American armed forces today, including as they do levies of conscripts, do not constitute an army of citizen-soldiers. They are not subject to effective democratic control. Elimination of conscription will not introduce a “mercenary army”: we already have one. On the other hand, elimination of conscription can accomplish little of what many of its advocates hope for: most of the faults of the military system are rooted elsewhere and are not so easily eradicated.
The armed f...
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