As a veteran of two deployments with the National Guard, to Kosovo and to Afghanistan, I was struck by your front-page article about the Afghan war (“The longest war barely echoes at home,” Aug. 17). Upon returning from each of these deployments, I was startled at the level of apathy the American public and media have for these undeclared wars we keep sending our sons and daughters to fight in.
Modern politicians have circumvented the need to declare war, as they have circumvented many of the limits on their powers, and Americans keep putting yellow-ribbon bumper stickers on their cars and electing leaders who keep our troops perpetually deployed.
Maybe it’s time to bring the draft back. Maybe then Americans would become engaged enough to elect leaders who would narrow the focus of our national interest to its proper scope. Maybe then Americans would hold their political leadership accountable, and the incumbency rate would drop below the appallingly high percentage sustained in Congress.
Without a draft, this will never happen.