The military draft is a policy of compulsory military service instated by Congress, usually during times of war. It has been implemented several times throughout the history of the U.S. and once during peacetime. Congress discontinued its conscription policy in 1973, and in 1980 reinstated the Selective Service registration requirement that can conscript all men between the ages of 18 and 25 if the volunteer army will not suffice during war or crises.
A. Work in groups:
1. How are drafts conducted in your country? Is there such a thing is a mandatory draft system?
2. Should the military service be mandatory? Why (not)?
3. Should one decline it when drafted? If so, under which circumstances?
4. If your country is at war, should everyone be drafted? What if one does not agree with their own country foreign policies?
5. Do you see drafts differently if your country is being invaded by another country or if it is the one that is invading another one? Why?
6. Is it fair that you stop your career and plans because of drafts?
7. What would you do do if you were drafted to go to the war in Iraq? Would you go and obey your country's request or would you decline it because it is not your war?
8. In which cases should one be allowed to decline the draft? Make a list. Mind age, education, health, everything.
B. Check your list with the USA's exemptions and deferment at MCDC page. Decide with a partner if they are fair enough. Don't forget to justify it.
EXEMPTIONS AND DEFERMENTS
1. Student postponements are available for students in high schools, vocational schools, etc., who are age 20 or under.
2. College students can receive postponements until the end of the term, or of the year for seniors.
3. Physical exemptions: standards are complex and fill 23 pages of government manuals, but many are as common as hay fever, flat feet, or being overweight.
4. Mental exemptions: Standards are also complex, but you do not have to be mentally ill to qualify.
5. Conscientious objectors are exempt from military service if they object to war in any form. You do not have to belong to any special church, or even be religious, as long as the objection is based on moral or ethical beliefs.
6. Women can not be drafted now, but if the draft is activated, Congress may decide to draft women.
7. You may also qualify for exemption or deferment if your father, mother, sister, or brother died from service related injuries or illness during or after their service.
8. You are a citizen of another country.
9. You do not meet moral standards. Being gay, for example.
C. Watch the segment below. Work in groups and discuss the questions.
MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - DAY ZERO