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Old 11-19-2006   #1
Culpeper
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Default Rep. Rangel Will Seek to Reinstate Draft

Associated Press

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans would have to sign up for a new military draft after turning 18 if the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has his way.

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said Sunday he sees his idea as a way to deter politicians from launching wars and to bolster U.S. troop levels insufficient to cover potential future action in Iran, North Korea and Iraq.

"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rangel said.
I just don't get his philosophy at all.
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Old 11-19-2006   #2
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Rep Rangel has been pushing this type of legislation since at least 2001. Everytime the republicans want to make the democrats look bad they dredge up his legislation amending and instituting the draft. It's a basic FUD tactic. His original statements make sense in context. As in other discussions the US military is primarily made up of rural youth who are fairly well educated and hopelessly middle class. Senator Rangel wants to force the the service of the elite and urban along with the middle class. Having read some more Clausewitz I have to agree. When the military is an elite class under represented in the populace governance by the populace is impossible and freedom hinges on the doldrums of disinterest. I know the military does not necesarily desire nor wish a draft. Yet the military is foreign policy in action and those who understand it can make learned decisions.
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Old 11-19-2006   #3
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He doesn't really have one. This is one of those political grandstanding stunts (in my view) being pulled by someone who most likely doesn't understand how the draft works and wants to use it to make political hay.

The draft that he's dreaming of never really existed (there were always exemptions and such, and if he seriously thinks they won't exist in the future he's dreaming...and I'm sure he'd be careful to write some in to protect his kids and grandkids), and it certainly didn't stop LBJ from digging deeper and deeper into Vietnam.

Discussions of policy should come from Congress (both houses), NOT though some phony draft dreamed up to "spark" discussion.

Ok...off the soapbox now...

In response to selil, who posted while I was ranting...;-), I would have to point out that the US military (with the single exception of the period between World War 2 and the end of the draft) has never looked like mainstream America. I would also argue that our government is packed with elites who bear very little resemblance to those they govern. Nothing prevented folks like Rangel from volunteering. Nothing prevents his children from doing the same. And nothing prevents those in Congress or the other branches from learning about the military and its function in society. I always find discussions of the draft to be a Trojan horse for some other agenda these days.

Last edited by Steve Blair; 11-19-2006 at 06:48 PM. Reason: added comments
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Old 11-19-2006   #4
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Originally Posted by Culpeper View Post
I just don't get his philosophy at all.
That is part of every conscript vs professional debate. If your strategy is defence at home than you have conscripts (gives you bigger manpower pool and everybody goes through military training so they can be insurgents). If you plan to fight your wars away from home you have professionals as they are better trained and are there because they want to be.

In the past rule of thumb is that when you use consript armies away from home (specially for longer conflicts) morale starts to drop while not so with professionals (not always, though).
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Old 11-19-2006   #5
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Post On Clausewitz and Rangel

Two things:

1. Reading Clausewitz is a lot like reading the bible. You have to put him in historical context or you are likely to make fundamentally incorrect conclusions. You must always temper the Prussian's thoughts with the fact that he lived in nineteenth century Europe. He is not always relevant to modern society or the contemporary battlefield.

2. Rangel keeps missing the point. Drafting societies "elites" has never stopped policymakers from making the decision to use force; his premise is just wrong.





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Originally Posted by selil View Post
Rep Rangel has been pushing this type of legislation since at least 2001. Everytime the republicans want to make the democrats look bad they dredge up his legislation amending and instituting the draft. It's a basic FUD tactic. His original statements make sense in context. As in other discussions the US military is primarily made up of rural youth who are fairly well educated and hopelessly middle class. Senator Rangel wants to force the the service of the elite and urban along with the middle class. Having read some more Clausewitz I have to agree. When the military is an elite class under represented in the populace governance by the populace is impossible and freedom hinges on the doldrums of disinterest. I know the military does not necesarily desire nor wish a draft. Yet the military is foreign policy in action and those who understand it can make learned decisions.
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Old 11-19-2006   #6
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It's some of the elite and urban who are the root of disciplinary problems within our military as it is. Although a draft may be a short-term band-aid for a manpower crisis (is there one), I'd rather have a volunteer next to me in a fighting hole.
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Old 11-20-2006   #7
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Default Leadership styles would have to change.

A draft may or may not be good for the service, but I can tell you (in the Army anyway) a draft would make basic leadership far more challenging for many officers and NCOs. The touchy-feely crap, like time out cards at Basic Training (NOT at Infantry basic) would have to go right out the window. And doctrine would need to catch up with the fact that soldiers are no longer dumb podunk farm boys like in World War 2. Soldiers today are vastly better educated, tech-savvy, and clued in. Go ahead and try to BS a soldier today and see what happens. Oh sure, a new private may not know where to buy chemlight batteries, but he can tell when a leader is BSing him or coddling him. And what we today would call a "rural" person would be an "urban" one back then.
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Old 11-20-2006   #8
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So, is there a difference of opinion when it is universal service versus a draft? Considering many of the countries that require everybody to serve in the military for some amount of time just because we don't do it doesn't mean it is a bad (or good) idea. Is it the idea of the lottery (draft) or the idea of forced servitude that causes issues?
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Old 11-22-2006   #9
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Default Rep. Rangel's own words.

22 Nov 06, NY Daily News:

Quote:
The question of whether we need a universal military draft will be important as long as this country is placing thousands of young men and women in harm's way in Iraq. As long as Americans are being shipped off to war, then everyone should be vulnerable, not just those who, because of economic circumstances, are attracted by lucrative enlistment bonuses and educational incentives.

Even before the first bomb was dropped, before the first American casualty, I have opposed the war in Iraq. I continue to believe that decision-makers would never have supported the invasion if more of them had family members in line for deployment.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/idea...p-398444c.html
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Old 11-22-2006   #10
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Default Doonesbury Take on the subject I'm thinking

This seems so well appropriate to the discussion.





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Old 11-22-2006   #11
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Default And it's outta here!

Selil

Home run!

Best

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Too bad Gary Larson of Far Side is retired

Last edited by Tom Odom; 11-22-2006 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 11-22-2006   #12
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Default This is bad form but....

Hi everyone,

While I am hardly Charles Moskos, prior to the invasion of Iraq, I did a piece in 2003 for HNN on Rangel's earlier suggestion that a draft be reinstated.

"Why We Should Consider Bringing Back the Draft"

I'm ambivalent about conscription, as it will not be a magic bullet for our military and strategic problems but it is something that should be considered in combination with other approaches ( like simply raising new divisions of volunteers in the ground forces).

Aside from the question of utility, as a serious infringement upon personal liberty, the American public will only accept a draft if they see a clear and direct need for one. I'm highly skeptical that there is sufficient trust in the government or a sense of urgency in the public mind today, to make conscription politically acceptable.

Many of the advantages to our current situation that would have accrued from a draft required implementation circa 2002, not in 2007. To an extent, this is a debate among politicians about who can close the barn door with the most flourish.
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Old 11-22-2006   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpundit View Post
Aside from the question of utility, as a serious infringement upon personal liberty, the American public will only accept a draft if they see a clear and direct need for one. I'm highly skeptical that there is sufficient trust in the government or a sense of urgency in the public mind today, to make conscription politically acceptable.
And people would never accept the largest increase in governmental growth since the New Deal, horrific and substantial changes in personal liberties, wide spread monitoring of civilian communications, in specific letters security letters in lieu of warrants, the DMCA, no fly lists with names like "Robert Johnson", strip searches at airports by pedophilic TSA employees, and shooting of 94 year old women by narcotics agents breaking down doors in the middle of the night. The people would never accept anything like that...

When can I buy a cup of coffee ZenPundit I'm a few miles down the road from you and know this really great BBQ join in da region.
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Old 11-22-2006   #14
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Is there something in the water? Why is everybody all mean and nasty this morming?
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Old 11-22-2006   #15
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Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
Is there something in the water? Why is everybody all mean and nasty this morming?


I was trying to be tongue in cheek... Did I miss again?
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Old 11-22-2006   #16
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Unhappy

selil, no I guess it is me, I was reading about Fabius and then started going through the threads and wondered what was going on. I guess I am still in shock,Alabama lost to Auburn for the 5th time this past weekend.
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Old 11-22-2006   #17
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Default The "D" Word

Quote:
Originally Posted by zenpundit View Post
Hi everyone,

While I am hardly Charles Moskos, prior to the invasion of Iraq, I did a piece in 2003 for HNN on Rangel's earlier suggestion that a draft be reinstated.

"Why We Should Consider Bringing Back the Draft"

I'm ambivalent about conscription, as it will not be a magic bullet for our military and strategic problems but it is something that should be considered in combination with other approaches ( like simply raising new divisions of volunteers in the ground forces).

Aside from the question of utility, as a serious infringement upon personal liberty, the American public will only accept a draft if they see a clear and direct need for one. I'm highly skeptical that there is sufficient trust in the government or a sense of urgency in the public mind today, to make conscription politically acceptable.

Many of the advantages to our current situation that would have accrued from a draft required implementation circa 2002, not in 2007. To an extent, this is a debate among politicians about who can close the barn door with the most flourish.
I agree and have said as much here on other threads. At a minimum we need a debate that goes beyond what we've had so far on what constitutes a long war and what constitutes Amrcican commitment to that war. The Chief of Staff of the Army--not calling for a draft--has echoed that theme in rasing issues of defense spending, manning, and readiness.

For most who even remember a draft first hand, the draft was as it ended in the Vietnam conflict. Too many simply point to that peculiar draft as the definitive model for a draft today and the discussion immediately becomes one of how abysmal the results were for the US military in general and the Army in particular. For those I offer the obvious rebuttal that we won WWII with a draft. More pointedly in regards to American society's reaction to a draft, I would point out that the intial draft of 12 months occurred in 1940 before we entered WWII and that FDR took the politically risky step in the summer of 1941 of keeping those trained draftees on active duty beyond their 12 months. Of those extended who protested the decision, many painted OHIO on their barracks walls, meaning Over the Hill in October. Of course, Dember 7, 1941 changed everything, sort of. I say sort of because if you look at war termination in Europe, post victory discontent among US forces in Europe was a problem and riots did occur. Why? My read on it was the government and the War department did a poor job explaining the need to keep troops there after the final shots had been fired.

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Old 11-22-2006   #18
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No offense taken selil. I think the difference between your examples, many of which highlight governmental incompetence as well as public passivity, are seen by most Americans as either aberrant exceptions or inconveniences. An increase in temperature of a few degrees. A draft for a two-year hitch ( with or without national service alternatives) is jumping into a scalding bath with both feet.

We could have coffee sometime. Which BBQ place were you referring to BTW ?
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Old 11-22-2006   #19
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Originally Posted by zenpundit View Post
Aside from the question of utility, as a serious infringement upon personal liberty, the American public will only accept a draft if they see a clear and direct need for one.
Out of curiosity, what do you think will "make" US public "see the need for draft"? I mean, global conflict of scale, intensity and duration of WW1 & 2 are unlikely and (if I understood your post correctly) you don't think that GWOT needs it.
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Old 11-22-2006   #20
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The odds of conscription being reinstituted in the US are so remote as to make buying a lottery look like a sure win. Rep. Rangel, in my opinion, trots out his draft argument when he feels the need for a few more column inches of type or to hear his name mentioned and his sound bites quoted. The arguments for and against universal conscription are well known and make for great discussions over beer or at a gathering of sophomore PoliSci V. Philo majors.

At the end of the day one conscription is used to fill the ranks that would other wise stand empty. The US does not have a problem meeting the services end strength manning requirements. If congress budgeted additional funds for 5000 more Marines, we would be able to find 5000 more Marines. No need for a draft, at least to solve this issue.
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