Endless War Necessitates the Draft
... the United States still has some 75,000 soldiers in Germany, 41,000 in Japan, 41,000 in Korea, 13,000 in Italy, 12,000 in the United Kingdom, and so on, down through a list of more than a hundred countries?plus some 26,000 sailors and Marines deployed afloat. The new jobs keep coming, and the old ones don't go away. Several times I have heard officers on Army bases refer mordantly to the current recruiting slogan: "An Army of One." The usual punch line is, "That's how many soldiers are left for new assignments now."
James Fallows discusses our overstretched volunteer military in his article "The Hollow Army" that appears in this months Atlantic Monthly.
Just posted today at Maryland's Gazette.net amongst listings for literacy, special ed and hospice volunteers is this volunteer opening:
The Selective Service System wants volunteers to serve as members of local boards. Volunteers must be citizens of the U.S., 18 or older, registered with the Selective Service (if a male), not be an employee in any law enforcement occupation, not be an active or retired member of the Armed Forces and not have been convicted for any criminal offense.
Along with conscientious objectors, ministerial and hardship deferments there is a new one , for medical personnel. If there is no Draft in the offing, why a new deferment category?
Bill S.89 should interest you.
Title: A bill to provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Hollings, Ernest F. [SC] (introduced 1/7/2003)
As should its twin, H.R.163
Universal National Service Act of 2003 - Declares that it is the obligation of every U.S. citizen, and every other person residing in the United States, between the ages of 18 and 26 to perform a two-year period of national service, unless exempted, either as a member of an active or reserve component of the armed forces or in a civilian capacity that promotes national defense. Requires induction into national service by the President. Sets forth provisions governing: (1) induction deferments, postponements, and exemptions, including exemption of a conscientious objector from military service that includes combatant training; and (2) discharge following national service.
Amends the Military Selective Service Act to authorize the military registration of females.
Leaves a body wondering if there will be a Draft after the 2004 election...
Then there is the military "stop loss" policy that effectively keeps soldiers beyond their contractual obligations to the military, a sort of 'draft' all its own.
...the Army's most recent stop-loss order, issued Nov. 13 (2003), covering thousands of active-duty soldiers whose units are scheduled for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan in the coming months. Because the stop-loss order begins 90 days before deployment and lasts for 90 days after a return home, those troops will be prohibited from retiring or leaving the Army at the expiration of their contracts until the spring of 2005, at the earliest.
Charles Moskos, military sociologist found while interviewing American soldiers in Iraq that regular soldiers had ""higher level of morale than was anticipated" while reservists had lower morale. "Stop loss" figured into his findings, as does the modern day Catch-22 that sees reservist unable to be promoted- their home unit can't propmote them because they are in active duty in Iraq and they cannot be promoted in Iraq because they are reservists...
Folks like Tommy Franks don't help morale, concerning the loss of life in Iraq he had this to say.
People, especially reporters, he said, ask him if he thinks those lost lives are too high a price to pay.
His answer is "absolutely not" . "If it costs 500, that's OK, or 5000, OK, or 50,000, that's OK with me."
I guess it is easier to be a bigwig in an air conditioned media center than a grunt dodging bullets in an unnecessary war
easier to sport a cavalier attitude. On the positive side, he didn't say "Bring Em On".
Not since World War II have so many National Guard units been pressed into service abroad. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, more than 143,000 National Guard members have been mobilized worldwide, with the biggest single concentration expected this spring when more than 35,000 Army National Guard troops -- topping the wartime peak of 30,000 -- are slated to arrive in Iraq as thousands of their colleagues rotate home.
It looks like US troops will be in Iraq for decades. Say hello to US Force Iraq, complete with a four star general to run the show. Karen Kwiatkowski, Lt. Col. USAF (ret.) gives the lowdown on the US/Iraq political reality in her biweekly column "Without Reservations".
"I think one of the most important things we can do right now is start getting basing rights" in both northern and southern Iraq, Garner said, adding that such bases could provide large areas for military training. "I think we'd want to keep at least a brigade in the north, a self-sustaining brigade, which is larger than a regular brigade," he added.
Noting how establishing U.S. naval bases in the Philippines in the early 1900s allowed the United States to maintain a "great presence in the Pacific," Garner said, "To me that's what Iraq is for the next few decades. We ought to have something there ... that gives us great presence in the Middle East. I think that's going to be necessary."
You may have heard the neoconservative duo of Perle and Frum pushing their book promoting endless war "An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror", on NPR. Patrick J. Buchanan takes the book and the BS philosophy behind in
"No End to War: The Frum-Perle prescription would ensnare America in endless conflict" as it appeared in American Conservative Magazine.
The questions we are facing are bigger than progressive/conservative, bigger than Democrat/Republican. These are questions that speak to what it is to be a human being in our world.
Is endless war part of your vision for America?
Over at American Samizdat Bill C posted this link to a Draft Timeline. American Samidat, always a favorite.