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Should America Return to the Draft?

By Tar De Moutonnoir     Jan 30, 2007 in Politics
As the American military finds itself stretched thin, fighting on two fronts in the Middle East, can an all-volunteer force continue to bare the brunt or is conscription an eventuality?
Four years on in America's 'war on terror', its military teeters precariously on the edge of a deep abyss. With rising casualty rates, high levels of desertion and the unpopularity of the war at home, recruiting has been nearly at a standstill. It was only a month ago that the Iraq Study Group had warned of a breaking point, saying that "The American military has little reserve force to call on if it needs ground forces to respond to other crises around the world." Now there are voices in Washington calling for the return of 'the draft', as it is seen by some as the only viable solution to a military in near crises.
"All it's going to take is one more conflict or one more world crisis, "and we would be very soon facing the fact that no matter what our position on these issues is, we're going to be facing a simple choice of act or don't act. And if we do, then we're going to have to have alternatives," said Frank Schaeffer, The author of 'AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America's Upper Classes From Military Service - and How It Hurts Our Country.'
One congressman, Democrat Charles Rangel of New York certainly believes the draft should be reinstated. His proposal would require all U.S. residents ages 18 to 42 to perform two years of national service. Rangel, an Army veteran in the Korean War, opposes the Iraq war and has put forth a draft bill every year since 2002. The US Congress eliminated conscription in 1973 and the end of the Vietnam war. The Bush administration has acknowledged considering such an option but rejecting it on the grounds that it wasn't necessary. It is estimated the annual costs of reinstating the draft would be around four billion dollars.
by bocephalus w references from McClatchy Newspapers
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