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Thread: Draft may be needed in a year, military analysts warn

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    Draft may be needed in a year, military analysts warn

    Draft may be needed in a year, military analysts warn

    Bob Dart
    Cox News Service
    Mar. 30, 2005 03:24 PM WASHINGTON - If American forces aren't pulling out of Iraq in a year, a draft will be needed to meet manpower requirements, military analysts warned Wednesday.

    With recruitment lagging and no end in sight for U.S. forces in Iraq, the "breaking point" for the nation's all-volunteer military will be mid-2006, agreed Lawrence Korb, a draft opponent and assistant defense secretary in the Reagan administration, and Phillip Carter, a conscription advocate and former Army captain.

    "America's all-volunteer military simply cannot deploy and sustain enough troops to succeed in places like Iraq while still deterring threats elsewhere in the world," Carter concluded in the March issue of "Washington Monthly."

    Korb is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, and a senior adviser to the Center for Defense Information. Carter is attorney who writes on military affairs for and other media. They debated at a symposium on the draft Wednesday.

    While conceding that the Army, Marines, National Guard and Army Reserve -- the branches serving most in Iraq -- face recruitment difficulties, military officials have denied any plans to revive the draft, which was replaced by an all-volunteer force in 1973.

    "The 'D-word' is the farthest thing from my thoughts," Army Secretary Francis Harvey said at a Pentagon press briefing last week. He said the all-volunteer force has proven its value and applauded the performance of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    "When you get over there, there's no difference between the active, the Reserves and the National Guard. The quality is high across the board. ... It's seamless," he said.

    During his re-election campaign, President Bush declared flatly that he would not reinstate the draft. And there is little support for conscription on Capitol Hill.

    "Today, no leading politician in either party will come anywhere near the idea -- the draft having replaced Social Security as the third rail of American politics," wrote Carter. [more]

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