Here is an article from Salon.com regarding the issue of the draft being bandied about. If you consider the current escalations in Iraq and the
trend.. and consider the number of troops needed to get security under control.. The Bush administration may very well have no choice.
Oiling up the draft machine?
The Pentagon is quietly moving to fill draft board vacancies nationwide. While officials say there's no cause to worry, some experts aren't so
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By Dave Lindorff
Nov. 3, 2003 | The community draft boards that became notorious for sending reluctant young men off to Vietnam have languished since the early
1970s, their membership ebbing and their purpose all but lost when the draft was ended. But a few weeks ago, on an obscure federal Web site devoted to
the war on terrorism, the Bush administration quietly began a public campaign to bring the draft boards back to life.
"Serve Your Community and the Nation," the announcement urges. "If a military draft becomes necessary, approximately 2,000 Local and Appeal Boards
throughout America would decide which young men ... receive deferments, postponements or exemptions from military service."
Local draft board volunteers, meanwhile, report that at training sessions last summer, they were unexpectedly asked to recommend people to fill some
of the estimated 16 percent of board seats that are vacant nationwide.
Especially for those who were of age to fight in the Vietnam War, it is an ominous flashback of a message. Divisive military actions are ongoing in
Iraq and Afghanistan. News accounts daily detail how the U.S. is stretched too thin there to be effective. And tensions are high with Syria and Iran
and on the Korean Peninsula, with some in or close to the Bush White House suggesting that military action may someday be necessary in those spots,
Not since the early days of the Reagan administration in 1981 has the Defense Department made a push to fill all 10,350 draft board positions and
11,070 appeals board slots. Recognizing that even the mention of a draft in the months before an election might be politically explosive, the Pentagon
last week was adamant that the drive to staff up the draft boards is not a portent of things to come. There is "no contingency plan" to ask Congress
to reinstate the draft, John Winkler, the Pentagon's deputy assistant secretary for reserve affairs, told Salon last week.
Increasingly, however, military experts and even some influential members of Congress are suggesting that if Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's
prediction of a "long, hard slog" in Iraq and Afghanistan proves accurate, the U.S. may have no choice but to consider a draft to fully staff the
nation's military in a time of global instability.
"The experts are all saying we're going to have to beef up our presence in Iraq," says U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, the New York Democrat. "We've
failed to convince our allies to send troops, we've extended deployments so morale is sinking, and the president is saying we can't cut and run. So
what's left? The draft is a very sensitive subject, but at some point, we're going to need more troops, and at that point the only way to get them
will be a return to the draft."