Return of the Draft?

This post is more than 2 years old.

I don't normally post political entries here, but I had to share this link to an article over at Pending Draft Legislation Targeted for Spring 2005. Very interesting reading. While I think the draft is a horrible idea (if you can't convince people to fight for you - what's the point of forcing them to), at least they are making it a bit more fair by including women this time. I'm really surprised this hasn't gotten more press lately.

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Brian posted on 5/27/2004 at 5:26 PM

Now that is something that should get press.

Comment 2 by Mike Klepper posted on 5/27/2004 at 5:35 PM

The pending legislation has been a real button-pusher for for me. I had refused to register when I was 18, and the gov't came down on me like a ton of bricks, and I'm still paying for that.

Your position, that drafting women somehow makes the draft fair, is curious. In the previous sencence you essentially state that the draft is a form of slavery (which it is), but how is equal-opportunity slavery any better?

It is also curious that one of the proposers of this legistation, Charles Rangel D-NY, is an African-American who was drafted during the Viet-Nam war. He forgot that he was African-American before he became a politican.

Comment 3 by Raymond Camden posted on 5/27/2004 at 5:39 PM

Mike: Well, I guess I'm thinking that if we are going to do something unfair, it's better to do it to everyone, not just men. ;) That doesn't contradict my feelings that the draft is wrong.

As for Mr. Rangel - I'm not sure what you mean. Are you saying that you can't be African American and be for the draft? That seems very unfair. I am against the draft, but I don't think it has anything to do with my skin colour, nor do I think Bush is reflecting bad on white folks. Did I misread you?

Comment 4 by Mike Klepper posted on 5/27/2004 at 6:15 PM

Hi Ray,

From everything I've read, the chances that a soldier would be sent to Viet-Nam were far higher for minorities than for whites. As such, the death rate of minority soldiers during that war was far higher than that of white soldiers. This was because the minority soldiers lacked parents or friends in high places, with economic or political clout, who could get them out.

Rangel is in a high place, and he certainly isn't being a friend. Being an African-American draftee, he was a direct victim of that situation and the government that made it possible. He didn't read about this inequity in a history book, he had first-hand experience.

Rangel is quite wrong if he thinks it would be different today. All I'm saying is that I'm baffled that someone who has experienced that type of history has failed to learn from it.


Comment 5 by Mark Haliday posted on 5/27/2004 at 6:16 PM

Let's just pull our troops out of Germany, Korea, Okinawa (spelling?), and various other places, then we'd have plenty of troops. There is no need for us to be in Germany at the very least. Well, at least until they decide to take France again....

Comment 6 by Withheld posted on 5/27/2004 at 9:08 PM

Rangel, as well as most of the Congresspeople proposing to bring back the Draft are not doing it because they really think the Draft needs to be brought back. The Pentagon hasn't requested the Draft and it isn't needed. This is a political ploy to get an emotional response from voters. They want to bring up the issue of how are forces are being stretched through our overcommitments.

They have other beefs as well. They seem to think that the fact that whites are slightly underrepresented in the miltary is unfair in some sort of racist way. Also, they are unhappy with the fact that people from upper-classs backgrounds are more underrepresented in the military. (These Congresspeople are the same ones who pay little respect to the military and consistanly vote for military spending cuts... and they wonder why it is becoming a less attractive choice for many people.)

Comment 7 by Wit held posted on 5/27/2004 at 11:25 PM

<em>"While I think the draft is a horrible idea (if you can't convince people to fight for you - what's the point of forcing them to)...</em>

I think that's the idea on the part of the proponents, to both (a) try to increase resistance to the defense during this War on Tolerance, and (b) radically increase the training and retention costs for those doing the defending.

(Rangel has no problem forcing others to his will, while most of us on the net are more receptive to free agreements among the willing than to pushing others around.)

Jim Dunnigan has one of the better analyses:

Comment 8 by Todd posted on 5/28/2004 at 3:32 AM