T Nation

The Draft

There has been quite a bit of discussion on a few of the threads concerning reinstating conscription. The majority of the Bush supporters (and a few of the non-supporters) agree that a draft is not going to happen. Then, there are a few that seem to find it inevitable.

Before I make any statements, let me first say that I do not believe a draft reinstation would be an option within the next three years. That being said, I certainly do not think that reinstation is a ridiculous prospect. Here’s why:

Most of the arguments against a draft have been based upon the unpopularity of such an action. No one wants it, thus we will not have it. This is a bit of flawed logic. I cannot recall any draft that was popular–that is why it involuntary service. Let’s look at a few factors that are menacing our current voluntary service:

-Extended oversea tours are causing retention rates to plummet. Yes, we have a huge military, but numbers are falling, and there is no way of determining future retentions.

-Escalating tensions in other countries are going to eventually demand an increase in troops stationed there. Period.

-Who is to say that another large-scale terror event is unlikely? All it will take is one, even one of a fraction of the magnitude of 9/11, and military allocations and concentrations will have to change. This means more troops in more places.

-Since a large portion of our national guard is currently deployed overseas, any significant attacks on our mainland would probably show our homeland troops to be insufficient. If there was to be a draft, I would imagine the plurality of stationing to be within the U.S.

Like I said before, a draft is most unlikely, assuming we can mobilize some troops out of the Middle East soon. However, I certainly would not consider it to be a horribly far-fetched possibility. This is not, as many will probably assume, a partisan issue. Draft initiative would be similar in probability under any administration, considering our present situation. Hopefully, however, more peaceful overtakings will occur, and our many of our troops can come home from the Middle East. They have our unwaivering support.

~Terumo

I don’t think you can say the draft will “never” happen – there isn’t much I think you can say will never happen, actually.

However, it would take a whole new level of war for us to need to reinstitute the draft. Perhaps if China were to invade Taiwan and we were drawn into the conflict – something along those lines.

They have found that an all volunteer army is actually better then a drafted army. When you have people forced to be there, you have more problems with morale then with the army that chose to be there.

That little choice of action makes all the difference.

Also I see the military moving toward a more lean mean, more focused force. Technology is advancing so well, and our military is so well trained that less people will be able to do more.

Being a Navy Seal might be the highest risk job in the military, but I don?t think any military force in the world wants to go against them. And they are volunteers within volunteers.

It would take a major war before we would ever have another draft.

[quote]The Mage wrote:
They have found that an all volunteer army is actually better then a drafted army. When you have people forced to be there, you have more problems with morale then with the army that chose to be there.

That little choice of action makes all the difference.[/quote]

This is not the point. Yes, a nonconscripted army would be much more effective, but what if there simply aren’t enough enlisted? There is no option.

Also, why do so many people continuously say “there will have to be a major war to commence a draft?” This is an unfounded statement. Would anyone consider Iraq a “major war?” I would not. I think our most likely threat is fighting a multinational or multifront war. Allocation strains would be a huge problem in this instance.

So yes, I agree that an all-volunteer army is superior to one that is not; I think everyone does. However, an all-volunteer army may not be possible if threats escalate to a critical threshold. Do I think this will happen? Probably and hopefully not. But, I think the dismissal of the idea is both groundless and foolish.

~Terumo

If we were the victim of another terrorist attack, enlisment into the military would likely go up on it’s own. Correct me if i’m wrong but isn’t that what happened after 9/11? I also beleive that in some bit of time in the near future, Armies will be gatting smaller and the soldiers will become far more indestructable with advances in technology. Or maybe the human soldiers won’t even be there. We already have robots flying over thier heads. Robots that can launch a missile from the air, silent, nearly invisible, remote controlled. Who knows what the future will bring, lets just get to work trying to hedge it in a way that is good for everyone.

[quote]Vegita wrote:
If we were the victim of another terrorist attack, enlisment into the military would likely go up on it’s own. Correct me if i’m wrong but isn’t that what happened after 9/11? I also beleive that in some bit of time in the near future, Armies will be gatting smaller and the soldiers will become far more indestructable with advances in technology. Or maybe the human soldiers won’t even be there. We already have robots flying over thier heads. Robots that can launch a missile from the air, silent, nearly invisible, remote controlled. Who knows what the future will bring, lets just get to work trying to hedge it in a way that is good for everyone. [/quote]

All the technology in the world will not take the place of an infantryman. The ground isn’t yours unless you are standing on it.

[quote]Terumo wrote:

This is not the point. Yes, a nonconscripted army would be much more effective, but what if there simply aren’t enough enlisted? There is no option. [/quote]

If there are not enough enlisted, then yes there would be a draft. But you completely missed what I was saying. An all volunteer army is so superior that to equal it with a draft army might just take a huge number to equal the willing. Also what is going to happen to cause this that wouldn?t cause a major upswing in volunteer recruitment? [/quote]

Why bring up Iraq? Have we drafted anyone because of Iraq? The biggest reason things are so tight is because we still have large groups in Afghanistan, even if you don?t hear it from the news, and the Democrats wanted everyone to think nobody was there.

[quote]So yes, I agree that an all-volunteer army is superior to one that is not; I think everyone does. However, an all-volunteer army may not be possible if threats escalate to a critical threshold. Do I think this will happen? Probably and hopefully not. But, I think the dismissal of the idea is both groundless and foolish.

~Terumo[/quote]

First I am foolish for mentioning a major war causing a draft, then I am dismissing it. You can?t have it both ways. If I said a major war could cause a draft, then how could I be dismissing it?

Yes it is always possible that a draft could occur, but like you I believe it is unlikely. What would happen right now to require that? Our requirements for being in Iraq are about to start to shrink. When we needed troops, the guard was called up. That is their purpose. And they will slowly be released back to guard duty.

The biggest reason we had a problem at all in Iraq is because Turkey decided not to allow troops to move from the north. We left a major part of the country untouched because we couldn’t get people there in time. One little piece of planning that fell apart.

Another is that we were not aggressive enough. We cannot be fighting this PC war like we have been. But if things ever truly got serious, it would quickly become apparent that the PC war does not work against stronger forces, and we would have dumped it like we did the gentleman?s wars.

Again I never said there could not be a draft, I said it is unlikely. The reason I mention the volunteer army is because they are so superior to a draft army, so the idea of a draft is pushed back as being a very unwanted situation.

And yes it would take a major war for that to happen, because they have so many options. First they call up the reserves, and then they add incentives, and ask people to join. Then they can drop the requirements, allowing the people who want to join, but are not allowed for minor reasons.

My brother in law was delayed just because he couldn’t do enough push ups. I helped him train, and gave him a few tricks to up his totals. And now he is in basic training cussing me out. (I assume, since he is in basic training.) If we seriously were in need of military personnel do you actually think they would care about push ups? They would just make sure you were doing them before you left basic.