the draft.

Below are links and resouces on this issue.

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Draft Registration: The Politics of Institutional Immortality

No-Conscription Fellowship - historical account of the group organized by two pacifists in the wake of World War I.

Military Conscription: Issues for Australia

Veterans For Peace: Military Draft - discusses the issues and process of a military draft.

Wikipedia: Conscription - hyperlinked article about conscription and the military draft.

Selective Service


COMD: Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft - anti-militarism organization that challenges the institution of the military, its effect on society, its budget, and its role abroad and at home.

End the Selective Service - offers information about, and a petition to end, the Selective Service.

Time to Register: Selective Service And You - informational brochure from the government with information about the Selective Service System and how to register for it.

Fact Monster: Selective Service - offers a history of the Selective Service System in the United States.

Conscientious Objectors and the Selective Service Act - offers details on how to be a conscientious objector for Quaker 18-year olds.

Leave My Child Alone-family privacy campaign to protect high school students from unwanted military recruiting.

Encyclopedia.com: Selective Service - offers a brief history of the Selective Service in the United States.

Selective Service System - provides manpower to the armed forces in an emergency, and runs an Alternative Service Program for men classified as conscientious objectors during a draft.

Rock the Vote: The Draft - provides information and facts about a new military draft.

Alliance For Security: The Draft - discusses the possibility of a draft for the U.S. Military.


Conscientious Objection to the Draft

Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors - supports and promotes individual and collective resistance to war and preparations for war.

Center on Conscience and War - formerly the National Interreligious Service Board for Conscientious Objectors (NISBCO). Works to defend and extend the rights of conscientious objectors.

Fast Facts: Conscientious Objection and Alternative Service - from the Selective Service System.

Iranaeic Fellowship of God, The - Christian pacifist organization advocating draft resistance though peaceful means.

MoveOn.org: Conscientious Objection - offers facts, advice, and resources on the issue of conscientious objection.

"By Reason of Religious Training and Belief..." - project outlining the development of conscientious objection, its legal history, and the religious response.

The Good War and Those Who Refused To Fight It - companion web site to the PBS documentary which tells the dramatic story of the conscientious objectors (COs) who refused to fight in World War II.

PPU: Conscientious Objection - offers information about the right to refuse in Britain, Europe, and the United States.


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Please cite this source when appropriate:

Lee, R. "The History Guy: Issues: The Military Draft/Conscription"


Copyright 1998-2010 Roger A. Lee and History Guy Media; Last Modified: 03.28.10

"The History Guy" is a Registered Trademark.

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