[Marxism] Does anybody feel a draft? I don't

Jack Cade jack.cade at btinternet.com
Tue May 31 11:07:27 MDT 2005

> Jack Cade > 
> >The real issue is probably political reliability. Britain
> >used to have a 'national service' requirement for two years. 
> This was 
> >abolished in 1961. There was pressure from the labour movement
> >abolish it as it was very unpopular.

Paul Bunyan
> The main cause of the UK retaining the draft or National 
> Service as they called it until 1961, was because of the 
> manpower requirements in putting down the insurgency in 
> Malaya, 1948-1960.

	To put Malaya as the 'main reason' is overstating things

	Since the end of the second world war, Britain's armed
forces have been involved in 96 overseas military interventions,
28 of these in the Middle East alone. The catalogue includes:
Greece, Vietnam, Palestine, India, Malaysia, Borneo, Aden,
Cyprus, Suez, Indonesia, Oman, Kenya, Korea, British Cameroons,
Brunei, British Guiana, Malvinas/Falklands and Ireland. There are
still more British troops in Ireland than there are in Iraq.

	In the 50s there was Korea and Suez as well as Malaya, in
the 60s came Aden. The question is therefore not why it
continued-after all there was always going to be plenty of scope
for intervention-but why 'national service' stopped. There was
great opposition at home to it but the *main* reason was a
strategic decision by the service chiefs of staff: that
completely volunteer armed forces were more politically reliable
than a 'call up' system, despite the problem of not having the
full quota needed.

	Some on the left actually opposed ending the call up.
There was a slogan 'Cut the Call Up' which meant restricting it
rather than abolishing it. Some old Stalinist types believed in
'sending people into the forces', seeing a revolutionary
situation developing where Bolshevik type cells would do the
business. Workers needed to experience military training etc. I
often wonder what happened to such hapless individuals who may
have been selected for this work.

	The point I was trying to make was that the need for
political reliability may overcome the advantages of a draft, in
the view of the US JCS.

Jack Cade

P.S when people quote others can they please remember to cut out
any email addresses. Whenever this happens bots pick them up and
you get a surge in the old spam intake. Why is it they think
Marxists are a market for Viagra? They must think we need perking
up :)

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