This past weekend I happened to read a well-thought article by a former Marine concerning the reinstitution of the draft (it was either in Rolling Stone or Newsweek, I can't recall which). The Marine's thesis was basically that until the haves join the have-nots in the military, corporate and political America will not properly support our men and women in arms.
While there's a definite degree of logic to his argument, I would have to disagree on his theory that a draft would ultimately be good for the Armed Forces. It would not.
Already, especially in the so-called "easy" services (basically, everyone but the Marine Corps), there is a huge dearth of discipline and more than a little lack of proper training. Not only that, there is more than a little lack of motivation, even within the ranks. And this, my friends, is in a military that is already "all-volunteer."
Can you imagine what would happen should we start forcing people into the military?
Look at it this way: our military, specifically the Army, is already far too small. In fact, given my hypothetical leanings (albeit supported by some tried and true experts), the United States Army is AT LEAST two divisions too small (that's roughly 30,000 to 40,000 people, depending on how one counts). I would go ahead and state that the Army is more likely five divisions too small, given what we're trying to do in the world.
Currently, the Active Army consists of less than a half-a-million soldiers. Drafting personnel simply to bring it to the strength that it should be would require (by my count) at least 75,000. In the end, that would be more than 1 in 10 people forced into the military.
1 in 10.
Sure, some of those (most even, maybe) would just grin-and-bear it and serve their time, but some of those would fight it the entire two or three years the military makes them wear a uniform.
Imagine the headaches NCOs and officers already have with the shit-bag soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen already in service. Now compound that with people that didn't even volunteer for the shit they're going to have to put up with.
Now imagine that those people are the sons and daughters of high-ranking politicians, or rich businessmen, and the military (and government itself) is likely to have a few lawsuits on hand. And Heaven forbid if one of those draftees is killed in combat. Oh, shit, what a shitty shit-storm.
Of course, the government can always do the Vietnam route and draft the "less fortunate," but the end result will be the same, what with the ACLU and other so-called "liberal social" organizations running rampant.
No, what we need to do is restructure the military (again, I know) to streamline personnel and save money. In addition, we need to slowly rebuild the base active services to be about 15 to 20% larger than they are today. Reagan managed to do it without a draft, so what's the problem now?
Hah... don't get me started on bratty American youth who feel that they deserve privilege in this country, and don't have to earn it.
Anyway, there's more to this than I have the time or the will to write in a single blog, but feel free to ask the tough questions and/or tear me a new asshole.
Vote for Clint Eastwood (a volunteer in the Army).