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25 September 2004 @ 01:53 pm
a national draft?  
Yo -- this is for all my more politically-minded friends. Which is... probably everyone, since I have a hard time coming up with someone *less* politically knowledgeable than me about American current affairs, even those of you who don't live in this country. But yes. All you smart people who watch The West Wing and know things:

I've received a bunch of email forwards recently telling me that congress is trying to quietly pass universal draft legislation.

So, like the good little citizen of a democratic nation that I am, I looked up the bills online at thomas.loc.gov -- H.R. 163 and S.89. (which I assume are just the same bill, with HR standing for house-of-representatives and S for senate... right?)

Neither of them have had any official action posted since January/February 2003. Does that mean the people sending these forwards are late to the party and panicking for no reason? Or am I looking in the wrong place? Or are you all going to laugh at me for this being the first time I've heard of this?

The text of the bill(s) is here if you feel like reading bullet points, and because I like posting links to things.

Apologies for spamming your LJ friends' pages a lot... but them's the breaks when I no longer live with keenween...
 
 
feel: confusedconfused
hear: Silverchair - Anthem for the Year 2000
 
 
 
Wolfegreywords on September 26th, 2004 05:45 am (UTC)
From what I've heard of this bill as well as what I just read of the text itself, it will never pass. The Democratic party doesn't really want it. The Republican party, should they let it go onto the floor, will be caught in a double bind. If they pass it, they're seen as heartless and will lose many over the issue of having women drafted as well. If they vote it down, they're seen as hypocrites for wanting to wage war but not providing the necessary forces (not to mention the misogynistic argument).

Moreover, should this bill go through, there is one ginormous loophole they'd have to close. It's called the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. How does that come into play? Well, when you go in for your physical and mental examinations, inform everyone you are inspected by that you are bisexual.

Observe: (quoted text copied from this site)
A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES SHALL BE SEPARATED FROM THE ARMED FORCES UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE IF ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING FINDINGS IS MADE AND APPROVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PROCEDURES SET FORTH IN SUCH REGULATIONS:

[[skip to the appropriate finding]]

2. THAT THE MEMBER HAS STATED THAT HE OR SHE IS A HOMOSEXUAL OR BISEXUAL, OR WORDS TO THAT EFFECT, UNLESS THERE IS A FURTHER FINDING, MADE AND APPROVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PROCEDURES SET FORTH IN THE REGULATIONS, THAT THE MEMBER HAS DEMONSTRATED THAT HE OR SHE IS NOT A PERSON WHO ENGAGES IN, ATTEMPTS TO ENGAGE IN, HAS A PROPENSITY TO ENGAGE IN, OR INTENDS TO ENGAGE IN HOMOSEXUAL ACTS.


For all those of use who lived in King House for any period of time, I doubt we'd have any trouble verifying that we are people who "engage in, attempt to engage in, have a propensity to engage in, or intend to engage in homosexual acts." As such, even if they do draft you, they are required by their own policy to immediately discharge you. How remarkable.
Allie O'Nalliesings on September 26th, 2004 07:07 pm (UTC)
I heard it on very good authority last week that the President doesn't have any intention of ever instituting a draft. Even if all of the above mentioned unlikely things happened and it passed, he would almost certainly veto it.
dingcdingc on September 26th, 2004 10:30 pm (UTC)
Oh the draft, oh the draft…
First, and probably most importantly, the military is against the draft on all levels. Morale would drop and we really don’t want to increase the size of the military right now. Despite the talk, the military can’t afford to build 1-2 more divisions right now. Operations in Iraq are currently costing about 4 billion per month and Afghanistan costing probably about 1 billion per month. So throwing in 20-40,000 extra people isn’t a good option right now.

Second, it would be political suicide. I’ve heard two reasons for the draft; one was from Charles Sumter (Spelling) who is a democrat from New York. He said that more “middle/upper” American kids should share the burden of war. And he threw in the racism reason. Well, the racism thing can be blown out of the water (considering the share of KIA is nearly proportional to the population and fewer blacks serve in front line combat units.) His other argument could be agreed or disagreed with. My opinion is that military service is a career choice and not a forced choice to be an American citizen. It’s like saying there needs to be a police or firefighter draft.

The current argument is that we need more soldiers. While this is true, there is no reason for the draft. To be technical, the guys we really need are Military Police, Special Forces, Civil Affairs, and Intelligence guys and gals. Creating the draft isn’t going to fill those roles. Actually we need those people far more than we need cannon fodder. The biggest risk isn’t that we have enough basic front line soldiers but that we lose the best ones we have. Currently there is a “people” war between the CIA, DIA, and FBI (and probably more agencies) about hiring away the best agents. One of those agencies is going to be hurting (I hear it’s the FBI right now). Add to this that the civilian sector can offer far more money to people with valuable skills than any government agency. Allow this to be a good example as to why we can’t just expand the military. That means more soldiers which means less pay for all and that means less experienced.

Just to end this, they’ll never be another draft. IF, such an unlikely event occurs in the future that would require a large amount of forces (like, say an invasion), then there would enough people volunteering. Think after Pearl Harbor.

One more thing, the Reserves and National Guard did get screwed in the Iraq War. There is a picture of a truck in Iraq with the sign “one weekend a month my ass.” So I do expect a sizable increase in the next few years of the active military. But as of right now I don’t think it’s a good idea.