U.S. Military Recruiters and Military Composition

E.J. Dionne, Jr. argues that the recent ruling by an appeals court that allows colleges to bar military recruiters from campus without fear of losing federal funds is bad for liberalism. His point is that authentic liberalism should encourage close ties between the military and civilian sectors of society. He has a persuasive point. I've long believed that the lower classes of U.S. society bear an unfair portion of the burden of defending our country. This is why I would support the implementation of a fair draft, one that gives "equal opportunity" to members from all economic classes to be drafted into military service. More importantly, the growing gap between the military and civilian sectors of society is dangerous to our democratic republic. Our society as we know it depends on civilian rule over the military. This is possible only when the military is aligned with civilians, indeed, is made up of civilians. When the military sector becomes a separate and distinct entity from the civilian sector, and interests and concerns from the two sectors are not aligned with one another, the practice of civilian rule over the military is in grave danger. This scenario is what gives rise to military coups, such as the one that brought Pervez Musharaff to power in Pakistan several years ago. I completely support the U.S. military and its mission of defending the country. I would readily, if not happily, serve in the military if called upon, and often wish that I would have volunteered for service. This is because I view the military as an extension of my identity as a United States citizen. Dionne is right to argue that the military needs to consist of a broad representation of U.S. society, and that barring military recruiters from liberal campuses to make a political statement is not in the best interest of an authentically liberal society.


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