Salon has a story about the draft:
“Divisive military actions are ongoing in Iraq and Afghanistan. News accounts daily detail how the U.S. is stretched too thin there to be effective. And tensions are high with Syria and Iran and on the Korean Peninsula, with some in or close to the Bush White House suggesting that military action may someday be necessary in those spots, too.
[. . .] military experts and even some influential members of Congress are suggesting that if Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s prediction of a “long, hard slog” in Iraq and Afghanistan proves accurate, the U.S. may have no choice but to consider a draft to fully staff the nation’s military in a time of global instability.”
Here’s the fact. We’ve overcommitted in Iraq. We don’t have enough troops there now and next year the rotation schedules will have the military severely understaffed WITHOUT another conflict breaking out. So how are we going to defend the country if another conflict DOES break out?
From the story:
“The closest parallel to the Iraq situation is the British in Northern Ireland, where you also had some people supporting the occupying army and some opposing them, and where the opponents were willing to resort to terror tactics,” says Charles PeÃ±a, director of defense studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. “There the British needed a ratio of 10 soldiers per 1,000 population to restore order, and at their height, it was 20 soldiers per 1,000 population. If you transfer that to Iraq, it would mean you’d need at least 240,000 troops and maybe as many as 480,000.
“The only reason you aren’t hearing these kinds of numbers discussed by the White House and the Defense Department right now,” PeÃ±a adds, “is that you couldn’t come up with them without a return to the draft, and they don’t want to talk about that.”
The Pentagon has already had to double the deployment periods of some units, call up more reserves and extend tours of duty by a year — all highly unpopular moves. Meanwhile, the recent spate of deadly bombings in Baghdad, Falluja and other cities, and increasing attacks on U.S. forces throughout Iraq have forced the U.S. to reconsider its plans to reduce troop deployments.”
The Republicans are refusing to reinstate the draft purely for political reasons: it will cost them votes. Never mind that it will cost lives and threaten our security if there is a conflict in, say, Korea or Iran. Or something unforeseen. The country NEEDS the draft now, but they refuse. Party over country, as always.