I want to follow up on something discussed first by Mr. Wooly and then by the participants as a whole. That something is called the Draft in America, National Service in Britain and Conscription in Canada.
I have mixed feelings about the Draft. On the one hand, the late Colonel David Hackworth argued that the draft would served as a deterrent to what Fred Reed calls hobbyist wars. Specifically, Colonel Hackworth said
"When it comes to blood sports, they don't need to be taught that the spectators have it cushier than the gladiators.
Just as if all Americans knew their kids would likely serve dead-center on the killing fields, there'd be far sharper focus on how our politicians are voting and a lot more calls for caution and careful consideration before we got out there in the sand and slapped leather. For sure, the draft would give us 20/20 vigilance."
Colonel Andrew Bacevich has made the same argument, or at least, alluded to the same argument, across several of his books. It is possible that having a Draftee military with angry parent-voters would force politicians to be reticent about Paul Wolfowitz/Sheldon Adelson/Project for the New American Century/American Enterprise Institute/National Endowment For Democracy-style hobbyist wars. If the Draft did have such a powerful deterrent on legislators, it would be justified. Switzerland has a Draft and the Swiss Army does not venture outside the national borders the way the all-volunteer US, Canadian, British and ANZAC militaries do.
On the other hand, having a Draft would teach generations of young people discipline and orderliness, something that is lacking today. This National Interest article supporting Senator Cruz's opposition to drafting women says that Drafts/conscription/national service serves as a tool of social engineering, that it is a way of imparting values to the drafted. In this entry, I proposed something akin to the Draft, namely merging the departments/ministries of defence and education and making each child a highly disciplined and educated soldier. The values I would impart to the drafted are as follows: discipline, veldtcraft, riflery, literacy and science.
I propose a Draft like Switzerland's and like France had. Switzerland does not send its army abroad. France sent only professional volunteers to Indochina and kept the conscripts home. France deployed conscripts to Algeria because Algeria was legally a Département (State/Province) of France, so sending conscripts to Algeria was within the legality of not sending them outside the national territory.
I would only require that Draftees serve in Home Service Battalions (or Home Service Squadrons for those Draftees who chose the aviation or naval branches) for an active period of five years and then on reserve until physical incapacity or retirement age. (In America, the HSB's/HSS's would be part of the National Guard, State Guards and Coast Guard. In Britain, they would be part of the Territorial Army.) The HSB's/HSS's would only be responsible for territorial and border defence and supporting police in putting down insurrections like Ferguson and Baltimore. They would be modeled on the Ulster Defence Regiment. They would have artillery and armoured arms, but these, like the British Royal Artillery (as detailed in Helion Books' A Tough Nut To Crack, and Baron Herstmonceux's and Rusty Firmin's memoirs) and the British Armoured Corps (as detailed in Lance-Corporal of Horse Mick Flynn's memoirs) would be trained to carry out anti-partisan sweeps and thus would be handy with a rifle away from their cannons and tanks.
External operations, i.e. wars far beyond the borders or the hemisphere would be as with France in Indochina, strictly the purview of those draftees who volunteered for the professional regiments and squadrons. These professional regiments and squadrons would have much higher standards of entry, along the lines of the SAS, the French Foreign Legion and the US Marine Corps. They would fit the latter of the two armies Jean Lartéguy describes in Les Centurions:
"I'd like to have two Armies -- one for display, with lovely guns, tanks, little Soldiers, staffs, distinguished and doddering Generals and deal little regimental officers, who would be deeply concerned over their General's bowel movements or their Colonel's piles; an Army that would be shown for a modest fee on every fairground in the country.
The other would be the REAL ONE, composed entirely of young enthusiasts in camouflage uniforms, who would not be put on display but from whom impossible efforts would be demanded and to whom all sorts of tricks would be taught. That's the Army in which I should like to fight."
Those who volunteer for the professional regiments and squadrons would receive full-time pay and a tax-free pension at the end of their hitch, a pension that could be passed to their spouses/significant others and children.
Some of these professional regiments and squadrons would be assigned to the national intelligence service as special duties units. Most of these professional regiments and squadrons, however, would be regular line units, like the USMC's non-Force Recon/MARSOC/Raider Regiments, Battalion Landing Teams, Marine Air-Ground Task Forces and Air Squadrons. To the deploy these latter professional regiments and squadrons abroad, legislative approval would be needed, but only those legislators with four functional limbs and passable enough eyesight and hearing would be allowed to vote on the deployment. If the vote/Authorisation For Use of Military Force goes is approved, ALL those legislators who voted "Yea," would then be obliged to resign their seats and would be assigned forthwith to whatever regiment had the deadliest assignment, the deadliest beach, the deadliest and most heavily mined AO. Said legislators who voted "Yea" for deployment/AUMF would be required to serve for the entire duration of the operation. They would not be allowed to rotate back home. The only way out for those legislators would be a) the end of the operation, or b) death. This would deal with the situation that crops up at around 1.55 in the following video wherein a pro-war Albanian congressman gets all flustered when Colonel Hackworth asks him if he (said congressman) would got to war or send his own son to the war he wants American boys to fight.
As an additional measure, I would require that NATO/whatever foreign country demands US, British, Canadian or ANZAC troops to fight its war, or Paul Wolfowitz or Sheldon Adelson or the members of the pro-war Project for the New American Century, American Enterprise Institute and National Endowment for Democracy--extremely wealthy individuals the lot of them--to pay into the Veterans' Administration a sum of money equal to that required to pay for 100% disability for each and every deployed serviceman for life before the first warning order is issued to the first platoon.