Example: [congress.org, 2004]
Pending Draft Legislation Targeted for Spring 2005
The Draft will Start in June 2005
There is pending legislation in the House and Senate (twin bills:
$28 million has been added to the 2004 Selective Service System (SSS) budget to prepare for a military draft that could start as early as
The pentagon has quietly begun a public campaign to fill all 10,350 draft board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide.. Though this is an unpopular election year topic, military experts and influential members of congress are suggesting that if Rumsfeld's prediction of a "long, hard slog" in Iraq and Afghanistan [and a permanent state of war on "terrorism"] proves accurate, the U.S. may have no choice but to draft.
Congress brought twin bills,
Dodging the draft will be more difficult than those from the Vietnam era.
College and Canada will not be options. In
Even those voters who currently support US actions abroad may still object to this move, knowing their own children or grandchildren will not have a say about whether to fight. Not that it should make a difference, but this plan, among other things, eliminates higher education as a shelter and includes women in the draft.
The public has a right to air their opinions about such an important decision.
Please send this on to all the friends, parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and cousins that you know. Let your children know too — it's their future, and they can be a powerful voice for change!
Please also contact your representatives to ask them why they aren't telling their constituents about these bills &mdash and contact newspapers and other media outlets to ask them why they're not covering this important story.
Origins: As U.S. military involvement in Vietnam came to an end in 1973, so did the draft. For the first time since the days of World
As recent U.S. military involvement in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq has required the largest commitment of American troops since the mid-1970s, and the military has had to double the deployment periods of some units, call up additional reserves, and extend tours of duty by a year in order to maintain adequate staffing levels, the specter of a resurrected draft has been looming on the mind of many a young person. Although the possibility of a reinstatement of conscription cannot be ruled out, a renewal of the draft anytime soon appears unlikely, and one implemented as early as June 2005 seems rather improbable.
As reflected in the message quoted above, the draft issue has largely come to public attention due to pair of bills introduced in Congress (S.89 and H.R.163) which seek to obligate all citizens and residents of the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 26 (both male and female) to perform a two-year period of national service (not necessarily as part of the military), and the Selective Service's advertising for volunteers to man
The Selective Service also maintained that the timing of ads to fill draft board positions was coincidental, part of a process of filling expired board positions that had been underway for several years:
That means hiring replacements has been going on for several years. Confusion arose in recent weeks when someone posted the hiring notice on www.defendamerica.mil, a Pentagon Web site about the war on terror, even though the Selective Service System is not a part of the Defense Department.
"Serve Your Community and the Nation — Become a Selective Service System Local Board Member," it said.
Several newspapers around the world wrote stories, leading to questions about whether the government was planning to restart drafting enlistees. The stories appeared as news media wrote increasingly about the Pentagon's extensive mobilization of National Guard and Reserve troops for duty in Iraq.
"It was a case of bad timing because of the war in Iraq and news about deployments," Pentagon spokesman Maj. Michael Shavers said of the Web posting. "It created a tempest in a teacup."
"The draft would be the Army's worst nightmare," said retired Lt. Col. Leonard Wong, now a research professor at the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks. "We have a high quality Army because we have people who want to be in it. Our volunteer force is really a professional force. You can't draft people into a profession."
A fundamental problem with a draft today, experts say, is that the historic two-year period of conscription isn't enough time to get a return on the investment in training that modern soldiers require. "There's just too much equipment [draftees] could break," Pike said.
A related problem: the cost of feeding, clothing, training and paying a large influx of unskilled personnel would gobble up funds the military needs for other purposes.
"We're a personnel-based institution," Wong said. "If we have a lot more people walking in the door, it would suck up all of our resources."
"It will take 193 days from the time that we get started until the first person is presented to the Department of Defense," said Alyce Burton, a spokeswoman for the Selective Service. It would then take a year and a half to two years to train the draftees and form them into new combat units, Krepinovich said.
There is no definitive answer to the question of whether or not the U.S. will reinstitute a draft. Obviously some thought has been given to the issue, but the possibility that such thoughts will be turned into reality appears rather small at this point, and President Bush has stated that there will be no resumption of the draft during his presidency. Still, conditions and attitudes can change very
Last updated: 6 October 2004
Gross, Karen. "Feel the Draft." Philadelphia City Paper. 20 September 2001. Hulse Carl. "Bill to Restore the Draft Is Defeated in the House." The New York Times. 6 October 2004. Kelly, Jack. "Rumor Aside, Draft's Return Most Unlikely." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 24 May 2004. Lindorff, Dave. "Oiling up the Draft Machine?" Salon.com. 3 November 2003. Associated Press. "Selective Service Notice Creates Flurry of Press Reports Suggesting Return of Draft." USA Today. 10 November 2003.