Okay when I was a kid there was a draft. Now, I fell into that group that didn't have to register for the draft. But I did go see the Army recruiter to see if I still had to sign up. No, I didn't. But now times have changed. To day we have the all Volunteer Army. Have had it since the early 1970's. In fact, there are few in the service who were around when there was a draft. Mind you they can be found in such places are the Reserves and National Guard.
But today in the news we see a former Warrant Officer who is 50 being recalled for duty overseas. OH MY GOD THE MAN IS 50! So what? I knew a women whose step father was 59.5 and being deployed to Iraq. He told them how old he was and that he’d be 61 when he retuned. They said no problem and shipped his ass.
Well, so far, and this is just my opinion, that we’ve fought this “war” on the cheap. By cheap I mean that no one has been inconvenience. What I mean by that is no one was forced to go to war against their will.
The baby boomers kiddies didn’t have to take time off from school or work to put on a uniform and go fight. They didn’t run the risk of getting wounded, or killed or having to do without, or make their bed in the morning.
To make up for the shortage of military personnel, the government has turned to contractors. Jobs that use to be done by military personnel are now done by civilian contractors. Contractors who make a ton more money then the troops who use to do the very same job.
The public has not been asked to give up anything or sacrifice anything. They can drive their cars as fast at they want. They don’t have to worry about conserving energy. They don’t have to ration certain types of foods, or for that matte anything.
The end result of this is a military that is worn down.
In fact, the burden of a nation, a whole nation in fact, has been shouldered on a select few of the population.
That’s not fair.
Now I won’t go into the politics of this thing, but to perform the missions and achieve in the end “victory” we need to expand the military.
So is it time to have a draft and have more citizen “share” the burden?
What do you think?
Just FYI, I read that in World War II the US military was broken down into this ratio:
60 % were drafted, 40% enlisted. Actually it was more then 60% were drafted but I don’t remember the exact number. Yes, that means less then 40% joined on their own.

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I'd be fine with the draft if it were fair, and had strict guidelines for when it could be activated, for how long, etc. Our experience with the latest draft was that it failed on both counts.

But as for Iraq, if these bozos were determined to invade a country like that, a draft was a necessity. It would have evaporated support for the invasion, never mind the war, but that's how it is. Mind you, I'm speaking from a military perspective about prosecuting the war here. I never supported the war, but I understood what needed to be done for a successful mission.

I guess I'm old school in thinking that if you're going to fight a country, you do it for the right reasons, you lay out a realistic plan/goal (for during and AFTER war), and you do what you have to do to achieve your objectives as humanely as possible, with as few casualties as possible, as soon as possible. If possible. (Ideals, I know, but you do your best; civilized nations don't lose sight of those principles.)

Bush was so stupid, incompetent and amoral that he didn't even try any of that. He didn't get that a real war president doesn't just prance around aircraft carriers in flight suits, but makes the tough decisions that have to be made to win. And that included the draft.
If we didn't go to war in the first place we would not need to expand the military. With the economy crashing, I forsee in increase in recruits, so we will not need to worry too much about it.
I like one of the points you made:

"The public has not been asked to give up anything or sacrifice anything. They can drive their cars as fast at they want. They don’t have to worry about conserving energy. They don’t have to ration certain types of foods, or for that matter anything."

That's true. I'm not sure how the public could assist in the war in this day and age, but it's a good point. As I recall, the only thing that has been asked of the civilian population is to, well, shop. This in an era when Americans already spend more than they make, and undoubtedly did most of their "war supporting" using their Visa platinum cards.

The draft isn't the answer. It takes away citizens' liberty of choice, increases operating costs, leads to increases in war atrocities, and diminishes the readiness of the force.

If we allow ourselves the luxury of imagining a world after these two simultaneous wars, we can consider a bill requiring a future draft for all future engagements. This would simply make future wars far less likely to develop, as they would hit much closer to home for the average American. A grim corollary to that proposal would be the "1941 effect": war could be used by politicians to pull us out of a financial crisis.
One of the biggest problems I've run into in the military is incompetence. While a draft would increase the size of the military, I'm of the opinion that we need thinking, well reasoned individuals in positions of authority more than we need more bodies.
Believe you me, I know exactly what you are talking about. One of the main reasons I didn't stay on active duty was that there were two words you couldn't say..to soldier or civil servants: "YOU'RE FIRED!"
Trust me, if we could, not only would the military but the government as a whole would be much better off. And because of that, so would the US.
One of the problems which started with the end of the draft was the lowering of standards. These lowered standards were considered necessary to keep the military at full strength. Although there was a lowering of standards in 1967-1968 period when about 100000 ineligible draftees (mentally) were nevertheless inducted. Most were given expedicious discharges since they could,'t funtion in a military situation
let me clear something up. The reason I feel we need a draft is because only a very small portion of the population of the Untied States is shouldering the burden of Iraq, the Afgan and other missions. The redeploying of individuals and units is wearing down the military. Look at the PSD issue. During World War II, it was the practice to rotate units off the line. The 82nd Airborne Div spent at the most 89 in direct combat. This changed in the Korean War.
Units were left on the front line. Same with Nam. They kept the division there and just rotated people in and out. Granted that was a different type of war then WWII but it is similar to what we are facing now in Iraq and the Afgan.
As for the quality of people brought into the military via a draft. This was a major concern in the early days of World War II. It was soon forgotten. The draft soldiers did just as well as the non draft soldiers.
I don't remember the first Infantry Division sent into combat that was comprised mainly of draftees, but they did very well in combat. Again, as I stated in my initial statement, the vast majority of people in the US military in World War II were mostly draftees.
I agree with you to a high degree. Redeploying and constant front line action takes a major toll on people and equipment. An increase in the size of the military and creation of new units that incorporate technology and fresh ideas could solve many of the problems we, as service members, face. As well, an increase in forces would allow for better training. I've known quite a few who have arrived at their first base and have deployed within two months.

While there is no doubt in my mind that many Americans could fight and serve in other capacities (i.e. Cooks, Transportation, Logistics, Supply) with the increase in technology I feel that we need people who can change the way we fight wars.

As we all know, the military isn't particularly efficient at placing people within the realm of their talents. If we had a draft, we'd have to make sure people who were mechanical geniuses or potential engineers entered into that field. I doubt the military could do that. I have an applied associate's degree in Computer Programming, and yet I'm an aircraft maintainer.
NoImaginaryFriends brought up a point about the military. NoImaginaryFriends has an Associates degree in computers but isn't working in that field. (Just an aside, have you looked into getting a computer MOS? They use to have one, I've a friend who has it) It reminds me of an experience I had back in 1994 when I participated in the 50th Anniversary of D-Day in the Normandy region in France.
So, I’m with my unit (all three of us. Yup MTOE, smallest unit in the Army inventory) This couple I’d talked to earlier came up to us. We started talking. I asked about him during the war.
Seems that he was the only ENLISTED JAG PROSECUTOR in the ETO. Well, all of us just looked at him. JAG’s are supposed to be officers. So who’d he piss off?
Well here’s what happened. He finished law school, passed the bar and was drafted. They made him an INFANTRYMEN. Well, he gets sent to Europe and to a line unit.
So one day, the personnel NCO checks out his file and finds that it states he is a lawyer. The NCO calls him in and asks him if it were true. It is, there is a copy of his bar card. Well, a few days later he’s called back to the Company.
They inform him that he is to be commissioned and transferred to the JAG Corps. He says, “NO. I just want to do my job and go home…” Sorry he’s informed you’re going to be made an officer and transferred. He just wanted to do his job and go home. Sorry.
Well he decides to decline the commission. That’ll stop them, right? No, not the US Military. They transfer him, pop him up to Staff Sgt. And no, he wasn’t going back to the line.
So he ended up the only enlisted prosecutor in the entire European Theater of Operations (ETO). Did he ever consider taking the commission? Sure, but if he did he had to stay. By that time the war was over and he had enough “points” to actually go home and come back again.
And well, this hasn’t been limited to only WWII. I met an interrogator who served in Vietnam. He was trained to be an interrogator, but he ended up doing something completely different. Seems that this is a tradition in the military.
I have to say no to reinstating the draft. Ultimately it ends up letting the services axe benefits/improvements that we're more likely to receive in an all-volunteer military. I also don't like the idea of serving with someone who was forced to serve because if they don't even want to be there then how can you trust their commitment to do their job properly, especially now that the 'good' versus 'evil' aspect isn't so clear. The looming threat of Hitler or the Russians attacking isn't present right now, so there isn't really a sense that being in the military will prevent a terrorist attack.

I am in favor of a public service draft that requires all young adults to spend a period of time volunteering their time in some way that benefits the community/country, with less benefits received if they choose something other than military service (I am selfish and believe that being in harms way and putting up with crappy treatment should entitle me more benefits than someone who cleans parks or builds houses).

NoImaginaryFriends brought up a point about the military. NoImaginaryFriends has an Associates degree in computers but isn't working in that field. (Just an aside, have you looked into getting a computer MOS? They use to have one, I've a friend who has it) It reminds me of an experience I had back in 1994 when I participated in the 50th Anniversary of D-Day in the Normandy region in France.
So, I’m with my unit (all three of us. Yup MTOE, smallest unit in the Army inventory) This couple I’d talked to earlier came up to us. We started talking. I asked about him during the war.
Seems that he was the only ENLISTED JAG PROSECUTOR in the ETO. Well, all of us just looked at him. JAG’s are supposed to be officers. So who’d he piss off?
Well here’s what happened. He finished law school, passed the bar and was drafted. They made him an INFANTRYMEN. Well, he gets sent to Europe and to a line unit.
So one day, the personnel NCO checks out his file and finds that it states he is a lawyer. The NCO calls him in and asks him if it were true. It is, there is a copy of his bar card. Well, a few days later he’s called back to the Company.
They inform him that he is to be commissioned and transferred to the JAG Corps. He says, “NO. I just want to do my job and go home…” Sorry he’s informed you’re going to be made an officer and transferred. He just wanted to do his job and go home. Sorry.
Well he decides to decline the commission. That’ll stop them, right? No, not the US Military. They transfer him, pop him up to Staff Sgt. And no, he wasn’t going back to the line.
So he ended up the only enlisted prosecutor in the entire European Theater of Operations (ETO). Did he ever consider taking the commission? Sure, but if he did he had to stay. By that time the war was over and he had enough “points” to actually go home and come back again.
And well, this hasn’t been limited to only WWII. I met an interrogator who served in Vietnam. He was trained to be an interrogator, but he ended up doing something completely different. Seems that this is a tradition in the military.
As an aside, I'm not eligible to retrain for at least another 4 years.

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