The Draft Today

X.      The Draft Today

In a Gallup Poll collected from November 13 to November 15, 2000, nearly 7 out of 10 Americans (69%) asked thought that it was a mistake to send troops to Vietnam.[1] In 1990, this number was even higher at 74%. In January 1973, after draft calls had ended, 60% of Americans asked disagreed with the presence of American troops in Vietnam. These numbers are surprising when compared to polls at the start of the war. Then, in August 1965, 24% of Americans polled felt that it was a mistake to send troops to Southeast Asia. 61% agreed with LBJ’s decision to send American soldiers to war.[2] As the years of the draft and the war continued, more and more Americans changed their minds about the conflict in Vietnam. As Americans died and as men were sent to the war in greater numbers, support for the conflict in Southeast Asia and the draft dwindled.

In 2018, all male citizens and immigrants between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five are legally required register for the draft.[3] Men must sign-up within thirty days of their eighteenth birthday.[4] They are expected to serve if the nation decides to initiate draft calls. If America mobilizes for war in the future, our young men may be drafted and sent to fight.

[1] Gillespie, Mark. November 17, 2000. “Americans Look Back at Vietnam War.” Gallup. (accessed 12/8/18)

[2] Ibid

[3] 50 USC Ch. 49: Military Selective Service § 3809.

[4] Selective Service System. “Registration.” (accessed on 12/8/18)