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The American draft evolved significantly in the course of the Vietnam War, a conflict so widely protested at home that it was ultimately fought by an all-volunteer military force comprised of just 1% of Americans (12% of the population, for comparison, served in World War II).
The discussion guide below, along with the presentation included in the support materials, reviews how the nature of conscription has changed throughout history. Students will analyze the conditions in which drafts have been invoked throughout history, and will debate the advantages and disadvantages of conscription. Is there a benefit to having an all-volunteer miliatry force? What are the obstacles of instating a draft system? Which eligable citizens, if any, should be excused from the draft? By the end of this lesson, students will form and support their own opinions about the draft system.