(CNSNews.com) - Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) said Wednesday that he opposes the all-volunteer army and that a military draft, based on a lottery with no deferments, is necessary during wartime.  

Murtha painted a bleak picture of the U.S. military during his address, saying the armed forces are stretched too thin and that the number of new soldiers recruited without having a high school diploma had increased.

“I voted against the all-volunteer army because I didn’t think we could sustain a deployment in wartime without a draft,” Murtha said in a speech at the liberal Center for American Progress on Wednesday. “But we’ve had to lessen our requirements for the people going in and 82 percent now have diplomas.”

When asked if there could be a draft in the future if the military is stretched as thin as he presented, Murtha told CNSNews.com “everybody ought to serve” during wartime.

“Well, we’ll never be able to fight a conventional war where you have two fronts without a draft. You can’t do it – 70 percent of the people in World War II were drafted and 40 percent in Vietnam. The draftees did fine,” he said. “In peacetime, obviously you don’t necessarily need a draft, but I think in a wartime, everybody ought to serve and I think everybody ought to have the opportunity.”

In the draft during the Vietnam War, many people were exempted from military service through deferments if they were enrolled in college, for example. Murtha said there should be “no exceptions” in a draft today.

“Now, you’re not going to do what we did in World War II where you have 12 million people under arms but you need everybody to feel like they’re part of it,” he said. “So, you do it by lottery and you make no exceptions. And, you remember the big problem we had with the war was there were all kinds of exceptions. Everybody got out of it. Some guys had four or five – what do you call them, exemptions? Four or five deferments.”