states. Read the 2nd amendment to the Constitution. The founding fathers feared standing armies. They just finished fighting the best standing army in the world when they fought, and with the help of the French, defeated that British army.
The idea that we are responsible for our own defense is embodied in the militia concept. We have a responsibility to one another to participate in our mutual defense against enemies, both foreign and domestic (domestic like our own government gone wild). At one time the militia was defined as all able bodied men between 16 and 60 years of age, and State laws required them to be organized and trained, ready to respond if necessary. State militias fought the Civil War.
So while I object strongly to a draft into a federal army, I fully endorse a requirement that we each participate in the militia on a State level, with exemption only for being unfit or having conscientious objection. It has been a serious mistake to abandon militias in favor of a standing army controlled by the federal government.
Given that we have abandoned the militia concept, I think at a minimum any politician who unilaterally decides or who votes for legislation that directly or indirectly sends US troops to fight must go with them to the front lines.
"Bend over and grab your ankles" should be etched in stone at the entrance to every government building and every government office.