Monday, September 9, 2013

Is the military draft coming back?

Our all-volunteer military has some big advantages -- in peacetime and brief episodes of limited conflict where whe dominate overwhelmingly. I am proud to have served for 23 years in that all-volunteer military where I cherished the honor of serving alongside good, well-trained men and women who all wanted to be there. I defended the all-volunteer concept in a college term paper while I was an ROTC cadet during the anti-VietNam war era of the late '60s and early '70s.

But, the all-volunteer concept has isolated most Americans (especially most politicians) from the wartime sacrifices borne by servicemen and their families.

A very serious consequence of having an all-volunteer military over the past 22 years has been a tiny portion of America's finest bearing the burden of executing the nation's foreign policy while the rest of America goes to the mall.

Thanks to perpetual war, that tiny portion of America is worn out, spiritually broken, divorced, dismembered, and dead. I gotta agree with Congressman Charlie "Tax Cheat" Rangel on this one. Something needs to change.

I would change Rangel's universal draft proposal in a very significant way, though. He suggests a large portion of the draftees be placed in national civilian service. Inasmuch as most of "civil service" government is unconstitutional, I would oppose that idea.

However, inasmuch as Title 10 USC § 311 defines the militia of the United States as being all able-bodied males between ages 17 and 45, I would propose drafting every male meeting that description and running him through basic military training conducted by his state's national guard upon graduation from high school or upon reaching age 18, whichever occurs first. Upon completion of basic training, these draftees would be placed in inactive status in state-organized, non-federally-regulated/funded local "unorganized militias" for 12-24 days of unpaid muster (under supervision of the state's national guard) annually until age 45. They would be subject to immediate recall to augment a unit in the all-volunteer military (described below) whenever the need arises -- such as when decades of military adventurism degrades the readiness of, or recruitment in, the all-volunteer military (described below).

Those who volunteer for service in the all-volunteer military (active or reserve federal armed forces and the national guard unit) would be recruited, trained, and assigned according to current practice. These would continue to be the core of the nation's all-volunteer armed forces.

The saddest thing about bringing back the draft as generally understood is that, thanks to "equality," our future mothers will also be drafted and sent to fight and die in places where the people we pretend to "help" do not value peace, liberty, or our help. Inasmuch as women are not included in the 10 USC § 311 definition of the unorganized militia, they would not be subject to the above-described draft.
The society which scorns excellence in plumbing [military service] as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water. -- John W. Gardner

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