I take this question one step further. Either you have a spouse, son, or daughter in the military, or you pay for the cost of a war with an immediate added annual surtax. No exemption for veterans. The tax would be a percentage of individual gross income allowing the cost of the war to be settled annually. As Ricks point out, that way everyone has an iron in the fire and there’s no pretending.
Tom Ricks wrote this article. He also wrote a couple of notable and unpleasant books about the Iraq War.
The drawbacks of the all-volunteer force are not military, but political and ethical. One percent of the nation has carried almost all the burden of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while the rest of us essentially went shopping. When the wars turned sour, we could turn our backs.
A nation that disregards the consequences of its gravest decisions is operating in morally hazardous territory. We invaded Iraq recklessly. If we had a draft, a retired general said to me recently, we probably would not have invaded at all.
If there had been a draft in 2001, I think we still would have gone to war in Afghanistan, which was the right thing to do. But I don’t think we would have stayed there much past the middle of 2002 or handled the war so negligently for years after that.