Does More War Require a Draft?
August 24, 2006
Editor's Note: In this guest essay, political analyst Brent Budowsky says policymakers and pundits favoring a wider war in the Middle East must be asked about ominous signs that the Bush administration's proclivity for war means some form of military draft is in America's future:
The involuntary recall of 3,500 Marines to active duty, required by personnel shortages for the war in Iraq, on top of previous extensions of deployment schedules for active-duty troops and reserves, demands an answer to this question: Is America headed for a return to the draft, either by that traditional name or in some other form?
The forced recall of 3,500 Marines is a clarion call
warning to all Americans, and along with other distortions of deployment
practices, is now, in effect, a form of reviving the draft.
Listening to the President, Vice President Cheney, the various neoconservative policy pushers, their vision appears to be a vision of endless and permanent world war, with expanding and ever more dangerous fields
of combat, when we do not even have the troops strength to meet our commitments today.
Having been involved in intelligence and military matters for more than two decades, this much is clear: we cannot sustain our commitments today; with any additional wars to fight, we will be left with only two choices: either inadequate forces creating more Iraqs, or adequate forces that can only be maintained through a revival of the draft, no matter what it is called. That is the fact.
When these neoconservative voices rush to the airwaves to proclaim the wars they would like (others) to fight, Democrats, Republicans and all in the media should ask:
If you want war with Iran, where will you get the troops, and will you bring back the draft?
If you want war with Syria, where will you get the troops, and will you bring back the draft?
If you want war with North Korea, where will you get the troops, and will you bring back the draft?
It is high time and long overdue that the United States resumes its role of world diplomatic and political leadership and brings in people of world-wide credibility and stature to at least test the waters for game-changing diplomacy.
For those who prefer the course of war, we must all ask, on every occasion: for the wars you would like to fight, where will you get the troops, and are you prepared to bring back the draft?
Brent Budowsky was an aide to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen on intelligence issues, and served as Legislative Director to Rep. Bill Alexander when he was Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Leadership. Budowsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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