Is Mandatory Military Service a Good Idea Essay

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Nations cannot be secure unless they are defended. While civic duty and virtue might compel citizens to want to provide voluntary military service for the good of their country, civic duty may at times need to be compelled through compulsory service. As Simon and Lovrich (2009) point out, the War on Terrorism has propelled the nation into a new environment in which security and defense are top priorities. In such times, a country cannot depend upon the hope that citizens will volunteer their time in military service in defense of the country. It becomes imperative at such moments for mandatory military service to be enacted so that the nation can be sure of being prepared at all times to oppose its enemies and maintain its security. This paper will show why mandatory military service for all able bodied citizens is an idea that should be supported in the present climate.

The current state of the world is one in which threats are all around us. The War on Terrorism began following the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. and the war continues to this day. While in an ideal world, every able bodied citizen would naturally want to provide military service to protect his homeland, the world we live in is one in which people often need to be compelled to act on behalf of the common good. The present climate, in which Terrorism has reared its head so many terrible times, able bodied citizens should understand that their nation needs their help in protecting itself.

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If there is no line of defense, that which we call our home could very easily and very soon be lost. To prevent such from happening, mandatory military service would allow the State to conscript all able-bodied individuals in support of the defense of the nation.

Mandatory military service can also be viewed as a natural extension of citizenship. As Sasson-Levy (2007) shows, military service and citizenship are concepts that are inherently linked on philosophical grounds. A citizen belongs to a larger society and derives benefits from that association (such as the benefit of community, networks, commerce, education, shelter, socialization, labor, produce, etc.). At the same time, he also has a duty to serve that same larger society from which he derives benefits (e.g., civic duties that apply to any democratic society). Mandatory military service is one of the natural expressions of this relationship. It indicates that there is an inherent responsibility on the part of the citizen to devote at least a portion of his life to protecting and serving that State which has nourished him from his youth.

There are many examples of mandatory military service throughout history including right up to our own time. Ancient civilizations, such as the Greeks and Romans, relied upon mandatory military service at one point or….....

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Finley, M. (1981). The elderly in classical antiquity. Greece and Rome, 28(2): 156-

Sasson-Levy, O. (2007). Contradictory consequences of mandatory conscription: The

case of women secretaries in the Israeli military. Gender and Society, 21(4): 481-507.

Simon, C., Lovrich, N. (2009). Sources of support for mandatory military service in the context of the war on terrorism: Survey evidence of pre- and post-September 11, 2001. Social Science Quarterly, 90(2): 368-386.

Tarabar, D., Hall, J. (2016). Explaining the worldwide decline in the length of mandatory military service, 1970-2010. Public Choice, 168(1): 55-74.

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