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Do You Feel a Draft?

We don't believe that the draft will return, but this lengthy essay (actually, a booklet–over 10,000 words) makes us wonder. If this type of thing interests you, it's worth browsing. LINK. Note: We have no idea if its author is a reliable guide. Lew Rockwell linked to it, and we respect Rockwell, but we've done no other verification.

We won't get nervous about a draft until we see one or two well-known columnists start promoting the draft or writing about it as an option that must be considered. When that happens, you know the little snowball is surreptitiously getting started.

Here's an excerpt from the essay:

"The 'urban myth' about the draft's return keeps getting stronger. Some rather hard military facts persist as well. The Washington Monthly piece put it starkly: 'America can remain the world's superpower. Or it can maintain its current all-volunteer military. It can't do both.'

"As Moskos predicted, the U.S. was unable to maintain its forces in Iraq without a draft. The Pentagon used what many have called the 'backdoor draft.' Since early 2004, at least 40,000 national guardsmen and reserves (who make up 40% of those serving in Iraq) were compelled to remain on active duty after their tours were up--and more will soon face a similar fate. Most of those affected were told officially that their enlistment was extended until 2031! This is called 'stop loss,' an emergency measure which the President is supposed to be able to use only when Congress has declared war or a national emergency--which is not the case. Yet--like many other evidently unconstitutional measures--stop loss is a reality. In addition to the extensions of duty for the national guard and reserves, more than 5,500 of the 'Ready Reserves' have been called up for Iraq or Afghan duty. These are older men and women whose regular reserve duty has ended--including grandmothers and grandfathers edging toward retirement, as well as men and women raising families and pursuing careers who had no idea they would be called again to duty.

"Perhaps the worst sign for those who would keep an all-volunteer force while trying to run an empire is that military recruitment has suffered tremendously as the U.S. media feature stories about young Americans killed in combat. The Army and Marines have failed to meet their recruitment quotas, with the army running about 40% short. The most telling statistic is that 35-40% of those who enlisted in 2003 did not complete their first term--because of health or mental health problems, drug testing failures, desertion, or application for conscientious objector status."