Will There Be a Reimposition of the Draft?
So far, the military has avoided using a draft by satisfying its manpower demands through "stop loss" orders. Since last November, the US Army has extended its stop loss orders to cover active-duty soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, preventing some 7000 soldiers from either retiring or being discharged." In an article entitled "Draft Creep" - by which term he refers to stop loss orders -- David Wiggins comments,"Draft creep is a sneaky draft. There is no congressional debate, and no new law is passed for the President to sign. Nonetheless, people are being forced into military service against their will. In other words, they are being drafted, conscripted, or whatever you care to call it. The government chooses to call it"Stop Loss," and it applies to members of the armed forces. After all, what better way is there to initiate a sneaky draft than to start with the group of people least likely to object to a draft, and at the same time, with the least legal rights to fight one?" But stop loss orders are a short term fix, at best. Already the murmuring of discontent within military ranks (not to mention their families) is rising. Enlistment in those agencies is also falling due to such draconian measures.
On the state level, there have been unmistakable moves in that direction. For example, in Alaska, Selective Service registration is now a requirement to get a Permanent Fund check - the annual"oil dividend" check that amounted to over $1,000 last year. Almost every eligible Alaskan registers for the check."The state plans to forward information from the dividend applications to the federal government, which will automatically register the eligible Alaska males who haven't already signed up. Under federal law, men are supposed to register with the Selective Service within 30 days of turning 18. Failure to register is technically punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000. But a lot of people don't do it."
No one expects such a dramatic and controversial move as the imposition of a draft prior to the November elections. Until November, everything Bush does will be about re-election. Even the release of those explosive military records is an attempt to defuse the controversy surrounding his possible-AWOL and to do so in February rather than in October. The Bush administration wants to explode any political bombshells right here and right now while there are several months of recovery time possible. The clumsiness with which the administration is proceeding may negate the strategy, of course, but I'm betting (and so are they) that people will soon be bored with hearing about Bush's military dental records. Nothing short of a sleazy sex-scandal or the spousal murder of a pregnant wife can sustain public interest for a period extending into months. But, if Bush is re-elected, then I expect a draft to be imposed in early '05.
If Kerry is elected, then probably not. I say"probably" because Kerry is not in principle but merely
For more commentary, please see McBlog.
For more commentary, please see McBlog.
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