View Full Version : The Return Of The Draft - Over My Dead Body

03-03-2005, 07:18 PM
The Return of the Draft

With the army desperate for recruits, should college students be packing their bags for Canada?

Rolling Stone
Jan 27, 2005

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Uncle Sam wants you. He needs you. He'll bribe you to sign up. He'll strong-arm you to re-enlist. And if that's not enough, he's got a plan to draft you.

In the three decades since the Vietnam War, the "all-volunteer Army" has become a bedrock principle of the American military. "It's a magnificent force," Vice President Dick Cheney declared during the election campaign last fall, "because those serving are ones who signed up to serve." But with the Army and Marines perilously overextended by the war in Iraq, that volunteer foundation is starting to crack. The "weekend warriors" of the Army Reserve and the National Guard now make up almost half the fighting force on the front lines, and young officers in the Reserve are retiring in droves. The Pentagon, which can barely attract enough recruits to maintain current troop levels, has involuntarily extended the enlistments of as many as 100,000 soldiers. Desperate for troops, the Army has lowered its standards to let in twenty-five percent more high school dropouts, and the Marines are now offering as much as $30,000 to anyone who re-enlists. To understand the scope of the crisis, consider this: The United States is pouring nearly as much money into incentives for new recruits -- almost $300 million -- as it is into international tsunami relief.

"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."

That assertion is demonstrably false. According to an internal Selective Service memo made public under the Freedom of Information Act, the agency's acting director met with two of Rumsfeld's undersecretaries in February 2003 precisely to debate, discuss and ponder a return to the draft. The memo duly notes the administration's aversion to a draft but adds, "Defense manpower officials concede there are critical shortages of military personnel with certain special skills, such as medical personnel, linguists, computer network engineers, etc." The potentially prohibitive cost of "attracting and retaining such personnel for military service," the memo adds, has led "some officials to conclude that, while a conventional draft may never be needed, a draft of men and women possessing these critical skills may be warranted in a future crisis." This new draft, it suggests, could be invoked to meet the needs of both the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.

The memo then proposes, in detail, that the Selective Service be "re-engineered" to cover all Americans -- "men and (for the first time) women" -- ages eighteen to thirty-four. In addition to name, date of birth and Social Security number, young adults would have to provide the agency with details of their specialized skills on an ongoing basis until they passed out of draft jeopardy at age thirty-five. Testifying before Congress two weeks after the meeting, acting director of Selective Service Lewis Brodsky acknowledged that "consultations with senior Defense manpower officials" have spurred the agency to shift its preparations away from a full-scale, Vietnam-style draft of untrained men "to a draft of smaller numbers of critical-skills personnel."

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.

But experts on military manpower say the focus on drafting personnel with special skills misses the larger point. The Army needs more soldiers, not just more doctors and linguists. "What you've got now is a real shortage of grunts -- guys who can actually carry bayonets," says McPeak. A wholesale draft may be necessary, he adds, "to deal with the situation we've got ourselves into. We've got to have a bigger Army."

Michael O'Hanlon, a military-manpower scholar at the Brookings Institute, believes a return to a full-blown draft will become "unavoidable" if the United States is forced into another war. "Let's say North Korea strikes a deal with Al Qaeda to sell them a nuclear weapon or something," he says. "I frankly don't see how you could fight two wars at the same time with the all-volunteer approach." If a second Korean War should break out, the United States has reportedly committed to deploying a force of nearly 700,000 to defend South Korea -- almost half of America's entire military.

The politics of the draft are radioactive: Polls show that less than twenty percent of Americans favor forced military service. But conscription has some unlikely champions, including veterans and critics of the administration who are opposed to Bush's war in Iraq. Reinstating the draft, they say, would force every level of society to participate in military service, rather than placing a disproportionate burden on minorities and the working class. African-Americans, who make up roughly thirteen percent of the civilian population, account for twenty-two percent of the armed forces. And the Defense Department acknowledges that recruits are drawn "primarily from families in the middle and lower-middle socioeconomic strata."

A societywide draft would also make it more difficult for politicians to commit troops to battle without popular approval. "The folks making the decisions are committing other people's lives to a war effort that they're not making any sacrifices for," says Charles Sheehan-Miles, who fought in the first Gulf War and now serves as director of Veterans for Common Sense. Under the current all-volunteer system, fewer than a dozen members of Congress have children in the military.

Charlie Moskos, a professor of military sociology at Northwestern University, says the volunteer system also limits the political fallout of unpopular wars. "Without a draft, there's really no antiwar movement," Moskos says. Nearly sixty percent of Americans believe the war in Iraq was a mistake, he notes, but they have no immediate self-interest in taking to the streets because "we're willing to pay people to die for us. It doesn't reflect very well on the character of our society."

Even military recruiters agree that the only way to persuade average Americans to make long-term sacrifices in war is for the children of the elite to put their lives on the line. In a recent meeting with military recruiters, Moskos discussed the crisis in enlistment. "I asked them would they prefer to have their advertising budget tripled or have Jenna Bush join the Army," he says. "They unanimously chose the Jenna option."

One of the few politicians willing to openly advocate a return to the draft is Rep. Charles Rangel, a Democrat from New York, who argues that the current system places an immoral burden on America's underprivileged. "It shouldn't be just the poor and the working poor who find their way into harm's way," he says. In the days leading up to the Iraq war, Rangel introduced a bill to reinstate the draft -- with absolutely no deferments. "If the kids and grandkids of the president and the Cabinet and the Pentagon were vulnerable to going to Iraq, we never would have gone -- no question in my mind," he says. "The closer this thing comes home to Americans, the quicker we'll be out of Iraq."

But instead of exploring how to share the burden more fairly, the military is cooking up new ways to take advantage of the economically disadvantaged. Rangel says military recruiters have confided in him that they're targeting inner cities and rural areas with high unemployment. In December, the National Guard nearly doubled its enlistment bonus to $10,000, and the Army is trying to attract urban youth with a marketing campaign called "Taking It to the Streets," which features a pimped-out yellow Hummer and a basketball exhibition replete with free throwback jerseys. President Bush has also signed an executive order allowing legal immigrants to apply for citizenship immediately -- rather than wait five years -- if they volunteer for active duty.

"It's so completely unethical and immoral to induce people that have limited education and limited job ability to have to put themselves in harm's way for ten, twenty or thirty thousand dollars," Rangel says. "Just how broke do you have to be to take advantage of these incentives?" Seducing soldiers with cold cash also unnerves military commanders. "We must consider the point at which we confuse 'volunteer to become an American soldier' with 'mercenary,' " Lt. Gen. James Helmly, the commander of the Army Reserve, wrote in a memo to senior Army leadership in December.

The Reserve, Helmly warns, "is rapidly degenerating into a broken force." The Army National Guard is also in trouble: It missed its recruitment goals of 56,000 by more than 5,000 in fiscal year 2004 and is already 2,000 soldiers short in fiscal 2005. To keep enough boots on the ground, the Pentagon has stopped asking volunteer soldiers to extend their service -- and started demanding it. Using a little-known provision called "stop loss," the military is forcing reservists and guardsmen to remain on active duty indefinitely. "This is an 'all-volunteer Army' with footnotes," says McPeak. "And it's the footnotes that are being held in Iraq against their wishes. If that's not a back-door draft, tell me what is."

David Qualls, who joined the Arkansas National Guard for a year, is one of 40,000 troops in Iraq who have been informed that their enlistment has been extended until December 24th, 2031. "I've served five months past my one-year obligation," says Qualls, the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the military with breach of contract. "It's time to let me go back to my life. It's a question of fairness, and not only for myself. This is for the thousands of other people that are involuntarily extended in Iraq. Let us go home."

The Army insists that most "stop-lossed" soldiers will be held on the front lines for no longer than eighteen months. But Jules Lobel, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights who is representing eight National Guardsmen in a lawsuit challenging the extensions, says the 2031 date is being used to strong-arm volunteers into re-enlisting. According to Lobel, the military is telling soldiers, "We're giving you a chance to voluntarily re-enlist -- and if you don't do it, we'll screw you. And the first way we'll screw you is to put you in until 2031."

But threatening volunteers, military experts warn, could be the quickest way to ensure a return to the draft. According to O'Hanlon at the Brookings Institute, such "callousness" may make it impossible to recruit new soldiers -- no matter how much money you throw at them. And if bigger sign-up bonuses and more aggressive recruitment tactics don't do the trick, says Helmly of the Army Reserve, it could "force the nation into an argument" about reinstating the draft.

In the end, it may simply come down to a matter of math. In January, Bush told America's soldiers that "much more will be asked of you" in his second term, even as he openly threatened Iran with military action. Another war, critics warn, would push the all-volunteer force to its breaking point. "This damn thing is just an explosion that's about to happen," says Rangel. Bush officials "can say all they want that they don't want the draft, but there's not going to be that many more buttons to push."

03-03-2005, 07:19 PM
Reinstatement of the draft is likely soon, despite what the politicians say

By info@NoDraftNoWay.org
Contact: 39 W. 14 St., #206, New York, NY 10011 ยท (212) 633-6646

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

We must begin NOW to build a movement to stop the draft before it starts.

The U.S. military is in a quagmire in Iraq, facing a national popular uprising against the occupation. Although the U.S. has 138,000 soldiers, supplemented by as many as 20,000 mercenaries, in Iraq, this force is not sufficient to defeat the uprising. According to the Associated Press, military officials have recently admitted that the resistance numbers more as high as 20,000 and has enough popular support among the Iraqi people that they cannot be militarily defeated. Nevertheless, President Bush is committed to trying to maintain the occupation, and is threatening to launch new wars against Iran, North Korea, and Syria.

Soldiers are dying every day. A report issued in January, 2004 by Jeffrey Record, a visiting professor at the Air War College, said the Army is "near the breaking point." The Pentagon has been forced to issue repeated "stop loss" orders and recall soldiers who had retired or otherwise returned to civilian life.

Out of 10 Army Divisions, part or all of 9 of them are either deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Twenty-one out of 33 regular combat brigades are on active duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea, or the Balkans. That's 63% of the Army's combat strength. This means the Army is extremely overextended. Military experts agree that in order to maintain long-term mobilizations, an army needs twice as many soldiers at home as deployed. That means the U.S. Army is more than 100,000 soldiers short. The Bush Administration has been trying to fill the gap with Reserve and National Guard troops, but this is a temporary fix at best.

Meanwhile, official U.S. foreign policy is now the doctrine of "pre-emptive war" and "regime change" wherever a leader runs afoul of U.S. corporate interests. An invasion of Iran, Syria, Korea, or Cuba -- all of whom are on Washington-and-Wall Street's list of targets -- would require tens or hundreds of thousands of new soldiers.

Enlistment rates not even able to maintain current force levels, much less provide troops for new invasions and occupations. All four services missed their enlistment quotas last year, and enlistments in the Reserves, National Guard, and regular military are at a 30-year low. Many current members of the armed forces plan to get out as soon as their current enlistment ends. According to a poll conducted by the military newspaper Stars & Stripes, 49% of soldiers stationed in Iraq do not plan to re-enlist.

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. This means we can look for the Draft to be in operation as early as June 15, 2005.

We must begin NOW to organize against the draft.

How Can We Stop the Draft?
People who oppose the implementation of the draft need to act now to stop it. We cannot rely on politicians; we must be a massive grass-roots movement to say "No Draft! No Way!"

We need to begin now to build this movement. Here are some ways to begin:

Become a NoDraftNoWay.org organizer in your area.

Organize a local anti-draft group in your community.

Download the NoDraftNoWay literature and begin to get the word out in your school, union, place of worship, and workplace.

Expose the "Economic Draft" already in place by providing counter-recruiting information to young people and organizing demonstrations outside recruiting centers.

Organize local demonstrations at the site of your local Selective Service office.

Write letters to members of Congress and the local media expressing opposition to the draft.

Donate to help us get the word out.

03-03-2005, 07:34 PM
hell no i won't go... *stomps foot*

03-03-2005, 07:35 PM
hell no i won't go... *stomps foot*

Many people know I have a 19 year old brother.


03-03-2005, 08:42 PM
by what it said earlier doesn't it say that 35 and under could go??? you could be with your brother over there... shit i could be with him... i'm only 27....

Good Doctor HST
03-03-2005, 09:00 PM
Was nothing learned from Vietnam? Untrained soldiers unaccustomed to the atrocities of war will not bring about an all-out win for the U.S. against Iraq.... what does the U.S. want out of this war by the way? What are the objectives?

I wouldn't worry about a draft for straight-out soldiers... but the forces are in dire need of medical personnel and various professionals in areas besides combat. Backdoor-drafts are currently going on for all.... I fear a draft will be needed, doom for those poor souls.

03-03-2005, 09:02 PM
Was nothing learned from Vietnam? Untrained soldiers unaccustomed to the atrocities of war will not bring about an all-out win for the U.S. against Iraq.... what does the U.S. want out of this war by the way? What are the objectives?

I wouldn't worry about a draft for straight-out soldiers... but the forces are in dire need of medical personnel and various professionals in areas besides combat. Backdoor-drafts are currently going on for all.... I fear a draft will be needed, doom for those poor souls.

I'm not going to let it happen. Are you?

Good Doctor HST
03-03-2005, 09:10 PM
I have no siblings in that age range that are in danger of being drafted. If I did, I would send them to wherever they needed to go to get out of going to war. Whatever the cost.

If a draft occurs, I'll attend anti-war demonstrations, voice my opinions, do whatever I can to reach people and change minds.

Like I said before, I don't think a draft will happen. Unless the threat of war with Iran becomes a reality.

03-03-2005, 09:16 PM
I have no siblings in that age range that are in danger of being drafted. If I did, I would send them to wherever they needed to go to get out of going to war. Whatever the cost.

If a draft occurs, I'll attend anti-war demonstrations, voice my opinions, do whatever I can to reach people and change minds.

Like I said before, I don't think a draft will happen. Unless the threat of war with Iran becomes a reality.

Click Here (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=764)

Good Doctor HST
03-03-2005, 09:19 PM
In the face of U.S. saber rattling within the greater Middle East, the need for the present young generation to step up its anti-war efforts becomes all the more pressing. Along these lines, students and youth from various parts of the country have reached out to one another in order to organize a new offensive against the architects of war and empire. From this process, a number of students called for a Week of Campus Resistance. The week of campus resistance has been endorsed by Left Hook, which is a leading leftist youth journal, and Campus Action Network (CAN).
The idea is simple: students from various localities and regions should organize an anti-war activity on their respective campuses from March 14 to March 18. Depending on the level of activism and organization, students should engage in sit-ins, walkouts, educational forums, and, most importantly, anti-military recruitment protests. For those who are on break, they should do their utmost to link up their struggles with the major protests taking place on March 19th.

As an aid to large scale, coordinated, across the country organizing, some among us have developed a web site envisioned as a meeting place, where people can post and vote on proposals for actions, leave comments to each other, and confirm their participation. The web address is www.tools4change.org/wcr/ (http://www.tools4change.org/wcr/) . The developers of this site are the two co-authors of this article, Richard Moreno, a student at Mount Sac in California, M. Junaid Alam from Left Hook, and Daniel Morduchowicz, who helped with the technical aspects of setting the site together.

It is important to reflect on where the anti-war movement stands today.

Compared with the Vietnam anti-war struggles at a similar stage of the conflict, the present day movement's development has progressed much more rapidly. It can be said confidently that its rate of growth is truly without precedent.

In 1961, President Kennedy authorized for the first time in U.S. military history the use of "Special Forces" as part of his counterinsurgency program. By 1962, the Kennedy Administration launched a full on invasion of South Vietnam using weapons of mass destruction; Vietnam's indigenous peoples were rounded up, their territories were poisoned with chemical weapons, and U.S. air strikes were launched with devastating effects on the native population. By 1964, the war was effectively spread to the North. Still, protests remained sporadic and relatively isolated. Few of the serious activists and leaders in other causes were voicing their opposition to the war at this point in the conflict.

It was not until 1967 that the anti-war movement coalesced with the civil rights struggle and began to grow to a considerable size, culminating in the large-scale demonstrations later in the decade and into the seventies.

In contrast, even before the Iraq invasion got under way, on February 15, 2003 people around the planet, this time in the tens of millions, demonstrated their opposition against the impending U.S. aggression. In the U.S., people in cities from coast to coast took the streets in unprecedented numbers. And our demonstrations had widespread support among all kinds of activists, including many mainstream voices who had no qualms in voicing their opposition to American adventurism.

Among many other actions, on March 5, 2003, students from across the globe walked out as an act of defiance against the Bush Administration's war plans and in solidarity with the people of Iraq, who for years suffered under the draconian sanctions regime implemented by the U.S. and now were about to be effectively robbed at gunpoint using the thinnest of excuses and in defiance of international law.

Although we did not achieve our objective of stopping the invasion, we have had some very remarkable successes.

The pro-war and pro-Bush government of Jose Maria Aznar in Spain was defeated arguably as a direct result of the anti-war movement. It is reported that some cities, such as Zaragoza, had participation of an astounding 75% of their population. One of the first acts of the new government under Zapatero was to pull the Spanish troops from Iraq, as demanded by the large majority of the Spanish population in the large scale actions that immediately preceded the vote, but were rooted in the previous anti-war activity, and not because of any kind of "capitulation" to the terrorists, as the U.S. media portrayed the Spanish election.

In the U.S., it is doubtful that without the anti-war movement the lies and deceptions used by the neocons to take the country to war would have ever been exposed. The same could be said about the completely shameful episode at Abu Ghraib, which exposed the true brutal nature of this Empire. Despite the relentless pro-war propaganda that is seen and heard on radio and television, and is also prevalent throughout the print media, it is pretty remarkable that such a large segment of the American population remains firmly opposed to the Iraq invasion and subsequent occupation. Without a doubt, the anti-war movement has had a lot to do with this.

The January 20th Counter-Inaugural Walkouts were a step in the reconsolidation of the militant student-youth movement. An entirely new generation has taken the helm of the anti-imperialist struggle, and, despite being somewhat dormant during the past few months, it has begun to make its presence felt once again as an indispensable part of the greater anti-war movement. In the spirit of the 1960s and 1970s anti-war struggles that shook the world, this generation has begun to reorganize itself and take its place among the front line in the struggle against empire and war. Through perseverance in the face of an overwhelming corporate propaganda machine, students have been networking, organizing, and planning under complex and difficult conditions for even greater struggles to come.

Noam Chomsky points out, the "spirit of opposition is alive and widespread, far more so than the 1960s." But a lot of work remains to be done. It is time to go back to work and keep building our movement until we achieve total success.

Richard Moreno is a student at Mt. San Antonio College and a cofounder of www.globalresistancenetwork.com (http://www.globalresistancenetwork.com/). Daniel Morduchowicz is a staff member at ZNet.

03-03-2005, 09:23 PM
Excellent post.

Good Doctor HST
03-04-2005, 09:15 AM
Yeah, I found it on the Znet.org website. I like the message that, despite the fact protestors couldn't stop the war in Iraq, dissenters still had the power to expose for the public Abu Ghraib, needless Iraqi civilian death tolls, the corruption of independent contractors in the Middle East (um, that means Halliburton), and all of the terrible lies of the Bush administration.

Thanks to the internet, people can witness many different points of view when it comes to political items.

Good Doctor HST
03-04-2005, 09:16 AM
Published on Thursday, March 3, 2005 by The Nation (http://www.thenation.com/thebeat/index.mhtml?bid=1&pid=2234)

Vermont Votes No to War

by John Nichols
Congress may not be prepared to hold an honest debate on when and how the United States should exit the Iraq imbroglio, but the town meetings of rural Vermont are not so constrained. Declaring that "The War in Iraq is a Local Issue," citizens in communities across the state voted of Tuesday for resolutions urging President Bush and Congress to take steps to withdraw American troops from Iraq and calling on their state legislature to investigate the use and abuse of the Vermont National Guard in the conflcit.

Spearheaded by the Vermont Network on Iraq War Resolutions, Green Mountain Veterans for Peace and the Vermont Chapter of Military Families Speak Out, the campaign to get antiwar resolutions on town meeting agendas succeeded in more than 50 communities statewide. That meant that the issue was raised in more than one fifth of the 251 Vermont towns where the annual celebrations of grassroots democracy take place. Forty-nine towns voted for the resolutions. Only three voted "no," while one saw a tie vote. In the state's largest city, Burlington, the antiwar initiative received the support of 65 percent of electors.

"Many have wondered how a town meeting could direct something on a national scale," admitted Middlebury Town Manager Bill Finger. "But it does send a message that hopefully people are listening to."

Ned Coffin, an 83-year-old retired poultry farmer in the town of Bethel agreed. "I can't think of another forum in which people can express their views on any subject, even ones of national importance," explained Coffin. "The war was a mistake and this is a way for that message to be heard."

There is no question that the message was heard by Vermont's Congressional representatives. US Rep. Bernie Sander, I-Vermont, announced his support for the resolution being considered at the town meeting in Burlington. US Senator Jim Jeffords, I-Vermont, endorsed the resolution campaign, as did US Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Foreign Operations. ''This resolution has prompted the kind of constructive debate that should be happening not only in Washington but in every community in the country, and Vermonters again are setting a good example of civic responsibility and participation,'' said Leahy.

Activists hope the Vermont resolution campaign will go national. Already, Amherst, Massachusetts -- which begins city council meetings by reading aloud the names of Iraqis and US soldiers who have died in the war -- has passed a "Bring the Troops Home" resolution, as has Arcata, California.

In November, San Francisco voters endorsed Proposition N, an antiwar statement that ended with the declaration, "The Federal government should take immediate steps to end the US occupation of Iraq and bring our troops safely home now."

One of the strengths of the Vermont resolution campaign was the focus on the status of the Vermont National Guard. That brought the issue home, as 200 of the state's 251 towns have residents who have been called up to serve in Iraq. A rural state where wages are low in many regions, Vermont has traditionally had a high level of participation in the National Guard. With Guard units being so heavily used in the Iraq, several studies show that Vermont has suffered the highest per capita death toll of any state since the war began a two years ago.

"There is nothing more quintessentially local than war, and the local connection is the National Guard," explains Ben Scotch, a former director of the Vermont American Civil Liberties Union who helped draft the model resolution for the town meetings. "The guard members and their families are our first concern. Discussions over the appropriateness of their use in the war need to start in our own communities."

Nancy Lessin, a co-founder of Military Families Speak Out (http://www.mfso.org/), a national antiwar network that includes more than 2,000 military families, agreed. The Vermont approach, Lessin says, "brings into discussion the very people who should be discussing the impact of this war: National Guard families, local politicians, police departments, school officials."

John Nichols, The Nation's Washington correspondent, has covered progressive politics and activism in the United States and abroad for more than a decade. He is currently the editor of the editorial page of Madison, Wisconsin's Capital Times. John Nichols's new book, Against the Beast: A Documentary History of American Opposition to Empire (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1560255137/commondreams-20/ref=nosim/) (Nation Books) was published January 30

03-04-2005, 03:53 PM
Don't we have enough Marines to not enforce a draft.

03-04-2005, 04:10 PM
Don't we have enough Marines to not enforce a draft.

Letter to Congress on Increasing U.S. Ground Forces
January 28, 2005

Dear Senator Frist, Senator Reid, Speaker Hastert, and Representative Pelosi:
The United States military is too small for the responsibilities we are asking it to assume. Those responsibilities are real and important. They are not going away. The United States will not and should not become less engaged in the world in the years to come. But our national security, global peace and stability, and the defense and promotion of freedom in the post-9/11 world require a larger military force than we have today. The administration has unfortunately resisted increasing our ground forces to the size needed to meet today's (and tomorrow's) missions and challenges.

So we write to ask you and your colleagues in the legislative branch to take the steps necessary to increase substantially the size of the active duty Army and Marine Corps. While estimates vary about just how large an increase is required, and Congress will make its own determination as to size and structure, it is our judgment that we should aim for an increase in the active duty Army and Marine Corps, together, of at least 25,000 troops each year over the next several years.

There is abundant evidence that the demands of the ongoing missions in the greater Middle East, along with our continuing defense and alliance commitments elsewhere in the world, are close to exhausting current U.S. ground forces. For example, just late last month, Lieutenant General James Helmly, chief of the Army Reserve, reported that "overuse" in Iraq and Afghanistan could be leading to a "broken force." Yet after almost two years in Iraq and almost three years in Afghanistan, it should be evident that our engagement in the greater Middle East is truly, in Condoleezza Rice's term, a "generational commitment." The only way to fulfill the military aspect of this commitment is by increasing the size of the force available to our civilian leadership.

The administration has been reluctant to adapt to this new reality. We understand the dangers of continued federal deficits, and the fiscal difficulty of increasing the number of troops. But the defense of the United States is the first priority of the government. This nation can afford a robust defense posture along with a strong fiscal posture. And we can afford both the necessary number of ground troops and what is needed for transformation of the military.

In sum: We can afford the military we need. As a nation, we are spending a smaller percentage of our GDP on the military than at any time during the Cold War. We do not propose returning to a Cold War-size or shape force structure. We do insist that we act responsibly to create the military we need to fight the war on terror and fulfill our other responsibilities around the world.

The men and women of our military have performed magnificently over the last few years. We are more proud of them than we can say. But many of them would be the first to say that the armed forces are too small. And we would say that surely we should be doing more to honor the contract between America and those who serve her in war. Reserves were meant to be reserves, not regulars. Our regulars and reserves are not only proving themselves as warriors, but as humanitarians and builders of emerging democracies. Our armed forces, active and reserve, are once again proving their value to the nation. We can honor their sacrifices by giving them the manpower and the materiel they need.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution places the power and the duty to raise and support the military forces of the United States in the hands of the Congress. That is why we, the undersigned, a bipartisan group with diverse policy views, have come together to call upon you to act. You will be serving your country well if you insist on providing the military manpower we need to meet America's obligations, and to help ensure success in carrying out our foreign policy objectives in a dangerous, but also hopeful, world.



03-04-2005, 04:14 PM
Dang.... What a scam.

03-04-2005, 06:05 PM
As a member of the Army National Guard I am inclined to say, What the ?