Women in Combat? The New Draft Emerging
This is what Mr Bush and Mr Rumsfeld said about the possibility of an upcoming draft, also note what an actual military man says about the current situation:
"The Army's maxed out here," says retired Gen. Merrill McPeak, who served as Air Force chief of staff under the first President Bush. "The Defense Department and the president seem to be still operating off the rosy scenario that this will be over soon, that this pain is temporary and therefore we'll just grit our teeth, hunker down and get out on the other side of this. That's a bad assumption." The Bush administration has sworn up and down that it will never reinstate a draft. During the campaign last year, the president dismissed the idea as nothing more than "rumors on the Internets" and declared, "We're not going to have a draft - period." Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in an Op-Ed blaming "conspiracy mongers" for "attempting to scare and mislead young Americans," insisted that "the idea of reinstating the draft has never been debated, endorsed, discussed, theorized, pondered or even whispered by anyone in the Bush administration."
Another military man weighs in with his reality based opinion
The insurgency in Iraq is not likely to be put down in a year or even two since history shows such uprisings can last a decade or more, the United States' top military commander said on Friday.
Air Force Gen. Richard Myers said that in the past century, insurgencies around the world have lasted anywhere from seven to 12 years, making a quick fix to the problem in Iraq unlikely.
If there is no possibility of a draft why would Mr Bush be readying Selective Service?
The President has given the Selective Service System a set of readiness goals to be implemented by March 31, 2005. As part of these performance goals, the System must be ready to be fully operational within 75 days.
Historically June 6 is considered D-Day, but it looks as if for Americans between the ages of 18 and 34, 75 days after the SSS is readied , June 15th could be the D-Day for the 21st century conscripts.
Coincidently, Scott Ritter claims that Mr Bush has signed off on plans for an air attack on Iran in June. Ally Israel is also gearing up for medium and long range bombing activities.
The Army is stretched thin by its current conflicts. It has eased some of its standards to fill the ranks.
You thought Selective Service only wants males between 18 and 26? Think again.
The DNC blog links to a .pdf that shows Selective Service meeting with Rumsfeld underlings at the Pentagon February 11 2003 and kicking around an idea of a draft for all citizens 18 to 34 that will identify individuals skills for conscription based on skillset need. The draft will be
"modified to serve the contemporary needs of several customers: Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security (FEMA, US Border Patrol, US Customs, INS) Corporation for National Service, Public Health Service and other Federal and State agencies seeking personnel with critical skills for national security or community service requirements. The SSS would thus play a more vital relevant and immediate role in shoring up America's readiness in peace and war."
I urge you to read the .pdf. The draft the are speaking about is bigger than just conscription into the military. Citizens under 34 years of age will be required to keep their skills possessed updated with the SSS, just as young men are supposed to keep their residential address updated today.
The director of public and congressional affairs, Richard Flahavan had this to say
Flahavan said Pentagon officials have not agreed to any aspect of the Selective Service's far-reaching proposal.
"We went over there, we briefed it. Nobody committed to anything," he said in an interview. "Those ideas are, in fact, dead. Nobody wants to talk about them. Nobody is interested in them" in the Pentagon.
That was last October.
In Rolling Stone magazine Tim Dickenson reports this, January 27 of this year
Richard Flahavan, spokesman for Selective Service, tells Rolling Stone that preparing for a skills-based draft is "in fact what we have been doing." For starters, the agency has updated a plan to draft nurses and doctors. But that's not all. "Our thinking was that if we could run a health-care draft in the future," Flahavan says, "then with some very slight tinkering we could change that skill to plumbers or linguists or electrical engineers or whatever the military was short." In other words, if Uncle Sam decides he needs people with your skills, Selective Service has the means to draft you - and quick.
The Christian Science Monitor mentions that
USA Today reported Monday that the US Army and some elite commando units "have dramatically increased the size and the number of cash bonuses they are paying to lure recruits and keep experienced troops in uniform." For some special elite units, the Pentagon is offering up to $150,000 in bonuses, while more than 49 percent of the job categories in the Army can now receive $15,000 bonuses, and "16 hard-to-fill job categories, including truck drivers and bomb-disposal specialists" are eligible for $50,000 bonuses.
Back to the memo cited above
In line with todays needs, the SSS' structure, programs and activities should be reengineered toward maintaining a national inventory of American men, and (for he first time) women, ages 18 through 34, with an added focus on identifying individuals with critical skills.
I wanted to highlight the ackowledged role of women in the service of our country.
Moreso because the Center for Military Readiness points out that there is a bit of social experimentation going on in the Army, according to this January 17 article
Under current regulations, women cannot be forced to serve in smaller direct ground combat units such as infantry or armor battalions, or in companies that collocate with them. If the Defense Department wants to change these rules, law requires that the Secretary must notify Congress no less than 30 legislative days in advance, when both Houses are in session. Despite the “collocation rule” and notification requirement, the Army is unilaterally assigning women to previously all-male forward support companies in its new “unit of action” land combat teams, key to “transformation” to a lighter, faster force.
further into the article
Some officials have claimed without support that female soldiers will have to make up for shortages in male combat soldiers for the Army’s new land combat teams.
a bit further in
The nation is proud of our women in uniform, but that is no excuse for forcing unprepared female soldiers, many of them mothers, to face the physical demands of violent close combat and a higher risk of capture than exists today.
it goes on to say
The concerned soldier who contacted me recognized that the Army is about to conduct an unannounced, extremely dangerous live-fire social experiment under wartime conditions.
Read the article. It touches on Pentagon secrecy about this very important issue. Do you think it is fair to women volunteers that their job duties are changed to being at the front? Force Support Companies put them there. Obviously Bush and Rumsfeld are OK with this.
A Nov. 29 briefing for senior Army officers at the Pentagon stated, "The way ahead: rewrite/eliminate the Army collocation policy."
Why would the Pentagon need to do this?
If it collocates FSCs with combat teams and keeps them men-only, then it "creates potential long-term challenge to Army; pool of male recruits too small to sustain force," the Army documents stated.
The Air Force and Navy seem to be getting recruits. It is the Marines and the Army coming up short- the people who carry out Mr Bush's war on a personal and daily level, those "in the trenches" so to speak. Perhaps bonuses and such can mitigate the current shortfall of recruits, overall though, it sounds like an upcoming draft to me.
Came across a really well done article over at American Samizdat dealing with Cambodia, genocide, the US and the world stage. Read "Protecting the Khmer Rouge Genocidaires" to get sense of the involvement of China as well as western democratic countries such as the US and Britain in supporting the politics of genocide.