An op-ed published by Military.com called for the US military to restart the draft amid a recruiting crisis resulting from decades of endless wars in the Middle East and Africa and skyrocketing veteran suicide rates.
“The fastest and most effective way to resolve this recruiting crisis is to change how we recruit,” wrote Joe Plenzler, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel. Plenzler called for something in between an all-volunteer force and a fully conscripted force. The US draft was abolished in 1973 after years of conscripted Americans being killed in the Vietnam War.
“We should have our military recruiters sign up new troops for 11 months out of the year, and then have the Selective Service draft the delta between the military’s needs and the total number recruited,” he wrote.
Plenzler said his proposal “would alleviate the incredible pressure on our recruiters, lower the cost of finding new troops, and significantly reduce the much decried civilian-military gap by subjecting all of America’s youth — rich and poor — to the possibility of military service via the draft.”
The op-ed came after President Biden called up 3,000 reservists to make available for the Pentagon to deploy to Europe, signaling the military is struggling to maintain its current force posture. Since around the time Russia invaded Ukraine, the US has deployed an additional 20,000 troops to Europe.
Amid the recruiting crisis, a poll from Gallup published on July 31 found that confidence in the US military is at its lowest point in more than two decades. The poll found that 60% of the US public trusted the military, the lowest level since 1997.