Friday, December 22, 2006

[conscription] on the cards yet again - whatever for

Don't get me wrong. I am a [small 'l'] conservative, believe our troops should have nothing but the best gear, they should be supported by one and all and if we were directly under threat, I'd be one of the first to attempt to sign up [age might preclude me]. However:

The Selective Service System, which has remained in existence despite the abandonment of conscription three decades ago, is planning a comprehensive test around 2009. Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson prompted speculation about the draft Thursday when he told reporters in New York that "society would benefit" if the U.S. were to bring back the draft. Later he issued a statement saying he does not support reinstituting a draft.

Rep. Charles Rangel, a New York Democrat, plans to introduce a bill next year to reinstate the draft. House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi has said such a proposal would not be high on the Democratic-led Congress' priority list. The military drafted people during the Civil War and both world wars and between 1948 and 1973. Reincorporated in 1980, the Selective Service System maintains a registry of 18-year-old men, but call-ups have not occurred since the Vietnam War.

It would be retrograde on a number of fronts: 1] the regs don’t like draftees who can’t be fully relied upon in battle and this, in turn, saps morale 2] it is only used in times of dire threat and that ain’t now. There is no credible threat at this time which would require militarization of this nature. The Iraq War does not come under that category in the least.

It’s another case of the mobilization, in high places, for a war which does not exist and at a period of relatively full employment and sound economic prospects for the world in general. Trade has globalized and dialogue takes place. In other words, there is no current, viable reason for there not to be peace. So why the first overtures concerning the draft?

2 comments:

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Machiavelli said that "mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous". He states his reasons. I'm not suggesting for a moment that drafted soldiers are useless but I'm sure that if NM were around today he would say, "Use professional soldiers". - Isn't the fact that it consists of professionals the reason why the British army is supposed to be the best trained in the world?

Gracchi said...

I agree with Welshcakes. Rangel to me is making a sociological point about the way the Army recruits in the US which he argues makes it very unequally representative of America, I'm not so sure.