Originally Posted by GAsux
Never the less, any time your talking about conscipts you're going to find a military force that is less that professional.
Not to get all "theoretical," but at least using Machiavellian logic, your other options are just as bad, if not worse. Sure, you can ask for volunteers, but what if none come along? Secondly, your other option is a paid military. But that means you employ a bunch of capitalists who will turn on you if the money is right (this was particularly a problem in Machiavelli's day).
Not that I'm 100% pro-conscription, I just see the civic merits in it. In Israel it's a part of the political culture, and you can be sure that most hih level politicians have served in a high ranking military position, perhaps have even led a battle charge or two. I find a LITTLE bit more comfort in this than, for example, having a leader who's glad to send our men and women off to die, but when his time came, he joined the coast guard, or national guard, whatever.
EDIT: For as much as I dislike Ariel Sharon, if the PM in Israel held the same entitlements as our President (not sure), you can at least be sure that he would have the military record to be calle "commander-in-chief."