Bringing back the draft in US?

Workers World / Chicago wwchi at
Wed Aug 18 00:01:26 MDT 1999

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<DIV>This was in the Los Angeles Times in late July:</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2>I don't think it got a lot of

<BR>With Recruitment Down, Draft Is Gaining

By PAUL RICHTER, Times Staff

<BR><BR>WASHINGTON--With enlistments slumping and
overseas      <BR>deployments edging upward, key
members of Congress'         
<BR>military committees are thinking the unthinkable: revival of the
<DIV>While no one expects such a move any time soon, some   
<BR>lawmakers and defense analysts say that the services could be<BR>forced to
turn to selective conscription if the military cannot fill<BR>its ranks by
increasing pay and easing the strains of military life.<BR>Because of a torrid
economy and the stress of foreign missions,<BR>the Pentagon is facing one of its
greatest personnel challenges since<BR>it turned to the all-volunteer force 26
years ago.</DIV>

<BR>The ultimate answer, said Rep. Herbert H. Bateman (R-Va.),<BR>chairman of
the House Armed Services subcommittee on<BR>readiness, may be "some form of
selective conscription." It is not likely to<BR>come "tomorrow, next
week or even next year," Bateman said <BR>Tuesday, but it can no longer be

<DIV>Rep. Floyd Spence (R-S.C.), chairman of the House Armed<BR>Services
Committee, has discussed the same notion, as has  <BR>committee member
Solomon P. Ortiz (D-Texas). Sen. John      <BR>McCain
(R-Ariz.), a member of the Senate Armed
<BR>Committee, also has floated the idea, though aides said that he<BR>remained
a supporter of the volunteer


<DIV>The draft was abandoned in 1973, near the end of the Vietnam<BR>War, after
years of protests and complaints about its fairness.<BR>The renewed
discussion--the first in a generation--is a sign of<BR>policymakers'
frustrations with personnel shortages that<BR>appear to be worsening, even
though Congress has approved the richest<BR>compensation increases for the
military since the Persian Gulf<BR>War. The Air Force, for example, this month
disclosed that it will<BR>fall 2,500 recruits short of its annual goal--for the
first time in 20<BR>years--and said that it also expects to be short
1,401<BR>active-duty pilots. It has 12,744. Earlier this year, the Navy said
that it<BR>would fall 22,000 sailors short of a projected force of 394,000.

<BR>To counteract this trend, the Air Force has been reorganizing<BR>personnel
into 10 "air expeditionary" units in hopes of<BR>spreading the burden
of overseas duties more evenly throughout the force.<BR>The Navy is adding
various new privileges and comforts to<BR>show that it views sailors and Marines
as "valued professionals," in<BR>the words of Navy Secretary Richard
Danzig. It is improving food<BR>and adding more shipboard television sets,
weight rooms and<BR>expanded e-mail privileges. Last winter, the Navy eased
rules on physical<BR>fitness and excess weight to enable more sailors to
avoid<BR>dismissal. Congress has been giving the services added money
for<BR>pay, education and retirement. The Army, for example, has bumped<BR>up
its maximum college tuition aid to $50,000 and offers<BR>enlistment bonuses that
can total $19,000.<BR></DIV>
<DIV>The services are easing some requirements and looking for<BR>new markets.
The Army, for example, is considering accepting<BR>more recruits with general
equivalency diplomas, instead of high<BR>school diplomas, and has been trying to
focus on enlistment of more<BR>Latinos.<BR></DIV>
<DIV>"We've got to give all this time to work," one Senate
aide<BR>said. "We're really just starting to try to turn the problem
around."<BR>The all-volunteer army has faced repeated crises in
finding<BR>and keeping enough young people. Each time, experts said, it
has<BR>adjusted to shortages by finding new groups of recruits,<BR>improving
marketing and offering more generous

<DIV>Some experts, such as Charles Moskos, a military sociologist
at<BR>Northwestern University, argue that a draft would strengthen<BR>ties
between civilians and the military that have frayed as the share<BR>of Americans
who are veterans has fallen.<BR>A draft, perhaps combined with a mandatory
program of <BR>national service, could give Americans a better sense of
their<BR>obligations to their country, some of these experts contend.<BR></DIV>
<DIV>Yet most, if not all, military commanders vastly prefer the<BR>present
system. Remembering the travail of the Vietnam War<BR>era, when U.S. forces had
drug and disciplinary problems, they say<BR>that conscripts can never match
volunteers.<BR>"You can't mandate motivation," said former Lt.
Gen.<BR>Theodore G. Stroup, who retired three years ago as the Army's
deputy<BR>chief of staff for personnel. "It's the difference between night
and<BR>day. Nobody wants to go back to that."<BR></DIV>
<DIV>Another potential obstacle is the question of whether<BR>women would have
to be included in the draft.<BR>Women now account for 14% of the military, and
exempting<BR>women would raise questions about fairness. Yet the public<BR>would
strongly oppose conscription of females, polls have suggested.<BR>In 1994, the
Clinton administration studied whether it could<BR>legally exempt women from a
draft but came to no
conclusion.          <BR></DIV>
<DIV>The perceived lack of fairness between economic classes was<BR>one reason
the draft lost public support during the Vietnam<BR>War. If Congress ever does
order the draft reinstated, the<BR>government is ready to carry out the
instructions in fairly short order. All<BR>men 18 to 26 years old are required
to register with the Selective<BR>Service System, and officials said that they
could start providing<BR>conscripts within three months at the earliest and six
months at the<BR>latest."We're here as an insurance policy," a
Selective Service<BR>spokesman said. "But if the order came, we'd be
ready." </DIV></BODY></HTML>
</x-html>From ???@??? Wed Aug 18 08:38:56 1999
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Date: Wed, 18 Aug 1999 00:00:51 -0700
From: Sam Pawlett <rsp at>
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Subject: Re: Idealism (check definition)
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Idealism just means that the world doesn't exist independant of human
perception of it. There are different varieties, Berkeley's subjective
idealism and Kant's transcendental idealism, for example.

sam Pawlett

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