The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'conscription'


The US's most highly decorated soldier, David Hackworth, argues that, despite denials from the Pentagon, a return of the draft is inevitable:

Clearly, this war against worldwide, hardcore Islamic believers will be a massive military marathon, the longest and most far-flung in our country's history. By Christmas, more troops could be needed not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, but wherever the radical Islamic movement is growing stronger, from the Horn of Africa to Morocco, Kenya, Somalia, Yemen and across Europe -- remember Spain?! -- to Asia. Accordingly, we need to bring our ground-fighting and support units to about the strength they were before the Soviet Union imploded, especially since the proper ratio of counterinsurgent-to-insurgent in places like the Middle East should be around 15 to 1. You don't have to be a Ph.D. in military personnel to conclude we need more boots on the ground.
I led draftees for almost four years in Vietnam and for several years during the Korean War. If well-led, there are no finer soldiers. Ask the Nazis, the Japanese and the Reds in Korea and in Vietnam, where "no value" draftees cleaned their clocks in fight after fight. Israel, a country that has lived under the barrel of the Islamic terrorist gun for decades, has the most combat-experienced counterinsurgent force in the world -- and boy and girl draftees are its major resource.

To which, Counter Spin adds the suggestion that, when the US reintroduces the draft, a re-elected Coalition government will follow suit in Australia.

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The US Government is drawing up plans to conscript linguists and computer experts into the military. While the official line is that conscription is undesirable, the mechanisms for reinstituting the draft are slowly, quietly being put into place. I suspect that, sometime after Bush wins the next election, we'll see a sudden, "spontaneous" reappraisal of the feasibility of an all-volunteer military "in the light of changing geopolitical conditions" or something like that, and the draft machinery which has so conveniently been assembled will spin to life.

(Speaking of media management: you've probably heard the rumours that Osama bin Laden has been captured, and is being held somewhere to be publicly "captured" some time closer to Election Day.)

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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.

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