The Draft: Should it be brought back?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by KnightWriter, Apr 25, 2004.

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  1. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Currently, there is at least one bill in Congress that proposes bringing back the draft, which ended in the early 1970s.

    Given the problems the United States is facing in Iraq (which creates problems elsewhere in the world due to a lack of manpower), should the draft be brought back, or should other means be used to fill in the gaps that exist in the armed forces. Perhaps the draft could be brought back in modified format, fixing problems it had in previous incarnations while still providing more troops and services.

    Thoughts?
  2. Special_Fred Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4
    Absolutely not. Our military should consist of volunteers, and volunteers only. Anything else is slavery, plain and simple, and history shows that slaves make lousy defenders of freedom.
  3. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    Anything else is slavery, plain and simple, and history shows that slaves make lousy defenders of freedom.

    The same could be said about taxes, but everybody still must pay them.

    I don't see why citizenship should just be given to people based on where they are born.

    I think it should be like Israel. If you want to be a citizen, you have to serve a certain lenght of time in the military.

  4. Special_Fred Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4
    The same could be said about taxes, but everybody still must pay them.

    That is a part of the "contract", if you will, between the government and the people, set down in our Constitution. The government's only legitimate purpose is to protect our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as well as defending the freedoms set down in the Bill of Rights. It is right for us to pay taxes so they can effectively do this. However, it is not right for the government to tax us for any other purpose. But because the government no longer respects the Constitution, politicians have no moral qualms about confiscating obscene portions of our income to pay for their own poor spending habits. Unfortunately, this will not change until we can get more freedom-minded individuals who respect the Constitution (read: Libertarians) into office.

    EDIT: I've had this quote saved on my computer for some time now, and thought it would be fitting to post it here:

    "The true test of a government's legitimate authority is found in the manner in which it acquires its soldiers. A government that has the consent of the governed does not require conscription in order to fill the ranks of its military."

    Is the US government your master or your servant???
  5. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    Why should we be drafted into a war which cannot be won?

    The War on Iraq/Afganistan is the most recent in a long series of failures.

    The Persians in Greece
    The French under Napoleon in Russia
    The British in America
    The Germans in Russia
    The Russians in Afganistan
    The US in Vietnam
    The US in The Middle East

    What do they all have in common?
    They are all failed wars in imperialism


    No matter how powerful the nation is, it cannot take over a people with strong nationalism. These wars cannot be won. And they never have been.

    Why be drafted because of George's apparent failure to notice past events?

    -Seldon
  6. SaberGiiett7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2002
    star 6
    If someone doesn't support a cause, they not only make lousy fighters, but they hinder the military itself, and endanger other soliders. I think there's alternatives.

    A prime a example would be a selective draft, were purely individuals that know how to use computers well could serve off the battle field, or maybe even mechanics.

    But in the actually fray, you do not want somebody fighting with you who will come back home in a heartbeat and protest the conflict; it just doesn't work that way. That's why Vietnam was such a quandry.

    Add to that a record number of U.S. citizens are signing up to join the U.S. military as we speak and that = no draft.

    Hopefully we can get Afghanistan and Iraq cleaned up before the President decides to invade another place. We need adequate time to re-think our entire strategy on the War On Terrorism.

    <[-]> Saber
  7. Branthoris Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2002
    star 3
  8. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    There is no reason to bring back the draft, nor would it be succsssful with how the US military is currently set up.

    First off, it is important to dispel some myths again.

    The military is not overstretched, nor is there a shoratge of personnel.

    Specific units that represent critical skills may be deployed more often, but it is not a military wide practice.

    Let's look at some numbers, for comparison:

    Army National Guard 405,000

    Army Reserve 208,000

    Naval Reserve 103,500

    Marine Corps Reserve 46,300

    Air National Guard 111,500

    Air Force Reserve 74,700

    TOTAL: (reserve component) 949,000

    US Army Active 480,000

    US Marine Corps Active 173,000

    US Navy Active 371,000

    US Air Force Active 370,000

    TOTAL (active forces): 1,384,000

    All total, including the stand-by reserves, the US Military has approximately 2.5 million troops available for service.

    source, US Defense dept: HERE

    There are around 150,000 troops in Iraq, including 56,000 reservists. All total, Around 200,000 troops are involved in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    So, strictly speaking, manpower is not an issue, nor should it be a source of great concern.

    Secondly, the military would not be able to handle a large influx of raw recruits in the state that it is currently in.

    The military is organized to process a set number of volunteers per cycle.

    For example, during the Vietnam war, the Army had 16 in-processing centers that handled draftees. Currently, there are 4 major in-processing centers.

    The Navy only has a single training center, represented by Great Lakes in-processing station.

    There is simply no infrastructure readily available to handle massive rotations of draftees, without a major upgrading of training space.

    Lastly, the greatest strength that the military has is it overall level of unit cohesion.

    Terms like "Band of Brothers" are not thrown around lightly, and, in fact, represetns the force that drives operations.

    Having large numbers of people who do not believe in what they are doing would only reduce the capability of the armed forces.




  9. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Interesting you mention "band of brothers", because there were a lot of drafted people who were a part of groups like that.
  10. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    yes, exactly, but it didn't happen overnight, and I think one could argue that the mindset was different back then.

    Additionally, the military is much more professional, technical, and competitive than it was during WWII.

    Perhaps if handled correctly, as one spoke of a larger program of national service, a military draft could be successful.

    (as in give the individuals the option of Americorps type of service, having the military be one avenue available.) That way, the choice still rests with the individual.

    A program of general conscription would not be successful, nor is it needed.

    If one is trying to tie this hypothetical example to Iraq, the program would be even more of a failure.

    As I pointed out, the simple logistics are not there. Just reconstituting the induction points, even if we started now, would be years away.

    This massive undertaking would probably even take troops away from where they are needed, certainly during the short term.


  11. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    Perhaps if handled correctly, as one spoke of a larger program of national service, a military draft could be successful.

    (as in give the individuals the option of Americorps type of service, having the military be one avenie available.) That way, the choice still rests witht the individual.


    That is what I was advocating. Some kind of mandatory service for all. Not necessarily a draft for a specific war.



  12. darth_paul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    I concur entirely with Special_Fred. And I would not accept the idea of mandatory service for any group, military or not. Nobody should have an obligation to work for the government. I agree; that is slavery, plain and simple.

    -Paul
  13. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    Hells no! It's kind of like the idea that once you are granted a right, you can't take it away.

    The sons of privilege have long been able to avoid war no matter what while still remaining in good standing, it's important that the sons of the poor don't have to die because they didn't have a rich daddy to get them in a non-combat unit he didn't deserve to be in.

    Furthermore, back in the day we were sexist, but now that we promote equality, we'd have to draft chicks too, and they'd have to be drafted equally.

    Besides, the only reason a draft should ever be brought back is if the United States is actually under attack and in danger of being occcupied by a foreign nation.
  14. JediStryker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 4
    I don't believe that we're going to see the draft reinstated anytime soon. The Air Force is currently seeking to trim it's ranks right now. Several Selective Reenlistment Bonuses (SRBs) have been cut, and it was recently mentioned that 16,000 positions were going to be offered the chance to leave the military.

    To be fair, these are mostly technical positions (like mine; my SRB went away the day after I reenlisted), however I don't think the Air Force would be so quickly saying good-bye to trained soldiers if the situation were desperate enough to require the reinstatement of the draft.

    Honestly, I would hate to have to put my life in the hands of a conscript. Someone who doesn't want to be there is someone whom I cannot count on to watch my back when it gets down the nitty-gritty.
  15. MaceWinducannotdie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2001
    star 4
    A vexing question. I don't like that the current volunteer system ensures that (generally speaking) only people from certain backgrounds will be put on the front lines, and I certainly don't agree with this libertarian ideologically-driven "but it's slavery to ever make me do stuff I don't wanna do" argument. At the same time, practical consideratons make the draft problematic...
  16. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    The current volunteer system needs to reasses the advantadges given to people in military service.

    The problem of course is that doing so creates problems with loopholes and inequalities and technicalities. Still I think it would be something to make combat pay non taxable(unless it already is, in which case kudos).
  17. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    A vexing question. I don't like that the current volunteer system ensures that (generally speaking) only people from certain backgrounds will be put on the front lines

    What do you mean, only people from certain backgrounds are put on the front lines?

    If anything, the previous system of conscription all but ensured this.

    EDIT: and Farrie, combat pay is already non-taxable. In fact, this applies to any bonuses earned in a combat zone as well.

  18. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    I'm speaking as a military veteran who knows what military service is all about.

    The draft should not be brought back, unless it is completely necessary for the defense and survival of the country (e.g., WW II).

    If we have some kind of major global conflict, the draft will be absolutely necessary and citizens are obligated to take part in the defense of their nation.

    However, our volunteer army is quite sufficient for the time being.
  19. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Drat...

    Well then incentives are a much better option for gaining volunteers then conscription. Maybe we could offer them the chance to blow **** up. That seems to be a fun thing for many people.
  20. JediStryker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 4
    What do you mean, only people from certain backgrounds are put on the front lines?

    He means the lower-to-middle class and uneducated. Statistically, the bottom-half of the US enlisted structure is made up of high school graduates who cannot afford to pay for college themselves. Most who join the military are doing so for the educational benefits, which in the Air Force at least are massive. At least, they used to be; things are changing and not necessarily for the better.

    Also, the majority of enlisted men and women are minorities.
  21. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Don't forget non citizens.


    Many of these are minorities as well.
  22. MaceWinducannotdie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2001
    star 4
    What do you mean, only people from certain backgrounds are put on the front lines?

    I'm sure you can guess what I meant, but let's spell it out. Disproportionately poor, uneducated, and minority as compared with the rest of the country. (EDIT: This is what happens when you write slowly. JediStryker says what you are about to in less time.)

    If anything, the previous system of conscription all but ensured this.

    I'm aware of this, and if you look at the half of my initial post you didn't quote you'd realize that I did acknowledge, and I quote, "practical consideratons make the draft problematic." Obviously I wouldn't want a bunch of George W. Bush-sized loopholes if the draft were brought back, and I'm not so sure this and other problems could be worked out.
  23. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Except that articles like this tend to disprove your claim:

    USATODAY

    It says roughly 30% of the enlisted structure is made up of minorities, and 13% of the officer ranks are minoriites.

    Additionally, my 2003 Handbook for the US Army also paints a different picture as well.

    58% of US Army enlisted personnel have HS diplomas
    25% of enlisted personnel have bachelors degrees
    15% of enlisted personnel have associate degrees
    2% of enlisted personnel have masters or professional degrees

    That looks like a almost equal split, if you ask me.

    EDIT: To be fair, it doesn't distinguish between those who had a degree prior to joining, and those who earned one in-service.

    Of course, It is required of officers to have a 4 year degree.

    Now, before I attempt to "guess what you meant," that's why I asked you to clarify.

    Because if you have an outdated concept of the military, I was interested in how it related to your overall point.

  24. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    As someone who served in the military and who comes from a family with many who have served...we have talked about this before and all of us agree that there should be a draft.

    I'll repost part of what I said in another thread:
    ---------
    I agree with Senators Chuck Hagel (R) and Fritz Holling (D), as well as Congressman Charlie Rangel (D) in that we should and need to bring back the draft. All this patriotic fervor and support for people like Pat Tillman should be chanelled into proactive action. Its easy to say 'I love America, I support our troops!', its another to actually put your money where your mouth is.

    "a Senate Foreign Relations Committee [that] 'There's not an American ... that doesn't understand what we are engaged in today and what the prospects are for the future ... [Adding, if] that's the case, why shouldn't we ask all of our citizens to bear some responsibility and pay some price?... a draft, which was ended in the early 1970s, would spread the burden of military service in Iraq more equitably among various social strata."

    Hagel
    ---------

    Mr44-

    Thanks for the info, but we are extending the tours of troops in Iraq as well as the NG correct? My point is that the responsibility should be shared.

    And I don't believe in the idea that drafted people would be bad soldiers since they don't want to be there like volunteers do. Our military could make a man out of Milhouse.

    Also, I firmly believe that if there was a draft, support for war would be more muted if ones (and their kids) own ass would actually be on the firing line, no pun intended.


  25. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Thanks for the info, but we are extending the tours of troops in Iraq as well as the NG correct? My point is that the responsibility should be shared.

    Yes, and I would agree that some of the burden needs to be shifted.

    However, some of this is a result of neccesity.

    Now, I'm not slamming the National Guard in any way, but numerous times Guard units have failed their deployment certification on the first try, meaning they have a longer "ramp up" time.

    This means that the Guard units already there have to take up the slack.

    You just can't take a guy who is used to being a bank teller and have him ready to fight in Iraq in 2 weeks.

    And I don't believe in the idea that drafted people would be bad soldiers since they don't want to be there like volunteers do. Our military could make a man out of Milhouse.

    Yes, but some of this is related to the above, some is related to simple mindset.

    The military of today is so much more technical and lethal than during the conscription years.

    Would you limit the choices of draftees to certain non-critical jobs, or would you really assign someone who doesn't want to be there to operate a 12 missle volley of MLRS cluster bombs?


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