It really depends. Lots of people signed up during WW2, after 9/11 etc etc. It is usually more about a person thinking what they can do to contribute to the overall effort, not so much that they're going to become some kind of hero that turns the tide of the war single-handed. Which tbh is right on the mark, war is a group effort, every little bit of contribution helps your side towards that final goal.
It's almost like voting in election in a sense, each person only has one vote, which by itself you can argue is insignificant and won't make any real impact, but can anyone win an election if nobody votes? and conversely, can you really say that the votes that people cast were inconsequential?
I think you meant Iraq, we haven't gone to Iran yet but yes.
Oh, sorry, that's not what I meant. I didn't mean to marginalize the common soldier, because they're just as integral as any commander or general. Every single person in the war effort is important. (Unless you're Sir Daniel Fortescue or something... sorry, obscure videogame joke. ) What I was trying to say is that one thing which might deter people from signing up for military service in the first place is because they might believe that, in the grand scheme of things, they can be nothing but inconsequential; "How can one simple person like me, in a war that involves thousands upon thousands or even tens of millions (Depending on which war we're talking about here) of soldiers, make any real impact upon this war?" And before you sign up for the military, before you've forged friendships and alliances with people, that overwhelmingly big picture is all you're capable of looking at.
Once you sign up for the military and step upon the battlefield, then yeah, there's more specific things you come to care about; my dad's emotional health would of course be better if never fought in Vietnam, but he did rescue some fellow troop members from harrowing situations where they would have died or broken down otherwise (There was one person he was friends with that did have a mental breakdown eventually and had to be sent home because he basically went crazy), and he is thankful for having been given the chance to help those he cared about. His failures to protect people left a deeper impression upon his psyche than his successes, predictably and sadly enough, but that's another story.
Did you fight in Iran or Afghanistan, out of curiosity?
Whether a draft is necessary simply boils down to whether the conflict at hand requires more manpower than your current standing military have. It's simply a matter of math. Unless you can guarantee that no conflict that will exceed your military's capability will ever occur (something no one can do), then you can't state with certainty that the draft is inherently unnecessary.
Realistically speaking it's very unlikely that the draft will be necessary (for the US and first-world nations) in the near future due to the current trend of warfare and their technological superiority, unless WW3 happens or aliens invade
On the non-combatants, what I meant by there's no such thing as non-combatant on the battlefield is simply that, they don't exist. You can be assigned a non-combatant job, but that doesn't mean anything when the enemies hits. IEDs, mortar/artillery, aerial bombardments doesn't distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, and that's the reality on the ground.
Good cause or not, people are reluctant to fight in wars because they know that more than likely they'll contribute rather little to that cause.
Not really, people are reluctant to fight in wars because they are reluctant to die.
As for what you say about the individual soldier, all I can say is that you can say that now because you've never fought on a battlefield. Inconsequential? it's only inconsequential if you consider the man next to you as inconsequential, or the men under your command, or the lives of the wounded the medics are trying to save.
Without all those "inconsequential common soldiers", no wars can be won.
"It has? I'm not especially well-versed in history; you're probably giving me too much credit if you assume that I know what I'm talking about whenever I run my mouth about something. My opposition to a military draft is part of a broader opposition against the government dictating your life to any great extent when it's not absolutely necessary. I think people should generally be able to live their lives however they want to (save for doing things that are illegal or hurt someone else) and that the only demands placed upon them otherwise are those that are necessary, ie paying taxes; basically taking control of someone's life by forcing them to live at a certain place and perform a certain job function for a few years or so oversteps that bound and enters the realm of being overly intrusive.
The question, then, becomes whether the draft is in fact necessary. I've always presumed that it's not for two reasons: a) The majority of Vietnam soldiers were volunteers, a war that didn't really relate to America much, and so I'd assume that if people were reared up to go defend Vietnam, they'd be similarly gung-ho about defending their own soil (ie World War II with Pearl Harbor); and b) to my understanding, the draft has historically been implemented almost immediately after the declaration of war. The fact that declarations of war are usually followed by a declaration of the draft in such quick fashion give me the impression that the government doesn't wait to see if enough volunteers will sign up to suit their needs, and that the draft is implemented more as a first resort rather than a last.
If I'm mistaken, then okay; I'll concede the point, and have less resentment towards the concept of a military draft. A necessary evil is still an evil, though, so I hope that the need for a draft is never again raised.
And yes, people can be drafted into non-combat positions, as Ithreko mentioned. I have to disagree with your word choice of "petty bubble," also. Good cause or not, people are reluctant to fight in wars because they know that more than likely they'll contribute rather little to that cause. A single soldier generally makes about as much difference as a grain of sand to a beach. To say that a good cause should be enough to convince people to just man the fuck up and get over it, and that not wishing to throw yourself into hell on earth to play a tiny, inconsequential role that will leave you permanently scarred is just 'petty,' childish, petulant angst... well, I have trouble thinking of anything that isn't petty if that's the case. My dad signed up for Vietnam at the age of 17 because he wanted to help liberate the South Vietnamese; he fought in the single bloodiest province of Vietnam with the highest death toll of any location in the war, spent the next 25 years a PTSD-ridden raging, suicidal wreck, and just like any other common soldier probably didn't contribute too terribly much to the outcome of the war. I can't blame anyone for not wanting to follow in those footsteps."