US moving toward reinstating the military draft?  NOV 05 2003

US moving toward reinstating the military draft?.

There are 22 reader comments

Jim Ray36 05 2003 3:36PM

There was a bit in Salon yesterday about this very thing - actually has all the facts that the BBC article does, plus a few more. Worth sitting through the ad for.

Jim Ray37 05 2003 3:37PM

Dammit. Forgot the link.

Stefan46 05 2003 4:46PM

Start with the Young Republicans. Heck, I'm sure they'd be happy to go. It would be a valuable learning experience where they could pick up lots of important skills and show the islamic world how much the loves and cares about them.

Glutton57 05 2003 4:57PM

That's just silly paranoia. Recruitment has been up for 2 years.

AgileChicken56 05 2003 5:56PM

Draft SHOULD be reinstated, so that USians can learn the tough shit of tough shit.
But no, USian wars shouldn't cost a dime and never kill nobody, should last no longer than two days and fit within a two hour movie storyline.

No more 'expensive oregonian firetrucks'.
Wanna keep up at perpetual war-of-all-wars? Better bring in The Jews. They atleast kill people every day before breakfast.*

(With regards to Simon Wisenthal Center)*

Ed54 05 2003 6:54PM

This isn't a new idea. Back in January, Rep. Charles Rangel put forth a bill with a very interesting approach, with the idea that the military should represent the economic makeup, rather than a last resort for the poor and minorities. The idea with reinstating the draft was to have the U.S. weighing all of its foreign policy decisions with greater care.

I'm not sure if reinstating the draft is the answer, but dwelling upon the costs, connections and consequences of war over the World Series and J-Lo would be a start.

raphy26 05 2003 8:26PM

Ed - you and Rangel see the military as a "last resort" for minorities and the poor. I, on the other hand, see it as an opportunity to make something better for yourself. Whether one chooses to make it a career, or to simply learn a valuable skill, the military can be a means to completely change one's life for the better.

I joined the Marines when I was 17. I am neither a minority nor was I poor. I didn't join for overtly patriotic reasons or to get the chance to kill someone. In fact, it never occured to me that I might one day be send overseas to fight in a foreign land. I joined because I needed to grow up, become more disciplined, and be part of something greater than myself. I stayed in for 6 years and upon leaving used my GI Bill to get a college education.

You call it a last resort. I call it a way out and a way up.

Ben11 06 2003 1:11AM

Perhaps this is becoming an issue as we are discovering our Army Reserve system is broken.
Read Hackworth's column

dtetto16 06 2003 2:16PM

Raphy - no one said that the military is just a "last resort" for minorities and the poor. Fine young people from many socio-economic classes join the military for many reasons.

But for many poor people (and minorities) the military is indeed their "last resort" -- while it was your apparent choice, they often have no other option when it comes to, for instance, getting post-secondary education.

spygeek36 06 2003 3:36PM

This link, and the ensuing discussion, has me reflecting on my brother's 3-year stint in the Army. 21 years ago when he graduated from high school, it was clear he wasn't going to college. My parents told him to "Get a job or go in the Army." He chose the Army and didn't re-enlist when his tour was up.

I wonder if he would choose differently if he were 18 today. I wonder how many parents still trot out the military as an option.

need36 06 2003 3:36PM

As a fairly recent refugee from the National Guard I'll ditto most of the Hack bit (with the exception of the proposed merger, but that's a bit off topic). I wouldn't be very concerned with a reinstatement of the draft barring an invasion on US soil. It always was and always will be a bad idea. As a matter of fact, we only keep the lore around so we can talk about it in front of liberal college kids before we tuck them into bed at night. Keeps the nightmare quotient at a maximum ya' know.

jojo56 06 2003 7:56PM

But for many poor people (and minorities) the military is indeed their "last resort" -- while it was your apparent choice, they often have no other option when it comes to, for instance, getting post-secondary education.

Hmm - so for "many poor people (and minorities)" the military is their only option? Does this mean that well-to-do minorities have to join the military to go to college? Or only poor minorities? The statement "poor people (and minorities)" means exactly that - poor people (those who have no wealth) and minorities (those not in the majority, assumed here to refer to racial minorites) - regardless of that minority's financial status.

Not a very enlightened statement. I can only hope dtetto was referring to "poor" minorities, which, for some reason, he felt he needed to seperate (or is that 'segregate?') from "regular" poor people.

And because the military actually offers "the ONLY option" for the poor it's a bad thing? Hmm - I thought that government aid to "minorities and poor people" were "good" things - you know, to help them. That is, I guess, unless it includes actually [b]working[/b] for it.

spygeek41 07 2003 9:41AM

And because the military actually offers "the ONLY option" for the poor it's a bad thing? Hmm - I thought that government aid to "minorities and poor people" were "good" things - you know, to help them. That is, I guess, unless it includes actually [b]working[/b] for it.

We all receive government aid in one form or another, you know, whether it's tax cuts for the rich, unemployment for the middle class, or welfare for the poor. These things are not always in proportion to the amount we pay into the system - the working poor contribute a higher percentage of their income to taxes than rich people do, if you include payroll taxes in the equation. Why, then, should the poor bear the brunt of repayment for that aid in the form of military service?

margaret19 07 2003 6:19PM

oh shit. my brother turns 18 this year.

jojo41 07 2003 9:41PM

*** Hijacked thread alert ****

The working poor contribute a higher percentage of their income to taxes than rich people do, if you include payroll taxes in the equation

"Rich" people get a break on their payroll taxes? That math doesn't add up. Does your statement also include property taxes? Capital gains taxes? Or any other bevvy of taxes unlisted?

You can prove any specific group pays a higher percentage of taxes if you include "X" tax or "Y" tax in the equation.

dtetto17 08 200312:17AM

I can only hope dtetto was referring to "poor" minorities, which, for some reason, he felt he needed to seperate (or is that 'segregate?') from "regular" poor people.

I apologize for my rhetoric oversight. I was following through the wording of the post which I was replying to, and should have typed the more correct "poor people (many of whom are minorities)" -- the distinction necessary only because both groups were very much on the table of discussion.

That said, Kottke has been hosting far too many political debates on these remaindered links recently, and I'll step aside before we run yet another thread to its close.

Controversial Conservative40 09 2003 2:40AM

Just get a few more conservative viewpoints in here, and a closed comments section will surely follow.

jkottke06 09 2003 2:06PM

Just get a few more conservative viewpoints in here, and a closed comments section will surely follow.

This is off-topic and I would normally delete it, but since there have been some closed threads lately, I'm going to respond.

I have recently closed two remaindered links threads. One was the photo of Bush signing the partial birth abortion ban. I closed it because the discussion was mostly a battle of entrenched ideologies instead of a productive & useful discussion and also because one participant in the thread posted a comment masquerading as one of the other participants. I should have explained this at the time, but I was disappointed that the thread had gone so wrong so fast when the level of discussion on the site is pretty helpful and instead posted a snarky comment & closed the thread.

The second thread I closed was the ACLU one, in which someone called the members of the ACLU pedophiles. A subsequent poster remarked that I have may have missed some humor, which might be the case, but I figured the only place the thread could have gone was further off-topic, so I closed it.

To help avoid some of these problems in the future, I've added some posting guidelines below the posting form. They read:

"Hearty discussion and opposing viewpoints are welcome, but please keep comments *on-topic* and *civil*. Flaming, trolling, and personal attacks are discouraged and may be deleted. In general, the closer you adhere to these guidelines for focusing on learning, the better off we'll be. Thanks!"

Mike Roach56 09 200310:56AM

THE DRAFT IS BAD! I'm Hippy!

Java McJugg27 22 200311:27AM

So...I hear that military is the last resort for the poor, but I don't KNOW that. Can somebody cite some sources for that info. If it's, the obvious problem is that people are effectively joining the military under durress, and they're taking a job that has a higher chance of death as a penalty for being poor. Many folks here in the US believe that there should be no such penalty for being poor, 'cause it smacks of the old British class system which we attempted to do away with when we experimented in this whole Democracy thing and told the Brits to stuff it back in the late 1700s.

If it is true that the military is a last resort for the poor, is that an argument that we need to implement the draft in order to make the system more fair? Not really, no. I'd say it's an argument for providing the poor with other options rather than removing freedom of choice from those who are better off. Nobody should be FORCED to do something that will send them into harm's way.

Ideally, the US would be so generous to its people and its leaders would be so honorable that citizens would have no doubt that a fight is just, and would gladly join the service to defend US interests. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

I suppose we'll just have to solve this problem with ROBOT WARRIERS REMOTELY CONTROLLED from Nebraska!

Java McJugg30 22 200311:30AM

Oh...and Spygeek...there's a HUGE difference between WORKING for public works programs for the poor and DIEING for public works programs for the poor.

Rubin Laurie 25 25 200411:25AM

It's safer to play with a man's wife than with his cliches.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.

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