Forum: Arts / Debates

The Draft
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Jan 05, 2010 09:36 PM

I'm sure this has been debated on here before if my memory serves me correctly, but it would have been a long time ago. I was talking with a friend, and he is concerned that since there is no end in sight with the middle east, we'll eventually run out of voluntary troops and the draft will be re-instated.

So, thoughts? Do you think that the draft will see it's comeback? Do you think it would include females this time? Would you personally serve if you got drafted? Do you think the draft is a good thing or a bad thing?

10 Replies to The Draft

re: The Draft (karma: 1)
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:56 AM
I always felt that the last draft during Vietnam was patently unfair. There were enough loopholes that it was seriously weighted to target the unwitting and the unpowerful. If you were smart enough, you could keep going to school forever. There are many doctors, lawyers and Ph.D's today who became those professionals just so they could keep going to school to avoid the draft and hopefully outlive the war. In a way, even I benefited from the loopholes (though few people my age were actually drafted, I was just a bit on the high side of the age.) I was ineligible for the draft because I was already a civilian working for the Defense Department in a critical language and thus occupationally deferred. Because of the training I had (Arabic Language) and the clearances I held (Top Secret with several special sub-clearances), I could not be deliberately sent into a combat zone unless it concerned my training. As an Arabist, they would not send me to Viet-Nam, though had I known the right dialect of Arabic and had been a voice translator rather than a graphic translator, I could have been sent to the Middle East. Several of my civilian colleagues were sent to the Middle East during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, but I was really too "green" a linguist to do that. One of those civilians sent was killed in the USS Liberty incident along with 33 of his Navy compatriots.

Having worked with drafted military and with volunteer military, I far preferred working with the volunteers. The draftees we got (most college grads...if you were smart enough, you could get into Intelligence where the likelihood of being shot at was pretty remote) had little discipline, tried to flout the rules and had no interest in being in the military.

Women, aside from nurses, really didn't become a major factor in the military until after Vietnam. We had very few military women working with us during that era and those that were there were treated very badly I thought. For a picture of those days, I suggest the book "Speaking Generally" by LTG Claudia Kennedy USA Ret. who was the first female three star general. She describes the treatment she got in her earliest days in the Army, during the Vietnam era. Kennedy also suffered sexual harassment when she was a two-star general officer from another two star general.
LTG Kennedy was also a collegue of mine, we served on the same staff when she was an Army captain and our professional paths crossed many times thereafter and I presented briefings to her when she was a two-star. For the most part, the female military volunteers I worked with were outstanding. I had the privilege of being a civilian career mentor to several of them.

Jon
re: The Draft
By GypsieFreemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:22 AM
I honestly do not see it coming back.
Yes draft jitters are rampant among high school- and college-age males. The uncertain state of the world suggests that one false step could draw the United States into a new war and a new need for boots on the ground. And there is an undeniable warning siren: Army recruitment is failing to keep pace with the demand for new soldiers to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I strongly believe if we haven't seen it yet it won't happen for the "wars" in the middle east. 2004 was around the time that people had to be concerned, at this point unless something very huge and very dramatic happens, I don't see it as anything that NEEDS to happen.

As a direct quote from our former secretary of defense
"There isn't any reason in the world why we can't manage this force better with less stress on it, and it simply requires changing the rules, changing the requirements, changing the regulations in ways that we can manage that force considerably better."


Right now we aren't even using all of our soldiers over in the middle east. Before a draft would become needed we would deploy all of our soldiers who are here in the states..
re: The Draft
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jan 06, 2010 05:31 PM
Instating a draft in an already unpopular war? Yeah, that'll get through Congress just fine.
re: The Draft
By hylndlasmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jan 07, 2010 05:25 PM
I doubt that it will happen. The military would pull from other reasources 1st like retireees or the ready reserve of soldiers who just got out but aren't in a regular reserve unit. Thats what the ready reserve is for......a draft pull.
re: The Draft
By xMJx
On Thu Jan 07, 2010 09:50 PM
I doubt it will happen, but in a way, I kind of wish it would. Right now, I feel like very few people even acknowledge the kind of danger soldiers have to endure everyday. The war is distant to most people, it's other people fighting, other people's children, etc. It's easy to forget we're even at war. A draft would force people to face the things that they've largely turned a blind eye to and I think it would bring on a more swift end to the war.

Look at the 60's, there were constantly demonstrations and protests of the war. That's because young people felt that fear of being drafted, I would guess their parents felt that fear too. Today, there is so little outcry, and I believe it's because people feel that there will always be someone else out there willing to fight on their behalf. There are so many soldiers that have made it home, only to be sent back again, over and over.

I completely hate war, I hate putting young people's lives at risk, and I so deeply want it to be over. I've gone to protests, written letters, everything I feel I can do, but it seems to amount to nothing sometimes. A draft may increase that sense of urgency in finding a way to bring the troops home, but as I said, I don't think it will happen.
re: The Draft
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:28 PM
Oh, I'm perfectly aware that the draft won't be seeing it's comeback in the near future. But five years from now, ten years from now, who knows? I know it's hard to debate a hypothetical but even if you don't think it will EVER come back, debate the ethics of it.

Carry on, I'll contribute after collecting my thoughts :)
re: The Draft
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:44 PM
I seriously doubt it will make a comeback. Ever. At least as long as America is still America. Take that as you will.
re: The Draft
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:51 AM
Okay, here we go, thank you insomnia and caffeine...

Obviously, a volunteer military is the way to go. However, who really wants to join right now? I know probably a dozen people who would join in a heartbeat if it weren't for the guaranteed trip to the middle east. Obama obviously was a huge disappointment to we anti-war Americans, because he's essentially just moving us from Iraq to Afghanistan. Iran is another threat, it wouldn't surprise me to see some intervention there in the future. I was living on an army base during a huge deployment, and it was virtually deserted...we can't have all our troops at war, we need soldiers to work and run the bases.

I don't foresee the draft coming back any time soon, if ever, but if we as a country ever get to the point where we don't have the troops to sustain our military, something will have to be done. I suppose you could say that whether or not we'll ever get to that point is another debate in and of itself.

As much as a pacifist as I am, I really can understand the pro-draft view. It's not a right to live in a country, and you can move (albeit with difficulty), so you should have to serve. I disagree, but I can understand. That being said, I would make sure I didn't fight one way or another, either by leaving the country or refusing on the grounds of being a conscientious objector. My friends and I already have a hypothetical exit plan in place to go to Sweden.
re: The Draft
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 08, 2010 01:34 AM
Kekoa wrote:

That being said, I would make sure I didn't fight one way or another, either by leaving the country or refusing on the grounds of being a conscientious objector. My friends and I already have a hypothetical exit plan in place to go to Sweden.


If the draft were reinstated and for some reason I was drafted, I wouldn't try and run away from it - in any sense. I am anti-war (in a sense) and I'm not the most patriotic person in the world but I know I could never get away with running away. I also know if I were to be put in a combat situation I'd die in the first five minutes.
re: The Draft
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jan 08, 2010 01:48 AM
See, I'm not really patriotic. Sure, I like living in America and I plan to stay here because it's what I know and where my family is, but I don't think we're the best country in the world, and while I like the US as a whole, I don't feel an overwhelming sense of pride. Therefore, I'd have no problem leaving, especially if the alternative was fighting and potentially dying for something I disagree with to my core.

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