Saturday, June 03, 2006

USA: Is the Draft Returning?

During the Vietnam war due to a constraint on military forces the United States instituted a draft. There had been previous drafts during the War of 1812, the Civil War, WWI, WWII and, the Korean war. After the draft was ended the military rebuilt itself from Vietnam which had decimated the US forces. They rebuilt it as a all volunteer army and, have had overwhelming dominance since.

The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have weighed heavily on US forces. There has been declining enlistment rates, rapidly declining reenlistment rates and, a strain on the overall military. Some soldiers have been redeployed to Iraq multiple times and, there has been growing rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and soldiers going AWOL. In a way to try to counter this the US has a stop-loss program and has increasingly lowered its standards for military duty and, now even recruits at some high schools.

Despite all this the public eye for a draft is heavily opposed both by the government and the majority of citizens. A bill for mandatory military service was introduced to the house in 2003, but was overwhelmingly defeated. At the time there was a lot of media coverage of the event. Earlier this year in February 2006 another bill has got fairly little attention other then for a few online sites. The bill is the Universal National Service Act of 2006 introduced by Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel that would require mandatory military service.

The Act would require all Americans aged 18 to 42 to serve two years of mandatory service, which could be extended by the President if they so wish. The only exceptions of that group are students in full time secondary school who may first finish high school, people with disabilities, volunteer members of the armed forces, and conscientious objectors. If their objection is approved they will have to serve civilian service in compensation. The last time a Conscription bill was introduced it was overwhelmingly defeated, but with a strained military in Iraq and Afghanistan and, no foreseeable timetable for withdrawal the results of the bill may be different.

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6 Comments:

Blogger betmo said...

yeah- but midterm elections are coming in november- and people here are kinda pissed- so i doubt that it will happen this round. 2007- maybe.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

I don't think it will happen this time either, but it will quite possibly come closer then last time. What is most worrying is the lack of media coverage of the issue.

1:04 PM  
Blogger betmo said...

98% of our media outlets are controlled by 2 or 3 corportations- time/warner, clear channel, etc. NOW on pbs did a great show last year about this with- i think- barry diller. anyhoo- it doesn't surprise me that the msm isn't covering it- my mom listened to limbaugh(to get intel) and he was looking into secret legislation being passed by the congress. anything is possible.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

Well yeah thats what we bloggers are here for to root out these issues that aren't being covered. The bills that go in the house are all on the library of congress website, the only problem is actually finding them as there are so many.

9:08 PM  
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5:27 PM  

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