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Argument: Compulsory service inefficiently uses training resources

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Bruce Chapman. "A bad idea whose time is past: the case against universal service." Brookings Institute. 2002: "Litan's interest in compulsory service grew partly out of recent work on Israel. According to Gold, armed guards in Israel do protect day care centers, for example. But all have had serious military training and two to three years ofactive duty, followed by service in the active reserves. A population with widespread military training and service can accomplish things that a civilian volunteer program cannot.

Litan anticipates nothing comparable from short-term universal servicemen and -women. A one-year obligation, under the AmeriCorps example, works out to only 1,700 hours—roughly 10 months of 40-hour weeks. By the time the compulsory volunteers were trained, it would be time for them to muster out. The system would be roiled by constant turnover. It is surely unrealistic to expect to fill security jobs with youths who will be around for only a few months. Ask yourself, would you rather have a paid and trained person or a conscripted teenager inspecting the seaport for possible terrorists?"

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