April 12, 2004

Irresponsible Draft

Ken Bode, in this piece, calls for a restoration of the draft. The article, titled "Sharing the sacrifices of war", starts by assuming that our military has trouble rounding up soldiers for the volunteer force. He also seems to be under the mistaken idea that a draft, in and of itself, would increase troop strength.

In fact, Congress has put a ceiling on the number of troops. If they would raise the ceiling and fund that increase so the military isn't hollowed out by reducing per soldier funding, we could have a larger level of armed forces without a draft.

The writer, a professor at DePauw gives the game away towards the end:

A nationwide poll taken by Harvard University late last year showed that college students generally approve of Bush by 61 percent and 59 percent strongly or somewhat support what he is doing in Iraq.

Students may not like disrupting their college experience, but surely when they realize that they are only being asked to do their share to extend democracy in this very dangerous world, they will set aside their doubts and heed the call to patriotism.
Professor Charles Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern University, says, "When I was drafted, Elvis Presley was my contemporary draftee. Can you imagine Eminem being drafted today?"

So long as the legitimacy of this war is measured only by pollsters, we will never have a true measure of public support.

Bring back the draft, Mr. President. Then we'll see.

I found the idea of imposing a draft, our only legal form of involuntary servitude outside of the penal system, to be offensive as something to be done as a better way of polling. I wrote:

Your call for a new draft makes no sense to me. As I understand things, we don't have a manpower shortage in the volunteer army. Our troop strength is limited legislatively, not by a lack of recruits. The short time draftee doesn't have the time to absorb all the lessons necessary for our modern high training/low casualties combat style which is why, I understand, the Pentagon is against a return to the draft.

The most disgusting way to put in a draft is to have one when we don't need one and to create a class of soldiers who are going to die in larger numbers for a faux political point of "social solidarity". Would you come to the excess funerals?

The good professor replied. Here is his response in toto:

No, Mr Bush and Mr Cheney can go to the funerals.

There is no polite language that is available in response to that. He didn't even attempt to deny that more would die if his proposal were to be adopted. He just insists on his lack of responsibility for the excess casualties over what a professional military force would have suffered.

The article has the professor's email listed.

Posted by TMLutas at April 12, 2004 12:09 PM