10/06/2004: Return to the Draft?
From Col. David Hackworth:Uncle Sam Will Soon Want Your Kids
Recently, when John Kerry brought up the possibility of a return to the draft, SecDef Donald Rumsfeld was quick to respond that Kerry was full of it.One scary thing--reading Col. Hackworth's essay, I'm not 100% sure that, at this late juncture, that electing Kerry in 2004 is necessarily going to prevent a draft from becoming a reality. Unfortunately, the world has gotten to be a much more dangerous place because George W. Bush has been such a fuckup in his foreign policy and in his decision to invade Iraq, and that, more than anything else, is the reason that more bodies are needed in uniform. And I'm not sure that this is something that can be remedied in a Kerry administration.
But my take is that Kerry is right on the mark. Not only because Rummy has been flat wrong on every major military call regarding Iraq, but because this is a war that won’t be won by smart weapons or the sledgehammer firepower we see every night on the tube.
Right now – with both our regular and Reserve soldiers stretched beyond the breaking point – our all-volunteer force is tapping out. If our overseas troop commitments continue at the present rate or climb higher, there won’t be enough Army and Marine grunts to do the job. And thin, overworked units, from Special Forces teams to infantry battalions, lose fights.
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.
Most of our warriors – who are mainly from blue-collar families from Small Town, USA – have few political connections and few conduits though which they can effectively sound off. So when they get screwed over by a desperate Pentagon’s makeshift policies – such as the “Stop Loss” program that’s holding over large numbers of our servicemen and -women well beyond their contractually agreed-upon terms of enlistment, or the widespread calling up of out-of-shape, ill-trained citizen soldiers from the Individual Ready Reserve – these “volunteers” salute, suck it up and lay their lives on the line.
But like elephants, they won’t forget that they are “backdoor draftees,” as Kerry and John McCain call them. Which means that when their hitches are up, they won’t be rushing to re-enlist. And they’re also warning their younger brothers, sisters and pals to stay away from recruiting stations.
Although Pentagon puff artists insist they’re making quota, recruiters are already saying it would be easier to find $100 bills on the sidewalk outside a homeless shelter than fill their enlistment quotas, even with the huge bonuses now being paid.
So the draft – which will include both boys and girls this time around – is a no-brainer in ‘05 and ‘06.
Len on 10.06.04 @ 01:07 PM CST