Monday, April 26, 2004

March to War ... Chilly Draft in December?

The Administration as Fred Kaplan reports for Slate is on the path of modernizing the nuclear arsenal of the United States of America.

Meanwhile, Phil Carter for Slate asks if our troops have been stretched to the breaking point? You can see Phil Carter's words on the topic also at his blog the Intel Dump.

Meanwhile Wunderdog blog asks if we could scrounge up $87 billion from forgone tax cuts in order to increase incentives for enlistment and re-enlistment to prevent a D-R-A-F-T.

I would argue that this won't happen. To some extent bonuses for renlistment are already being offered. However, it's much more in line for the philosophy of the ruling cabal in order to (a) defer the decision until past the November and then (b) institute a conscription / draft of eligible males in order to escalate their war machine.

Why pay recruits extra when you can just use Selective Service in order to get all the warm bodies that you need?

You think I jest or exaggerate? Dan Froomkin of the WaPo has shown that the Administration has carefully not ruled out a draft in December despite their rhetoric implying that they don't have plans to do so now.

***
It's become a daily question to White House press secretary Scott McClellan: Does the president support a return to the military draft?

And here's what McClellan says: "That is just not something that's under consideration at this time."

Similarly, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told newspaper executives yesterday that a draft "is not useful to do at the present time."

But that doesn't really answer the question that is being asked: Is Bush thinking about reinstating the draft in the future?
[emphasis added]
***

Remember when the word was that the Presiden't hadn't made a plan to attack Iraq, but it turns out in retrospect according to Woodward that just weeks after 911 that he'd ordered Rumsfeld and Tommy Franks to produce a war plan for Iraq as well as transferring hundreds of millions of dollars without Congressional oversight in order to fund the policy.

Well the President similarly has no policy to institute the draft at this time, except that he is going to do it after the November election and say he suddenly made up his mind. Except that he is already planning to and the Selective Service is busily preparing for it.

***
So, at this point, GW is stuck between a rock and a hard place on the draft. He actually needs to call for it now, but it would be political suicide. At the same time, to keep extending the tours of duty of the men in Iraq and Afghanistan is making him more and more unpopular with the service people and with their loved ones back home. Many wives have gone public, as well as parents who are now questioning the war itself because of the extensions of duty being demanded by Bush and Rumsfeld. Though our government says it has all the troops it needs; there is no way we can maintain the 700 plus bases in the 123 countries and continue these two wars, and possible other wars that may be started by Muslim and Arabs in other countries who are objecting more strenuously to Bush’s policies in Iraq and his new policies in Palestine.

There is no doubt in my mind and in the mind of many other military men that as soon as the election is over that Bush will call for a draft to replenish the armed forces—that is, if he wins. If he loses, it’s hard to say what he might do. If the college students vote against him, he may just institute a draft to punish them for their disloyalty to him.
[emphasis added]
***

In my mind, if Bush loses he will likely leave that difficult choice to Kerry. To be fair, I am not sure that Kerry would not call for a draft. However, White House lies aside it is almost assured that Bush will in fact call for a draft. The writing is in fact on the wall. It's as much as a done deal effectively as invading Iraq was.

I am quite bitter about this, because I believe that the right thing to do is to expand the volunteer army and change the kinds of soldiers we're training for so that the deployments wouldn't be as long for the critical specialties. In the short term, if there is a manpower shortage then the conservation of soldiers applies here and we have to call up more Reserves and National Guard. There are of course more soldiers elsewhere, but we'd have to empty our bases in Europe and the Pacific basin, something the generals are already rumbling about, and this may not be a viable option given the tensions over Korea and Taiwan.

However that's not what is going to happen. An increase in the volunteer armed forces model would create a great deal of cost through the uses of incentives in order to recruit and retain personell. Given the increased costs projected already just to maintain the present force structure, and the unpopularity of the draft the decision is likely to be punted down the road.

Oh and that myth that we are meeting or exceeding the recruitment and renlistment goals? Well they did it by lowering the goals from the year previous. Get it? They reset the goal, and then praise themselves for exceeding it?

Well the absolute number of soldiers recruited is down, year over year, based on my info. Weird how you can take a stumble and convert it into a mighty leap forward by just resetting the goal line right?

And the situation is more dire than reported, which is why the draft is going to come back in style - but only after those pesky November elections are underneath the belt and a crisis is left to brew and everyone will be crying out for more soldiers and the Bush administration will so reluctantly say, ah but if only we had a draft!

And then ever so reluctantly and gravely, both parties in Congress will pass it, because nobody will be to blame because everyone will know we need the draft at that point to win in Iraq!!!

I can see it now. Well I'm too old to be drafted, and my youngest male relative I believe will pass the 26 year old bench mark this coming August so I don't probably have to worry about him getting drafted.

However a lot of good old Americans are going to get screwed by this deal, and their kids are gonna be sent to die, and the poor bastards they won't even know why.

I feel bad for my country, that they're being played for chumps, but maybe that will be what it takes to wake them up from this fevered dream that America seems to be wandering about in shambling and disarranged.

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