I get angry when anyone starts suggesting that our country should consider reinstating any form of military conscription. This is partly because they demonstrate ignorance of military facts by assuming that the quality of a volunteer and a conscript are the same. Volunteers are always far better than conscripts, and the damage that would be done to the morale and culture of our armed forces by reinstating a draft, in any situation, would be immense.
The existence of conscription damages society in other ways. It makes people despise the concept of military service. It gives the elites a tool to abuse their own population, and also to threaten other countries. It makes it much easier to wage aggressive war.
But mainly, my feelings come from a very strong belief that military conscription is wrong. It is fundamentally and unequivocally wrong, one of the worst possible violations of human rights that can be imagined. It is the ultimate and most brutal consequence of the philosophy that human beings only exist to serve a collective, and that individuals can be sacrificed at will when 'society' demands it.
Conscription is slavery. It is actually worse than slavery, because the conscript is forced to do things that are far worse than manual labor. Slavery 'only' puts you in a position where you have no power over your own life and are subject to arbitrary cruelty and violence. Conscription does all of this, and combines it with a regime of psychological manipulation designed to make you murder your fellow human beings.
I may need to explain that last sentence a little. I do not mean to imply that volunteer soldiers are doing anything wrong. Volunteering to defend your family, friends, homeland, and civilization from things that would threaten it is a good and noble thing to do. It is precisely this nobility of purpose that makes conscription such an abomination. Conscription corrupts something that should be an individual choice by making it a type of slavery.
To see what I mean, consider marriage. Marriage is an extremely important institution; the proper raising of children is vital for the future of society. If people did not get married and have children, then the country would surely be destroyed. But consider what would happen if the government conscripted people into marriage. Consider the damage it would do to individuals, to the idea of marriage, and to society as a whole. Forcing people to get married would be an abomination, precisely because a volunteer marriage is such a good thing.
This analogy also helps explain why it is so insulting to call our soldiers 'mercenaries'. The difference between a volunteer and a mercenary is the difference between a wife and a prostitute. The only thing they have in common is the fact that they are not slaves.
Society can only function when people make choices to do the things that are necessary for that society to grow and prosper. You cannot force them to do these things. If you try, you end up with a hollow shell of a civilization.
There is never an excuse or justification for conscription. Any civilization that cannot summon enough volunteers to defend itself does not deserve to exist.