Paul Anstett

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Skeels, Jack W.||Weeks, Dale H.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Economics


Manpower--United States; Draft--United States


Examination of the present draft's weaknesses tends to emphasize the attractiveness of alternative military manpower systems. This paper concerns itself with only one of these alternatives: an all-volunteer army. Major emphasis is placed upon the weaknesses of the current System. To evaluate objectively this system, criteria must be established. The ones found herein are similar to those employed by economists in judging the performance of an economic system: Equity and efficiency. The draft's performance will be examined against these two criteria. Even this method of analysis is not completely adequate. The System must operate under numerous types of world conditions: peacetime, cold war or limited scale war like the Vietnam conflict and a major war like World War II. These conditions create different manpower needs. In some instances, efficiency must be stressed, while in other circumstances equity may become increasingly important. This paper attempts to analyze the draft under these conditions in order to see whether it still meets the criteria established above. The analysis relates the concept of equity to several aspects of the draft system. One issue is selection. Can equity be maintained under the present system when the supply of manpower outstrips the demand for it? If equity is jeopardized, the effective operation of local boards becomes critical. The advantages and disadvantages of local boards are analyzed, too. Total cost, involving implicit and opportunity costs, is also reviewed with regards to equity. The paper's major emphasis will involve the "inefficiencies" of the draft system. The elements that comprise a sound procurement system will be enumerated as a means of introducing the topic. From the "ideal" system, the paper will examine several problems of manpower policy. In particular, the problem of turnover will be discussed. Other topics which will be included here are the cross-over effect, training costs, and lateral hiring. This section concludes with a discussion of problems that arose during World War II. The problems analyzed will be the "philosophy of abundance" and recruitment during a major war. Since national security is a public good, its nature gives rise to the problem of distribution. The nation may be able to divide the burden according to the principles found in taxation, such as ability-to-pay and/or benefits-received principle. A more equitable situation may arise as a result. An analysis of the supply curve for volunteers will be reviewed as well. The role and significance of the draft and reserves under a volunteer army is described. Each will be discussed to emphasize how they implement this proposal. The main conclusion to be made from this study is that a better organized and more efficient manpower policy is a necessity. In fact, the present "mixed" system should be replaced by a sequential system which would provide for greater flexibility. This type of system would involve changing from one procurement system to another when world conditions demand it. The nation would no longer be tied to just one system.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


85 pages




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