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No Draft Here

Pay no attention to the redeployment of the Army NTC OPFOR to combat duty in Iraq. Thinking too seriously about what this implied for the future of the US military and about how badly overstretched our forces are right now will not be good for your health or your tax status. Incidentally, wasn't the redeployment of the Blackhorse to the Middle East part of the plot of a Tom Clancy book?

October 18, 2004 | Permalink

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» Draft dodging from Julie Saltman
...Couple that with the controversy in Britain over troop deployment in the north of Iraq. The US has apparently requested that the British place 650 of their troops under direct American control for the rest of the operation. The deployment policy i... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 18, 2004 11:08:43 AM

» i'm moving to canada again from the leftorium.com
Now playing: The Daily ShowNo Draft Here | Matthew Yglesias I have said it before and I will say it again...I would move to Canada.... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 18, 2004 11:10:30 PM

» More draft nonsense from Chicago Boyz
They just don't quit, do they? Apparently the new line is that Bush's secret plan for the war on terror requires expanding the military, and there is no possible way to expand the military without a draft. Notice that these... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 19, 2004 12:26:28 AM

» Army's desert OPFOR on the way to Iraq...This is a from The Pink Flamingo Bar Grill
Not sure I agree with all of the analysis so far, some going so far as to compare us sending the OPFOR Unit into battle to eating ones seed corn. I understand that this unit is probably very well trained but then again having not been in battle exact... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 20, 2004 10:00:22 PM

» Gift Basket from Tom Jamme's Blog
Sweet Blessings, a new Christian-based online shop featuring cookie bouquets, candy bouquets and gift baskets, opens with a campaign to donate a portion of all profits to Habitat For Humanity. The devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, while not a... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 7, 2005 8:32:23 AM

» Gift Basket from Tom Jamme's Blog
Sweet Blessings, a new Christian-based online shop featuring cookie bouquets, candy bouquets and gift baskets, opens with a campaign to donate a portion of all profits to Habitat For Humanity. The devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, while not a... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 7, 2005 8:34:04 AM

Comments

http://web.archive.org/web/20040210043828/www.johnkerry.com/issues/natservice/

As President, John Kerry will have the courage to lead and call on all Americans to make our nation stronger. Whether it is protecting America from the threats of terrorism or addressing the problems we have at home, America’s new challenges will not be met by the same old answers of big government or big tax cuts for the wealthy. John Kerry will call on all Americans - tapping into the idealism and ingenuity of Americans and putting it to work on building a safer, stronger, and more secure nation. Americans already make an enormous difference in their communities, volunteering, in Boys and Girls Clubs or homeless shelters. Many Americans do full time service. John Kerry believes that in these times, we need to bolster these efforts with a nationwide commitment to national service. Whether it is a Summer of Service for our teenagers, helping young people serve their country in return for college, or the Older Americans in Service program, John Kerry’s plan will call on every American of every age and every background to serve. John Kerry will set a goal of one million Americans a year in national service within the next decade.

John Kerry Outlines Plan to Require Service for High School Students

Part of 100 days Plan to Enlist One Million Americans in National Service A Year

On September 11th, 2001, America experienced the most terrible and deadly attack in its history. John Kerry believes we need to think big and do better and get more young Americans serving the nation.

As part of his 100 day plan to change America, John Kerry will propose a comprehensive service plan that includes requiring mandatory service for high school students and four years of college tuition in exchange for two years of national service.

Posted by: Modern Crusader | Oct 18, 2004 12:54:34 AM

I understand the logic behind this draft theory. But it seems to me that if Bush decided to, say, invade Iran, and he had a choice between (a) bringing back the draft, and (b) diverting all the troops out of Iraq thereby causing it to go to hell in a handcart, he'd choose (b). Bush always acts in his own short-term political interest. In a way, expecting him to restart the draft under those circumstances gives him too much credit - that is, just because Bush led us into a situation where we were forced to find more troops doesn't mean that Bush would make any sacrifices to actually get more troops. Much more likely that he'd sacrifice the Iraqi people first by playing a little shell game with the existing troops, rather than sacrificing his own political fortunes. (Yes I know he'd be a lame duck, but still.)

Then again, if Bush started *two* more wars, a draft might really be necessary.

Posted by: JP | Oct 18, 2004 1:08:13 AM

Then again, if Bush started *two* more wars, a draft might really be necessary.

If only to quell the enormous social unrest that would arise in the US.

Posted by: Gozer | Oct 18, 2004 1:22:45 AM

Incidentally, wasn't the redeployment of the Blackhorse to the Middle East part of the plot of a Tom Clancy book?

Wasn't that in Left Behind?

Posted by: Lindsay Beyerstein | Oct 18, 2004 1:30:46 AM

"But it seems to me that if Bush decided to, say, invade Iran, and he had a choice between (a) bringing back the draft, and (b) diverting all the troops out of Iraq thereby causing it to go to hell in a handcart, he'd choose (b)."

The thing is, that wouldn't work. The invasion of Iran would fail, too.

Iran is bigger than Iraq. They've also been watching Iraq for the last 18 months, so they know what works against us.

We'd be throwing tired, low-morale troops and beat-up weaponry into a war with Iran, whose troops are fresh, and whose infrastructure and military haven't been weakened by a decade of sanctions and bombings.

Also, our supply lines would likely run through Iraq, and they'd definitely be targeted heavily with ambushes and IEDs.

Frankly, I can't imagine the military would be spineless enough to do that.

However, even if there was a draft to feed an invasion of Iran, I bet they'd pull the remaining troops out of Afghanistan to invade from the East.

Posted by: Jon H | Oct 18, 2004 1:32:10 AM

Executive Orders, I believe.

Posted by: Mark | Oct 18, 2004 1:32:31 AM

Modern Crusader; You need to read a little further down.


"...As President, John Kerry will ensure that every high school student in America performs community service as a requirement for graduation. This service will be a rite of passage for our nation’s youth and will help foster a lifetime of service. States would design service programs that meet their community and educational needs...."

Posted by: wanebell | Oct 18, 2004 2:49:54 AM

That part further down doesn't change anything; Kerry was still in favor of subjecting every high school graduate in America to involuntary servitude. Seems to have trouble remembering the 13th amendment...

Based on the evidence of who seems to think bringing back the draft is plausible, and who doesn't have any problem with temporarilly enslaving a generation, I'd say the conclusion is obvious: Kerry is much more likely to revive the draft than Bush.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Oct 18, 2004 5:34:19 AM

"I'd say the conclusion is obvious: Kerry is much more likely to revive the draft than Bush."

Brett Bellmore, I can see you are not a Proud Member of the Reality-Based Community.

Posted by: Petey | Oct 18, 2004 7:37:00 AM

Unless I am mistaken, either one of them would have to get a draft authorized by Congress anyway.
I can't imagine any circumstance, including another 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq by three countries, in which that would be an easy sell.
Bush should have been building up the forces three years ago. I dare call it treason that he let our military so degrade. If relected, impeach him. If defeated, indict him.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Oct 18, 2004 8:00:43 AM

Why don't we deploy the Texas National Guard to Iraq instead?

Posted by: Bob H | Oct 18, 2004 8:13:08 AM

And THAT, bob, is why they thought it necessary to clearly define "treason" in the Constitution. LOL

Petey, don't attack me, attack my reasoning. If you can, that is.

Why wouldn't Kerry be more likely to want a draft? He's already halfway there, with his national service proposal. You don't see Bush advocating forcing people to work for the government, without even the excuse of military necessity, but merely "for their own good".

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Oct 18, 2004 8:44:09 AM

For that matter, can you name one occasion in the last century, where we had a draft, and it wasn't the work of Democrats?

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Oct 18, 2004 8:53:58 AM

Brett,
Does Bush not advocate meeting certain requirements for high school graduation?

Posted by: theCoach | Oct 18, 2004 9:04:22 AM

I guess that Bush is in favor of whacking the po' folk enough so that they will be induced into placing themselves in servitude. Some might call it voluntary servitude. Others of us wouldn't.

Posted by: raj | Oct 18, 2004 9:05:31 AM

I dare call it treason that he let our military so degrade. If relected, impeach him. If defeated, indict him.

Bob-

I believe the U.S. Army was cut to 10 active divisions under the supervision Clinton Administration.
So how long do you think it takes to grow an Army?
Where do you get solid troop leaders from? Well, Hmmm.
I know! You can grow them from within, you can train them, and you can retain them in service.
O.K. So if the previous administration had paid the junior leaders in service large bonuses to leave early in order to reduce the size of the force, then you must start from that point and build progressively. Dumping in thousands of additional troops without qualified leaders would be irresponsible.

Takes some amount of time to undo the force reductions of the 1990s. We have the strongest and the best trained military in the world, if you want it bigger again, you have to fund the growth and develop that force. I believe Bush recognizes that fact, and a draft will not accomplish that goal. Knee jerk reactions will only create greater problems.

What ever you do, don't underestimate the soldiers in the service right now!

Posted by: Kevin | Oct 18, 2004 9:17:19 AM

Kevin-

When has Bush EVER proposed significantly expanding the armed forces?

Kerry has proposed national service, which includes things other than military service, Brett, you fuckwit. Damn that FDR and his draft we coulda beat dem Nazi's without the draft.

Posted by: heh | Oct 18, 2004 9:35:29 AM

Bush is going to ban abortions, bring back Jim Crow, institute the draft...

And four years from now, when none of this has happened...

Posted by: j.scott barnard | Oct 18, 2004 9:36:06 AM

And four years from now, when none of this has happened...

Kerry will be running for re-relection, against Jeb!.

Posted by: cleek | Oct 18, 2004 9:49:40 AM

"National service" is a hell of a lot closer to a draft than anything Bush has proposed, and it's hardly stupid to notice that it's Democrats who are in favor of that particular form of conscription.

And, yes, you're right, Bush has never proposed increasing the size of the military. As I say, it's a legitmate complaint against him. But he wouldn't need a draft to do it, if he ever managed to figure out it was necessary.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Oct 18, 2004 9:49:43 AM

That part further down doesn't change anything; Kerry was still in favor of subjecting every high school graduate in America to involuntary servitude.

Service requirements for graduation are no more involuntary servitude than high school itself is involuntary servitude.

Posted by: cmdicely | Oct 18, 2004 10:10:17 AM

Well, it took 10 hours, but someone probably made the obvious response to this "mandatory service" silliness. Thanks, cmdicely.

So, is mandatory attendance for high school graduation "involuntary servitude," Brett Bellmore?

Does high school violate the 13th amendment?

Posted by: JakeV | Oct 18, 2004 10:13:55 AM

That's my old unit. I was with A Trp., 1/11th.

Posted by: John Cole | Oct 18, 2004 10:29:21 AM

"Bush has never proposed increasing the size of the military."

I thought we had two new divisions budgeted for.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Oct 18, 2004 10:34:13 AM

For those suffering from knee-jerk Clintonitis regarding the state of the military, you may want to consider the following:

1) A draft is only potentially necessary right now because enlistments are down and early retirements are up. These figures are both trending for the same reason: people don't want to end up being sent to crazy wars of liberation where the populace declines to be liberated. That has nothing to do with Bill Clinton. It is reasonable to conclude that if people felt really enthusiastic and patriotic about Iraq that they would be enlisting in droves -- particularly because the job market is so poor.

2) Clinton did close a number of bases during his tenure. The problem with attributing current difficulties to that action is that uber-Warrior Donald Rumsfeld is planning on putting Clinton to shame, closing fully 25% of the nation's military bases starting in 2005 and more than the last four rounds of base closings combined. Also, Rumsfeld has made it clear in press conferences and Senate testimony time and time again that the "modern military" must be nimble and sleek, ultimately relying on superior gadgets to win, and contrary to the Powell doctrine of overwhelming force. Some of you may recall him testifying that we only needed 62,000 troops to take Iraq and maintain it.

I have two neighbors within 80 yards of my house who are stationed in Iraq, and each represents a part of this dynamic. One is a twenty-year old kid who joined ROTC to help pay for college only to end up doing patrols and reconnaissance missions out of Abu Ghraid; we talked when he was back on leave and he will definitely not be re-upping when the time comes.

The other is a guy at the opposite end of the spectrum, a special ops and military intel veteran of many firefights on the ground, a really smart, tough guy with twenty-five years in who loves combat and killing people. One of his main reasons for retiring probably ten years earlier than he would have (which was just approved, by the way):

"Those guys {Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, etc.] are f***ing crazy! It's not sane to be in anywmore the way they run things!!!"

Posted by: Windhorse | Oct 18, 2004 11:00:08 AM

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