The Null Device

Bringing back the draft?

Is the US military moving quietly to bring back the draft, to supplement overstretched troop numbers in Iraq?
"The experts are all saying we're going to have to beef up our presence in Iraq," says U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, the New York Democrat. "We've failed to convince our allies to send troops, we've extended deployments so morale is sinking, and the president is saying we can't cut and run. So what's left? The draft is a very sensitive subject, but at some point, we're going to need more troops, and at that point the only way to get them will be a return to the draft."

If the US brings back the draft, I wonder how quickly Australia will follow and attempt to reinstitute conscription. If the US sets a precedent, I can't see John Howard choosing not to follow the lead. Though presumably they'd need to get it through the Senate, and thus to get Labor onside, which may be harder.

There are 9 comments on "Bringing back the draft?":

Posted by: Graham Wed Nov 5 08:01:02 2003

Well, no, except it'd kill his government stone cold dead. For every person who applauds the idea for taking the mooks off the streets, there'd be two who'd be concerned that it'd be _their_ mooks. One only need revisit the prospect of the moratorium marches - during a more conservative time than now - coming back. Besides, interest rates have started going up, and the consequences of that are going to give Howard enough to worry about.

It's a bit like the death penalty; prima facie, people say they want it, until they realise the consequences.

Posted by: acb Wed Nov 5 08:06:54 2003

Would that stop him though? Or, if Uncle George took him aside and told him that he really needed more Australian troops in the War Against Evil, would Howard be so motivated by this that he'd push on with it regardless of the cost (see also: Tony Blair and the Iraq invasion)?

Posted by: Graham Wed Nov 5 11:48:07 2003

I dunno. How long is a piece of string?

Posted by: dj http:// Wed Nov 5 11:51:53 2003

The draft didn't succeed in more blindly patriotic times, i don't see why it would do so now. I don't think Bush would get away with re-instituting the draft in the US, let alone Howard here.

Posted by: Anton Sherwood Thu Nov 6 08:04:02 2003

I'm not too worried: the Pentagon consistently says, loud and clear, that it wants no such thing.

Posted by: Graham Thu Nov 6 08:29:34 2003

Yeah, I think the ADF's attitude is that they don't want to be a creche.

Posted by: acb Thu Nov 6 08:36:47 2003

Isn't the military in the US already full of soldiers who only signed up for the college scholarship money and whose hearts really aren't in it? If so, is it still meaningful to talk about an all-professional military?

Posted by: dj Fri Nov 7 02:25:35 2003

Yes, but i don't think officers really want to be fragged by kids who *really* *really* don't want to be there.

Posted by: Rich http:// Tue Nov 9 01:48:35 2004

I believe a draft would be good and also bad. The good would be our military getting the chance to rotate. The troop rotations are so messed up it's unreal. That would be good for morale. Also, why not revise the draft to call back members who have already served? Think about it. Training time is cut out. You have experienced troops rotating soldiers who have been out. The bad part : No matter how or why a draft of any shape or form, if reinstated, would all be scape goated on the President. Realisticly, our recruiters have been seeing an all time low on new enlistments. No one wants to serve there country anymore, unless its safely behind a desk, or being a lower class person praying not to see combat, but wanting the college money. That's what most people sign up for anymore.

Want to say something? Do so here.

Post pseudonymously

Display name:
To prove that you are not a bot, please enter the text in the image into the field below it.

Your Comment:

Please keep comments on topic and to the point. Inappropriate comments may be deleted.

Note that markup is stripped from comments; URLs will be automatically converted into links.