Since this is my first post on FDL, I thought I’d start off by trying to start a discussion.
I’m going to express a seemingly unpopular opinion in both progressive circles and America at large, but I think the United States needs to have some sort of mandatory service requirement for people right out of high school, even possibly compulsory military service.  In fact, I think with the right reforms, a standard requirement for military service would be a check on militarism and war.  I’m hardly alone in supporting compulsory service, and some progressives agree with me on this, such as Thom Hartmann and David Sirota, and respected military experts like Andrew Bacevich (who while conservative is respected in progressive circles) do as well.  It’s even been expressed in Congress:  Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel has introduced legisation time and time again to bring back “the draft”.  But in general, it is an understandably unpopular opinion, especially among progressives, and admittedly for some good reasons.  Regardless, good cases (IMO) have been made for “National Service” in the past, and I think it’s a discussion progressives should be having, so I’m starting one now.  I acknowledge my ideas, and this whole concept could be wrong, so I’m hoping this can be a productive and respectful debate and discussion, and not degenerate into emotional mudslinging and insults (You support slavery!  You want to kill my kids!) as discussions on this topic often end up turning into.  What do you guys think?

By the way, here’s some of the good cases (again, IMO) made for National Service and “the draft” being re-instated:
Should Progressives & the Anti-War Movement Oppose the Concept of A Military Draft?

The Draft: A War-Killer

Time to Reconsider Jefferson’s Call to Universal Service

Andrew Bacevich at Northern Michigan University making the case for the “Citizen-Soldier”