Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Melvin R. Laird was secretary of defense from 1969 to 1973 - Credence Writers
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Melvin R. Laird was secretary of defense from 1969 to 1973 and counselor to the president for domestic affairs in 1973 and 1974. He represented Wisconsin in the U.S. House from 1953 to 1969.
Just over 40 years since the United States implemented the all-volunteer military force, some are once again suggesting that a draft force could be better. I managed development of the all-volunteer concept that President Richard Nixon endorsed, and I believe that returning to the draft would be a mistake. No president has advocated a return to conscription, Congress does not support it, and the American people would not stand for it — all with good reason.
The all-volunteer force has surpassed expectations. After more than a decade of sustaining combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan while meeting other global obligations, our force has been successful by virtually every measure. The “total-force” concept, which I conceived, more closely links active-duty, National Guard and reserve military components. The volunteer military is more intelligent, fit, committed and representative than ever. Moreover, it has proved more cost-effective than a draft force.
Each year about 160,000 young men and women volunteer for active duty. An additional 110,000 volunteer for the reserves and the National Guard. Twenty-five thousand others are commissioned as officers, according to Defense Department data. Last year marked the 27th consecutive year in which the Pentagon has exceeded its quality standards for active-duty recruits. Half of all recruits are in the top two of the Armed Forces Qualification Test’s five categories, Defense Department personnel data show, with only 1 percent in the lowest. In the last year of the draft, only one-third of recruits were in the top two categories, with 25 percent in the lowest. Whereas only three-quarters of youths nationwide graduate from high school, all military recruits are required to have graduated. (During the last year of the draft, only half of recruits were high school graduates.)
QUESTION 1: How would you describe the ‘context’ of the arguments in the article? Describe at least one or two key points. Consider aspects of the ‘big picture’ in figuring this out. When was the article published? What is the political context? 
QUESTION 2: Identify a premise and the conclusion of the argument described in the following sentence:
“Some contend the draft is needed so that military sacrifice and risk may be more equitably shared.”
QUESTION 3: What is the conclusion of the following argument? What are the premises?
“Unfortunately, the majority of those who would be eligible for the draft today do not meet the standards for military service, for physical fitness and other reasons. People are the military’s most important asset. But if the objective is to maintain at reasonable costs an effective military force, the draft fails this test.”
QUESTION 4: Consider the following sentence:
“Nobel economic laureate Milton Friedman, a member of the commission, summed it up by saying that conscription was inconsistent with the American values of choice, personal liberty and a free society.”
What conclusion could be supported with Friedman’s idea? (To answer this question you must examine the context of this comment in the article)
QUESTION 5: This article is arguing for a main point or a main conclusion. What is the main point or conclusion of the argument in the article?

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