Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Draft

Since 2003 Representative Charles Rangle of New York has been talking about legislation to reinstate the draft. Not an NFL draft, but a military draft. His rationale for the legislation is to sensitize Congress to the seriousness of war authorization if their own sons and daughters might be called to serve. He also believes that military service in an all volunteer army falls primarily on those who are often from the lower classes and minority communities and have few options. By forcing a draft, the people whose bodies on the line would come from all classes.

The conversation is back on the table as the Iraq Study Group releases its findings, as the Senate confirms Roberg M. Gates to serve as Secretary of Defense, and as Rangle moves to chair the House Ways and Means Committee.

The conversations in the past days have focused on whether more troops should move into Iraq to help stabilize the country. The problem with that plan, if that were to be the will of the Administration, is there aren't that many more troops to be had. More National Guard and Reservists could be called up and more service men and women currently in Iraq could be forced to serve more tours. But, is that the answer? Or is it time for a draft?

Even if the Administration decides to remove troops from Iraq, it is evident that the United States cannot fight a war on two fronts with an all volunteer army, which has been the measure of our military strength. We have not the troop strength to sustain such a feat.

So, what do we do? Do we revise our vision as a military super power and back off an ideal that we can fight a war on two fronts? Or, do we reinstate the draft for such times as these, when the nation is at war?

What do you think?

1 comment:

Scott said...

To some this may boil down to whether we want to see anarchy in the Middle East if they hastily pull out now or anarchy here at home if 'selective service' actually meant selective service...my guess is that a draft won't sit too well with most. Interesting to hear our commander in chief talk about increasing the military just this morning.

As for Rangle's plan, it could easily backfire- wouldn't the 'elites' just figure out a way to sneak their kids into Canada or come up with some other crazy loophole to hide them for a few years? Maybe now's the time to invest in apartments in the Toronto suburbs...

Either way, what a mess!

By the way, your blog is very well set up! I enjoy reading your posts although I wish I had more time to contribute!