Maintaining permanent armies of paid or conscripted soldiers

Reference

The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 reported by James Madison : June 29
"A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."
United States Declaration of Independence
"He [the present King of Great-Britain] has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislatures."

Articles

A Cold Draft: Will Bush Bring Back the Draft?, by Ted Rall, 2 Dec 2003
UpdEisenhower Was Right, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 16 Feb 2004
Standing Armies, Political Mischief, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 6 Oct 2000
Standing Armies Stand in the Way of Freedom, by Michael Peirce, 20 Aug 2001
UpdThe Troops Don't Defend Our Freedoms, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 21 Oct 2005
"... as a practical matter the troops serve ... simply as a loyal and obedient personal army of the president, ready and prepared to serve him and obey his commands. ... ready to obey the president's orders to deploy to any country in the world ... to take into custody any American whom the commander in chief deems a 'terrorist' ..."
We don't draft firemen, by Alan Reynolds, 29 Apr 2004
UpdHenry David Thoreau and "Civil Disobedience," Part 2, by Wendy McElroy, Future of Freedom, Apr 2005
Examines several of the initial themes in "Civil Disobedience", including government injustice, the individual as the source of power and authority, war and the military and the reasons why people obey the state
"Without cooperation from the people, 'a few individuals' would not succeed in wielding that tool. In fact, the cooperation of the tool itself — the standing army — is required. Thoreau wonders about the psychology of men who would fight a war and, perhaps, kill others out of obedience. He concludes that soldiers, by virtue of their absolute obedience to the state, become somewhat less than human."
Shall Liberty or Empire be Sought?, by Patrick Henry, 5 Jun 1788
Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention; criticises several clauses of the proposed Constitution and warns about the possibility of a U.S. President becoming even worse than a king
"Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all? ... A standing army we shall have, also, to execute the execrable commands of tyranny; and how are you to punish them? Will you order them to be punished? Who shall obey these orders? Will your mace-bearer be a match for a disciplined regiment?"
The Failed Attempt to Leash the Dogs of War, by Bart Frazier, Future of Freedom, Dec 2006
Discusses provisions of the Constitution that were meant to prevent the United States from having a large, permanent military and becoming involved in warfare at the will of a single person
"People today cannot even contemplate not having an enormous standing military, but in the late 18th century, Americans considered a standing army to be a primary tool of despotism. A standing army is composed of professional soldiers, that is, of men who make their living preparing for war and waging it. ... The Founders thought it much wiser to depend on citizen-soldiers in the militias for defense."
The Third Amendment and the Issue of the Maintenance of Standing Armies: A Legal History, by William S. Fields and David T. Hardy, American Journal of Legal History, 1991
"... the grievance against the involuntary quartering of soldiers was in essence an individual complaint, the ramifications of which affected specific citizens who were forced to suffer its onerous burdens. The question ... was one involving the civil rights of the individual citizen versus the power of the government."
Would You "Support the Troops" in Bolivia?, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 27 Dec 2006
Discusses U.S. military contracts and the hypothetical case of a soldier objecting to being deployed for an invasion of Bolivia on orders from the President, contrasting it to the real scenario of the 2003 invasion of Iraq
"But everyone knows that presidents don't use their standing army to defend America. They use it to attack countries that haven't attacked the United States. After all, how many times has America been invaded by a foreign army in the last 50 years? (Answer: None!) What country in the world today has the military capability of invading the United States? (Answer: None!) What country in the world today has the military capability of invading the United States? (Answer: None!)"
Related Topics: War, Ethics, Militarism