Monday, June 06, 2005

Why ROTC Should Come Back to Columbia 
Professor Allen Silvermakes the case:

Conscription is a policy of the past. With it passed the widespread obligation of citizens to share in the risks and consequences of military endeavors. This poses a serious issue for the civic health of American democracy. Should Columbia adopt the same posture toward military service, as do privileged elites and their institutions – namely, take a free ride, while cheering or deploring from a distance? Or will it enter into an educational relationship with the military profession as it does with others?

A myth persists that the military grossly exploits the poor and disadvantaged. However, the enlisted ranks exclude the 20% of the population without high school degrees or its equivalent, and their profile is comparable to that of similar occupational skills in the civilian labor force. Certainly, limited opportunity induces some to enlist. If this is a scandal, set it next to the egregiously meager presence in the military of graduates from elite universities. In one Ivy League university, the percentage of graduates in 2004 entering military service was .08% -- to name the institution solely because this figure is at hand would be unfair. That number represents a broader truth: America’s elites much prefer to have other people’s children in military uniforms. Professional and social elites select themselves out of the military.

Check out the whole thing.

Thanks to a heads-up reader.

Splash, out


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After the Vote: Why ROTC Belongs At Columbia by Allan Silver

Advocates for Columbia ROTC:
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