38 / CHRONICLESntheir lives to the State, involuntarily ifnit comes to that.nThe report examines just four possiblenplans. One would leave servicenvoluntary, just greatly expand thenPeace Corps and VISTA and stuff likenthat. Provide more alternatives, younunderstand. Since it’s a little pricey—nsay, $2.6 billion, in round numbers—nand since it hasn’t escaped the authors’nnotice that the Great Society is on thenback burner for the duration, theirnother three plans involve a little coercion,nto bring in community service atnbelow-market prices.nThe simplest and probably thencheapest would require high-schoolnseniors to do 240 hours of unpaidnservice to receive a diploma. The authorsnsay this enterprise would cost anmere $20 million or so, for administration.n(Reaganomics means austerity,nremember?) But the Chronicle articlensays they believe that even with thisnbare-bones approach, “opportunitiesnfor personal growth would be substantial.”nA third plan would reinstitute thendraft, make it universal, and offer anchoice of two years’ active militarynservice, five years in the reserves, ornone year of civilian service. (Do thesenguys live in the same world I do? Onenyear picking up litter in the nationalnparks equals two years of active servicenin the military? Maybe the press releasengot the numbers switched.) Thenreport-writers worry that this mightnviolate the IS’th Amendment’s prohibitionnof involuntary servitude; whynthe draft never did that before eludesnme.nThe last brilliant idea, and the authors’nfave rave, is a “universal” programnrequiring one year of nationalnservice from every 18 year old, or thenpayment of a 5 percent income-taxnsurcharge in perpetuity. This wouldn”develop more public services thanncould be offered through any othernprogram,” but the authors admit thatnthey don’t have a clue how much itnwould cost. If everyone takes the 5npercent buy-out option it looks like itncould be a real money-maker. Ofncourse, we’re trying right now to takenpoor folks off the tax rolls altogether,nwhich would remove their incentive tonenlist, so we might wind up with anNational Service Corps composed exclusivelynof young people who expectnto make a lot of money some day.nNobody asked me, but let’s startnover. Did the Ford Foundation’snreport-writers ever consider the philosophicalnobjections to compulsorynservice as anything other than a possiblensource of “noncooperation”?nMaybe they did, and the Chronicle justndidn’t find it worth mentioning. Anyway,nfor starters, may we take it asnaxiomatic that we shouldn’t force peoplento donate a substantial part of theirnlives to the state without compellingnreason? That clearly follows fromnmy — and, I would insist, America’s—defaultnlibertarian assumptionnthat free men and women shouldn’t benforced to do anything without a damnngood reason.nThe question then becomes, what isna “compelling” reason? National defensenis such a reason—and maybenthe only one. Repairing rusty bridgesnor running inner-city youth programsnwon’t do. And God knows the point ofna compulsory program isn’t to providen”opportunities for personal growth”n(although that might happen). Stillnwith me?nSo if a draft is necessary to defendnthe nation, it’s a sad day for the nation,nbut let’s draft, by all means. If it’s notnnecessary for that reason, though, thenn(a fortiori) there’s no case for compulsorynnational service of any sort.nNow, I recognize that the socialnconsequences of our present, allvolunteernforce are probably unfortu- .nnate. Another Vietnam War would benfought by roughly the same blue-collarnboys who fought the last one, withneven fewer young urban professionalsnthan before. True, the fact that ournsoldiery would all be volunteers mightnbuy us peace, if only in the sense ofnpeace and quiet. As soon as the draftnwas abolished, recall, Vietnam protestnbacked off from a rolling boil to ansimmer. And today’s students wouldnundoubtedly be noisier about Americanninvolvement in Central America ifnthey believed they might actually havento go there. But whether this is anreason to favor an all-volunteer forcenor to oppose it isn’t entirely clear.nAnd, anyway, it’s a side-issue.nWe’re concerned here with whether andraft is necessary for our defense, notnwhether it would better serve socialnjustice or foreign policy.nI’ve asked this question of a lot ofnnnpeople who know a lot more about thisnthan I do—which isn’t hard. Manynsay that the expense of our volunteernarmed forces is exorbitant, but therenwe’re all entitled to an opinion, and Inbeg to differ. We ought to be willing tonpay what it takes to defend ourselves.nNo, the question is whether we arenpaying enough—whether we can paynenough—to do that.nwhat are the military consequencesnof relying on volunteers? Can theynfight modern warfare? Will they?nHere, unfortunately, opinions differ.nThe Pentagon line seems to be: nonproblem. That it’s an official linendoesn’t mean it’s wrong, but there anenplenty of junior officers and civiliah^^nstudents of the military who disagree.nAnd among them, there’s a good dealnof talk about reviving the draft, innsome form or other.nOne arrangement to be avoided atnalmost any cost, everyone agrees, isnthe old system, under which youngnmen who were rich enough or smartnenough to stay in school until age 26ndidn’t have to go to Vietnam. Thenupshot is that we now have a generationnof ministers and tenured academicsnwhose calling was, in many cases,nfaint. As well as a lot of justifiablynticked-off veterans.nMost advocates of a reinstated draftnfavor some system of universal service,non grounds of both justice and politicalngood sense. And the idea doesn’tnoutrage public opinion (although thatnin itself is no reason to do it): 65npercent of adults favor compulsorynone-year service; even 58 percent ofnthose 18 to 24.nBut if we have to have a militaryndraft, let’s do it frankly. Forget the FordnFoundation’s plan to smuggle it backnin as an alternative to forestry work. Ifnit has to be done, let’s have universalnmilitary training. If we’re going tondraft 18 year olds, let’s put them all innuniform and let them work out withnbayonets.nAfter basic training, if we don’t neednall those soldiers (and assuredly wendon’t), then let them do “public service”nwork—but they should do it innuniform, as soldiers. Nobody says soldiersncan’t repair roads, teach people tonread, assist in public-health clinics.n(Alternatively, we could station onenevery 20 feet along our southern bordernto interdict drugs and illegal immi-n