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Fight or fight the draft???

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posted on Jul, 16 2005 @ 05:29 PM
You know, I spent some time at Fort Campbell, Ky. (Home of the 101st Airborne Division) with some of the troops just returned from the Aghanistan operation (from the initial invasion) and they seemed odd to me. Strangely different from those of us who went through the Gulf War. They didn't sound anything like we did. They sounded much darker, and more skeptical. And they seemed tired and cynical. It was altogether different. And slightly disconcerting to me.

posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 10:29 AM

You are right, we have only (relatively) recently stopped having a draft. However, I was referring more to the principle behind it--the freedom to choose--and not to the actual draft itself.

Grady, re-reading one of my earlier posts in regards to that analogy, I did not mean that as you personally not going to help the woman. I meant that generically, mainly referring to the leaders of the nation--or neighborhood in this case. That's a political cliche that I'm not going to get into though, at least not in this thread (the leaders sending others to fight when they wouldn't even think of doing it themselves or having their sons/daughters go.)

What I don't understand is the need for a draft. If there's a cause that's worth fighting for, then why would you need to force people to go? And if they don't feel that it is worth fighting for, why would you want them out there anyways?

posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 08:56 PM
The Gulf War is a good example of a 'good war.' We already had a big standing army and when hostilities in Kuwait broke out, many, many young men and women went and joined. Unfortunately by the time they were done training, the Gulf War was history. They wound up being in Clinton's Army. And from what I've heard, it sucked.

The bottom line is, when the people believe in it, they come. BigTime.

posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 09:08 PM
Just out of curiosity what went wrong under Clinton's command? I never really got a chance to look at his policies seing as I was a bit young at the time.

Anyhow I agree, it takes a just war to get people enlisting. I remember hearing that after Pearl Harbor they didn't even need a draft because people were enlisting left and right in the days afterwards. From what I figure it'll take another 9/11 or Pearl Harbor to bring recruiting numbers back up. But let's hope it doesn't come down to that.

posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 09:33 PM
When (the guy who was, politically, against the Vietnam War) Clinton came along, he had always been anti-war, anti-military . At least he was percieved to be that way. When he took office, the military was in the midst of a major drawdown. He had no understanding of the military and what that affected and he did what he could to adopt and implement a basic attitude of political correctness. Coming from the Cold War days, before all that crap, my thinking is, political correctness has little place in the military. The military ain't college. It's life and death.

Morale suffered bigtime under Clinton.

Colin Powell even resigned shortly after Clinton was elected. He resigned b/c he disagreed w/Clinton's 'don't ask don't tell' policy.

posted on Jul, 24 2005 @ 08:57 AM
Robert Heinlen, who's book Starship Troopers was on the Sgt. Major of the USMC's reading list for privates last time I checked, once said, "If a country can't get its own citizens to defend it, let it die."

I can see how a draft could be necessary if a very rapid mobilization were absolutely vital in response to sudden aggression, however in my opinion a conflict which necessitates a draft strains Weinberger Doctrine to the limits both in terms of sufficient force and public support.

Another consideration is that the wartime draft may be fast becoming an anachronism. I severely doubt that two first world nations will ever fight another year long war. The mobility, striking power, and logistical capabilities of modern forces have brought manuever warfare (as opposed to attrition) to a unquestionable superiority. Modern wars are likely to increasingly be won in months if not weeks. The first side to show its back to the enemy in any way is likely to find itself either surrounded or in full retreat within days because the ability through battlefield awareness, rapid communication, mobility, and tremendous firepower to exploit an enemy weakness is immense and only growing. By the time your first load of draftees is ready to go, the war may be well on its way to decision if hostilities have already commenced.
The weapons of war are more complex as well. If you can draft and train troops fast enough, you certainly can't turn out the armor and artillery fast enough to equip them all- the war will be over before you've raised a substantial force.

So the question is really one of conscript militaries during peacetime or times of tension. A conscript military is less professional. Esprit de Corps, tradition, motivation are simply not going to be there. Volunteers don't just fight harder- they train harder and are therefore more proficient. On the right terrain, with the right commander, I'd take a volunteer division over a conscript force 10 times their size.
Chosin Resevoir- Chinese radio had announced that by 10 November (the birthday of the Corps) they would be the first force ever to destroy a Marine division. In fact it was the Chinese force that was destroyed. Exactly one month beyond the limit Chinese radio had declared, Chesty's Marines and their British companions had finished fighting their way out. Seven divisions of the PLA 9th Army Group were either destroyed or no longer combat effective and the Group was broken up and its men used to reinforce other units.

Conclusion? No draft. If we're going to fight wars like Iraq, we need to fight to win and do it fast, then get our boys home. That will be good for recruitment and retention. That's the answer.
Personally, and I'm no general I realize, I'd have sent 600,000 men to Iraq, declared a state of emergency and stop lossed the whole army for 1 year- paying a full reup bonus for that extra year, and used the extra men to put that country on serious lockdown. Najaf would look like lienency if I were in charge. Gridsearch every major city- house by house for weapons and former republican guards, ID cataloged every man woman and child, and any non-ID'd person found in Iraq afterward would be presumed a foreign combatant and sent to prison until checked out and issued ID. Then I'd have started throwing money at Iraqi men like nuts to recruit and train 200,000 men in the first year, pulling out 400 thousand of ours in their place, giving us a total force of 400,000- half iraqi, after one year. It would have cost an arm and a leg, but we'd have been out of Iraq 4 months ago and we'd have killed more terrorists and taken fewer casualties without developing a long term retention crisis.

As it is, I don't see any denying the fact that America is either going to have to institute conscription to the reserves or cut a couple of divisions. Frankly I suspect that the reorganization of the army into 48 brigades is partially designed to spread out the under-strength burden and hide the effects- basically precluding the "official" reduction of a division or two.

And yes I realize my idea of "fight to win and do it fast" sounds a little gestapo, but it's rooted in the lessons of this war as well as Vietnam. Going in huge and heavy handed is scarry and violates the privacy of innocent people, but it may very well save many of their lives and protect the future viablity of our forces from the need for a draft.

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