Saturday, 2 August 2008

Do You Feel a Draft?

Cary G Dean

SSG George E. White

If I’ve learned nothing else in my twenty years of military service, it is to read the writing on the wall.

Immediately after the beginning of the current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, I knew that the government would have no choice but to eventually return to a system of conscription to replenish and sustain our armed forces.

Conscription, or the draft as some would call it to reduce the negative connotations, has been around as long as there have been armies.

During our American Revolution most of the standing Army was made up of volunteers, but some personnel were conscripted during periods of need.

The Constitution gave Congress the power to raise and support armies but it neither prohibited nor supported conscription.

During the war between the States, the Confederacy having a smaller population to draw on adopted a draft in 1862, including all white males between the ages of seventeen and fifty.

Altogether, the rebel army consisted of about 21 percent conscripted soldiers.

The North had a similar policy except if the draftee or his family had the money, he could pay a commutation fee of three hundred dollars or hire someone to serve in his stead.
( Like The Bush Family and Their Buddy's Do )

During World War I the United States relied primarily upon the draft.

72 percent of the wartime army of 3.5 million troops was raised in this manner.

WW2 saw approximately 10 million draftees inducted.

Vietnam brought the draft to the forefront of the American conscious during the 60’s and early 70’s because of the images of young people protesting American involvement in Southeast Asia and pictures of young men burning their draft cards were prevalent.

After November of 1975, the last of the draftees of this era were released and the Army went to, what we on active duty at that time, referred to as VOLAR, the Volunteer Army, which has been in place up to the present time.

At present we are operating in two theaters simultaneously in addition to our other commitments to our allies.

The military immediately initiated what is known as the ‘Stop Loss’ program.

This means personnel who have completed their enlistment or are about to retire will not be allowed to do so until released by competent authority, usually, the President or the Secretary of Defense.

Analysis of the situation in our current theaters of operation indicate that we will have to maintain adequate troop levels to stabilize and secure the areas we have occupied.

And where we maintain facilities for years into the foreseeable future and to ensure that the indigenous armies we train and equip as well as the governments we install are friendly to American interests and have the continuity necessary to survive.

'War is an evil inasmuch as it produces more wicked men
than it takes away.'
Immanuel Kant

About the Author:
SSG George E. White

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