What Are the Negatives of a Military Draft?

There are many negatives to instituting a military draft.

The military draft is a hot-button issue among many individuals in the United States. There have been many arguments made about the potential positives of reinstating a military draft, but there are also many negatives. While the draft is one way to fill up the military ranks, there are many reasons why a military draft could be considered a bad idea.

1 Budget & Financial Issues

One of the immediate negatives of a military draft are the financial issues and budget issues. Not only is the military budget already taking up more than 54 percent of the national budget (when interest owed on money borrowed for military operations is appropriately budgeted), but a draft would take thousands of employed workers who pay taxes out of the workforce, and then require billions of dollars more to train the volunteers. As the "Wall Street Journal" points out, the amount needed to train a new non-volunteer force would cost more than what is budgeted to do so.

2 Disproportionate Service

Another argument about instituting a military draft is that the brunt of the most dangerous jobs are disproportionately served by low-income individuals as opposed to high-income individuals. Vietnam was a classic example of this. Many from high-income families went to college, were allowed to serve clerically from safe areas, or were not forced to serve at all. Those from low-income families were foot infantry who took the most casualties during the actual fighting. There's no reason to believe that a new draft wouldn't work out the same way, with one group taking a disproportionate amount of the risk over others.

3 Societal Issues

There are many anti-draft individuals who argue that the biggest negative of a military draft is that is violates individual liberties that are supposed to be guaranteed. Congressman Ron Paul wrote an essay to this effect for debate-central.org. He vehemently argues that a draft violates individual liberties, and quotes former President Ronald Reagan, who agreed. In addition, volunteer soldiers want to be in service, while drafted soldiers do not, and may not be as prepared mentally for war. Vietnam saw tens of thousands of survivors come back mentally disturbed and addicted to drugs, overwhelming a society that wasn't ready to handle it.

Monty Dayton is a professional freelance writer who has worked for the ACLU, Touchstone Publishing LLC, the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and many other employers. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska and loves writing about travel, the outdoors and health topics.