Ideas Fest notebook: A new draft? Legal pot?

Return of a draft

Should the U.S. military bring back the draft? Three American novelists who’ve written books about war weighed in on the question during a wide-ranging conversation about literature and the military Sunday night at Belly Up as part of the Aspen Ideas Festival. Karl Malantes, Marine Corps veteran and author of the Vietnam War novel “Matterhorn,” advocated bringing back the draft to reconnect the country to its wars. The all-volunteer force used in Iraq and Afghanistan wars, he argued, put too great a stress on the fraction of Americans fighting, some doing as many as seven tours in war zones. “I think we ought to be ashamed of ourselves, that we’re asking them to do that,” Malantes said, drawing passionate applause from the Ideas Fest crowd.