Trying to revive the 60s.

Charles Rangel wants the draft back not to aid our military in the war, but to create a 60s redux, with potential draftees undercutting the entire military effort:

Americans would have to sign up for a new military draft after turning 18 under a bill the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee says he will introduce next year.

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said Sunday he sees his idea as a way to deter politicians from launching wars.

“There’s no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm’s way,” Rangel said.

Rangel, a veteran of the Korean War who has unsuccessfully sponsored legislation on conscription in the past, has said the all-volunteer military disproportionately puts the burden of war on minorities and lower-income families.

Please note how Rangel relies upon the canard about the modern military’s make-up to support his demand for a draft. Also, note his less than ingenuous statement that politicians would be reluctant to prey upon their young constituents. That is not what he’s hoping for at all. He’s hoping for a renewal of the riots in the streets that characterized the 1960s.

As one wonderful post long ago pointed out, our world is made up of pinks and greys. The greys, whether voluntarily or under coercion, will go off and fight wars. The only thing the pinks will fight for in today’s world is the right not to fight.  As Michael Medved said in his book Right Turns, the war protests stopped when the draft stopped. That is, the pinks weren’t protesting the Vietnam war; they were protesting being asked to fight in that war — and their protests successfully ground the war to a halt. That’s what Rangel hopes will happen now.

I agree with Rangel on one thing: I like the idea of a universal draft, at least in theory. Certainly, it would be a good mixer-upper for young people (Paris Hilton consorting with a taxi-driver’s son, kind of thing), which might ease a lot of social and racial tensions in a country that’s become somewhat balkanized. Additionally, it gives kids useful skills and discipline before they head off to drink themselves silly in college — but I don’t think our culture will sustain it.

In Israel, the draft works because the country is under imminent and extreme threat, which forces everyone to be a grey. In Switzerland, it works because the country is under no threat at all, which makes service viable for the pinks. Here, with a real but still limited threat, and an anti-War movement working to downplay risks and reality, we have the perfect system: volunteer greys, since the pinks will never come on board. Thank you, greys!

del.icio.us | digg it

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Eli

    I agree, that is exactly what Rangel is doing. The Republicans were able to cut it off at the pass insisting on a vote, last time. He’s banking on the Democrats being able to keep the issue alive, give it legs, this time. Perhaps those supporting an all volunteer army in the House could unite, issue a statement saying the following list of congresspeople don’t support a draft so that the focus shifts back to the Democrat game playing where it belongs.

    The idea that everyone serve their country in some way is a good one, but it can’t be FORCED by a draft but must be INSPIRED by example and/or words. It would cure many ills in our country today, the sense of entitlement would lessen.

  • T.S.

    From another article on Rangle and the draft:

    “Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Standby Reserve, said he agreed that the U.S. does not have enough people in the military.

    “I think we can do this with an all-voluntary service, all-voluntary Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy. And if we can’t, then we’ll look for some other option,” said Graham, who is assigned as a reserve judge to the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.”

    States have been linking SSS registration to driver’s license registrations for years now and Selective Service has seen a surge in compliance.

    College and Canada won’t be options for evading the draft, either.

    I personally think we’re one terrorist attack away from reinstating the draft and hope that people who cheered for the war in Iraq don’t mind sending sons to the Middle East.

    Henry Kissinger recently said that the war in Iraq can’t be won, but maybe if armchair warriors donate their own spawn to the cause, we’ll have a chance?

  • Wayne Foyd

    Bookworm, I served for years from 1976 through 1996. If our goal as a nation is to have an effective fighting force then please, please do not bring back the draft. My “bootcamp” class was one of the first that was all volunteers. My next 6 years was spent serving with a mix of draftees and volunteers. While there were exceptions the vast majority of draftees I came into contact with were worthless and did the minimum needed to get through their required obligation period. I was glad to see them all go. All they did was complain and mark there time till they were “free”. Volunteers have professionalized the services. Please do not play socialization games with our military. Regards Wayne Floyd

  • Zhombre

    Having been drafted and served in the Army from 1973 to 1975 I concur with Wayne above. Reinstating the draft is a bad idea. Its end result will be an ineffective military burdened with unwilling and unmotivated recruits and an even more cumbersome bureaucracy. I won’t judge Rangel’s motives but I suspect this call for a new draft is nothing but a ploy to galvanize opposition to any military intervention and diminish the readiness of U.S. military forces.

  • JJ

    I don’t think the draft would be a bad thing. All of us of a certain age grew up knowing that the military was a part of our future, as it had been our father’s; somehow or other we survived. It didn’t scar, or otherwise psychologically damage us – it was the common lot – and it did have the positive aspect of taking a kid and more or less injecting a sense of responsibility into him.

    It began right at the beginning, too. That famous letter that notifies you of the physical is the first taste of a larger world for a lot of people. It doesn’t begin “Greetings,” either. The first sentence is: “You will report…” to wherever and whenever your scheduled for examination.

    You WILL report. I know it sounds funny, but even knowing it was coming, that was the first time a lot of raw youth had ever been positively told they were going to do something, with zero recourse. Not asked: told. We didn’t grow up to deal well with absolutes. A lot of kids didn’t know they could be ordered to do anything, and it came as a small shock. The learning process started right there, with that letter. There is a larger world out there, you’re in it, and it can occasionally make – and back up having made – demands on YOU, baby!

    Rangel of course is sleazy, and his motives are far from pure – but that doesn’t make it a terrible idea. The experience put knowledge of the world and a sense of direction into a lot of directionless kids over the years, both of which are good things.

    There is in every society a hard core of scrappers who like the military life, and (gasp!) even like fighting, and that’s who we have now in the volunteer corps. Perhaps we could leave them as they are, to do the fighting, but staff all the support units and do all the paperwork with draftees. Right now you have a lot of kids who volunteer to go because they’re motivated by the whole thing, and they end up behind a computer screen in Fort Benning ordering toilet paper. Well, somebody has to order the toilet paper, so make that a draftee and free up the motivated and willing kid to go do what he joined up for.

    That could be one approach, virtually side-by-side organizations (which you have anyway, active duty and support) staffed with, in the one case, volunteers, and in the other, draftees. Everybody goes through basic training, everybody learns what they need to learn militarily, then they separate into active or support roles.

    That doesn’t seem unreasonable. And it keeps the next generation of Bill Clintons honest: he wouldn’t get to take the “high road” and pretend it’s a matter of principle, when everybody knows he was just a coward. Now the military could say: “OK, so you have lofty ideals and fine sensibilities, that’s fine: you don’t have to actually run any risk. Here’s a typewriter, get to work.”

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    I agree with you Wayne. I think it’s a great idea in theory (many of my friends in Israel met their lifelong friends and spouses in the army), but it works in Israel because the draft is a necessity, not a social luxury. That is, I think the draft would work just as well here — getting enough soldiers in the field and providing social benefits — if we were genuinely afraid for our survival. As it is, although I maybe didn’t get the point enough clearly in my post, I think the draft would be a foolish exercise in America — and that was without even knowing your point about the huge quality difference between a professional and coerced Army.

  • http://www.kevincumblidge.com kevin

    Democrats=draft. Sounds like a winning calculus for the Repbublicans to me.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Even with a militia in Israel, Bookworm, they still act like some debutante at a party instead of in a war to the knife.

    Draft not going to help us in this war, that is for sure, because the political elites will remain weak and decadent.

  • jg

    The Iraq war in my part of the world has seen every part of America involved–mostly National Guard: often young people, often from small towns (we mostly are), but also from cities, too.
    White, black, Hispanic– some middle aged, most with family, many without. Many of the support personnel are women.

    All seem proud to serve as Americans.

    So my challenge to the Rangels of the world is: be proud of the America that fights for you. I’d love to draft Mr. Rangel to serve in Iraq, or other of his kind.

    But what pride would I find in him, or them?

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    The Left complains about Bush not sending people to fight his wars. One has to wonder about Rangel’s morality, where he would send people into war by force, not choice, just in order to make for himself a better anti-war position. Just who is the immoral guy here?

  • JJ

    Rangel’s just wrong, too. The Heritage Foundation has already established that the educational level of today’s volunteer force is in fact somewhat higher than that for the same ages in society at large; and so is their economic level.

    The people who join up are hardly people who have no choice, and Rangel – not to mention Kerry – is simply wrong, and insulting, to suggest otherwise.

  • jg

    Our First War made us Americans. It was fought mostly by volunteers. They hailed from every part of America– the western Frontier, to New England, to Georgia.

    The British and their Hessian employees had counted on the colonists to submit. The finest armies from Europe learned otherwise.

    It was the resolve of these myriad colonists of every group and type that changed the world.

    They would be free at any cost.

    That was our beginning. I do not see the World Wars, or today’s war, as differing.

  • Danny Lemieux

    That’s all we need – a draft as a doorway that lets anti-American Lefties into the military to erode its morale and capabilities from within. Who can forget connected parents using Congressmen to secure favors for their children in the military during the Vietnam years (Al Gore, for e.g.? The Charlie Rangels of the world would Europeanize our military in no time flat, just as the dogs of war gather against us.

  • Oldflyer

    I have mixed feelings about the draft. I do believe, in general, that military service is a positive experience for many young people. I am one example. In the aggregate, exposing more young people to the concept that group purpose sometimes trumps individual wishes would likely benefit our society. I also believe that it would be a very good thing to spread the sacrifices, which are inevitably necessary for our defense, more evenly throughout society.

    However, there is no question that our military efficiency would be degraded by a large influx of shorter term conscripts. I am sure that a fairly large core of professionals would still be necessary to do the “heavy lifting”. Integrating conscripts into this core could be tricky. Maintaining separate conscript units could lead to conflict and lower morale.

    Rangel is posturing. It will never happen. But, a part of my “military mind” would like to see it.

  • Oldflyer

    I have mixed feelings about the draft. I do believe, in general, that military service is a positive experience for many young people. I am one example. In the aggregate, exposing more young people to the concept that group purpose sometimes trumps individual wishes would likely benefit our society. I also believe that it would be a very good thing to spread the sacrifices, which are inevitably necessary for our defense, more evenly throughout society.

    However, there is no question that our military efficency would be degraded by a large influx of shorter term conscripts. I am sure that a fairly large core of professionals would still be necessary to do the “heavy lifting”. Integrating conscripts into this core could be tricky. Maintaining separate conscript units could lead to conflict and lower morale.

    Rangel is posturing. It will never happen. But, a part of my “military mind” would like to see it.

  • Oldflyer

    Oops! Sorry.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    I’m for military draft of illegal and legal immigrants as a way to short cut the citizen process and is also a sure fire way to teach English as well as skill sets needed for higher income jobs. In addition to America benefiting instead of just you know, social welfare sucking off the government teat. Anyways.

    People like Rangel don’t see the military as a way to better one self, which is why if you did have a draft, you would see people like Rangel in the politicial circles try to undermine and destroy the military when it tries to do good works. like JROTC in San Fran, like Annapolis with the women discipline problems. You think the Left is causing problems, wait until they get more power via government drafts and can decide who to ax and who to ship out.

    If you read CDR Salamander, you already know the problems that can result from a volunteer force yet in peace time. The peace rot known to all those who seek to be prepared for war, is a very real and unavoidable thing.

    The draft works in this brutal way. All those 4 year term guys who want to get out, they get shipped to some battlefield with no logistics, no training, and no competent leadership to do the dieing until some competent leadership and skills develop. It’s how they did it in WWII as well as the 2nd Punic Wars with citizen soldiers. Citizen soldiers by definition, do not spend 10 to 30 years perfecting the art of warfare and mayhem.

    Citizen soldiers are no match for a professional force. Which is why they need combat experience, but the only way to get combat experience is to throw them into the breach and let them die until someone smart takes over due to the casualties.

    Rangel thinks that with a draft, nobody will be sending the military anywhere because Rangel thinks the military is just there as a boondockle like social welfare. It has no “purpose” there, there you know, to Rangel.

    However, it was this kind of peace rot thinking that got the WWII guys and the WWII dough boys creamed. Compare now with those times. Those times we had to have good leadership because the government thought that there would be no need for an army. So the soldiers weren’t prepared, it was the generals like Patton and Pershing that got things up and running so that the troops stood a chance.

    WIth today’s increasingly political and media savy enemy, along with 24 hour micromanagement from top to bottom on the battlefield, the ability of a general to free form think is now severely curtailed. So you cannot depend upon the generals to win your wars for you anymore. Good example would be OIF 1. If you just do whatever the generals want you to do, you are going to get this country into trouble. Politicians must set political goals, they cannot just tell people that whatever they come up with is what they will go with. Where’s the goals, the generals don’t decide political policy, what is the Goal? Martial law in Iraq after OIF? What. Nevermind, different subject.

    So, with advanced technology and media, we have to depend upon the individual soldiers instead of the generals and politicians now. (as if depending upon politicians ever got you anything in the first place) And to get the most bang for our buck, we need professional soldiers, who know how to use technology, who can interface with Iraqis and avoid atrocities and do the legal mumbo jumbo as the ACLU guns for them without the protection of either the President or the Generals.

    I don’t trust the government bureacracy. They aren’t looking out for individuals. Bureacrats look out for the status quo, who they can kiss up to for favors and career options, and so forth. Putting the lives of Americans at home at the heels of those who aren’t interested in patriotism or duty, is a bad idea. And this won’t change if you are in the military or not. The military has the same bureacracy, the only difference is, the people IN the bureacracy are volunteers who volunteered for their own reasons. As thus, their reasons for being there allows them more competence and less corruption than DC. The health of a system is determined by the people that run that system. If you got good people running a bad system, good things will happen, i.e. Marine Corps in Fallujah or some other hell hole on this planet.

    Uncle Jimbo at blackfive advocated that we should have a military draft, a peacecorps draft, and a Americorps draft. Interesting, but not exactly bullet proof as a plan.

    Look. I’m a believer in desperate situations call for desperate actions. Iraq right now is desperate, therefore I can justify doing a lot of things there, that you wouldn’t normally do elsewhere. But here in America. Where are the suicide bombers? Where is the DESPERATION that is needed before we can convince people to fight? I don’t see it, I don’t see the need.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    I’m a big believer in military necessity. I don’t believe in doing anything until I see a Need to do it. Getting a draft cause people “wish” to see more patriotism and will in America and “wish” to get a bigger army is ridiculous on its face. You don’t face a brutal and ruthless enemy in the first war of the 21st century with WISHES, you know.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    The Founding Fathers disliked a large standing army. That is what a draft is, people. That is what Rangel wants. A large standing army that isn’t required to fight in America’s defense. Does anyone really think that Rangel and Co are demanding the draft so we can ship 5 million Americans to fight North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria?

    Give me a break. The politicians will never declare Total War unless we make them, or our enemies kill enough of them anyways.

    If you have a large standing army and NO WARS for it to fight in, what do you think will happen when the Left subverts the military? If you want to trust the corrupt, power hungry, and totalitarian bent of the Left with a bigger army, then by all means, go ahead, but don’t blame me when they take you away for sensitivity re-education.

    I’m thinking in the hundred year span, the 500 year span, not this piddly little “next 30 years” Long War thing. That aint’ long, people.

    Would I support a full draft if we were at Total War? yes. But we’re not at Total War. Until we are, no draft, no way.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Testing.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    The Founding Fathers disliked a large standing army. That is what a draft is, people. That is what Rangel wants. A large standing army that isn’t required to fight in America’s defense. Does anyone really think that Rangel and Co are demanding the draft so we can ship 5 million Americans to fight North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria?

    Give me a break. The politicians will never declare Total War unless we make them, or our enemies kill enough of them anyways.

    If you have a large standing army and NO WARS for it to fight in, what do you think will happen when the Left subverts the military? If you want to trust the corrupt, power hungry, and totalitarian bent of the Left with a bigger army, then by all means, go ahead, but don’t blame me when they take you away for sensitivity re-education.

    I’m thinking in the hundred year span, the 500 year span, not this piddly little “next 30 years” Long War thing. That aint’ long, people.

    Would I support a full draft if we were at Total War? yes. But we’re not at Total War. Until we are, no draft, no way.

    123456

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Vigorous arguments here.

    Jimbo

    And some good solutions to the military manpower problem here.

    Blackfive