Yahoo is blathering on about why there won’t be a draft. The main point seems to be that there won’t be a draft because drafting people won’t actually solve the military’s problems. I’m going to address that in a second, but let’s be clear.
The only reason there won’t be a draft is because it would be political suicide for the party whose administration enacted it. If the burden of this war has to be born more equitably across social classes, you’d see ugly like we’ve not seen in a long time and no politician wants to be responsible for that.
But here’s why Yahoo thinks we won’t have a draft and why I think they’re full of shit:
Yahoo: “But the downside, the report claims, would be a less effective fighting force, thanks to a sudden influx of draftees who would remain in uniform for much shorter spells than today’s all-volunteer soldiers.”
Me: What’s to prevent the military from keeping drafted soldiers as long as they want? Our “volunteer” soldiers are already doing a lot more for a lot longer than they signed up for.
Yahoo: The report says that while 91% of last year’s recruits were high school graduates, only 80% of U.S. residents aged 18 to 24 have attained that level of education.
Me: Ha, ha, ha. The armed forces are really trying to argue that many Americans are just too stupid to risk letting them into the military? Please. Then don’t draft drop-outs. Problem solved.
Yahoo: The CBO, which does not make recommendations but only charts options for lawmakers, estimates that somewhere between 27,000 and 165,000 would be drafted each year. That relatively small slice – some 2 million males turn 18 each year – could resurrect the problems seen in the Vietnam era when deferments and friendly draft boards kept some well-connected young men out of uniform.
Me: Yeah, well, guess what. Well-connected young men are staying out of uniform right now as it is. At least this would make going to war a real, actual possibility.
Yahoo: If it doesn’t make military or economic sense to launch the draft, what about the notion of fairness? Critics have claimed that minorities are over-represented in the all-volunteer military because they have fewer options in the civilian world.
Me: No, critics have claimed that poor people, many of whom are minorities, but many of whom are white, are over-represented in the all-volunteer military because they have fewer options in the civilian world.
Okay, back to my point. There’s no reason that the government can’t enact a draft that suits the military’s needs. This nonsense about not needing a draft is all a smoke screen and anyone who thought about it for very long would see that. What we’re asking from our military and supporting families right now is gravely unfair.
But no one really wants a draft. People who oppose the war don’t want a draft because, well, we oppose the war and don’t want to send anyone to fight it, not the folks who are there, not the folks who aren’t there.
And people who do support the wary don’t want a draft because it would solidify opposition to the war and make opposing the war seem urgent for most Americans in a way it just doesn’t now.