The Issues of the Amnesty Question.
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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The Vietnam War has produced a large class of American political exiles. With the end of the war in sight, the question is, what, if anything, should be done towards granting amnesty to war resistors. In 1971 the Armys rate of desertion reached a historic high as did indictments for draft evasion. There are more than 10,000 evaders and deserters abroad, mostly in Canada and Sweden. Historically, Presidents have infrequently granted amnesty, almost exclusively to draft evaders. Several Congressional amnesty bills have been introduced. Public opinion polls indicate that the American public is solidly against requiring alternative service. Prior to his reelection, President Nixon repeatedly stated his opposition to amnesty. The fundamental issue in the amnesty debate is how to achieve equity between those who did serve the nation and those who elected to refuse. The bedrock question is, can the U.S. allow its citizens to decide which war they want to support. Modified author abstract