The EU

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Don't Bring Back Conscription

The editors of The [Lowell] Sun published, today, my OpEd, opposing Mr Michael Goldman's proposal to bring back the military draft.
On Christmas Day 2011, Michael Goldman set out to right the wrongs of the Second Iraq War.  In doing so he got several things wrong.  Most important, Goldman ignored the history of the draft.  With a draft, President Kennedy and President Johnson led us deeper into the Vietnam War.  The military supported the end of the draft because it hoped a serious war would require calling up the reserves, making it harder for a president to go to war without the support of the American people.

Goldman takes off on the "chicken hawks" of the George W. Bush administration, implying the civilian leadership was unworthy of making decisions of peace and war because they did not serve in Vietnam.  But, we have never made military service a criterion for political leadership.  In this day and age we are less likely to find veterans serving as elected officials.  Should we characterize our current president as a "chicken hawk" for increasing the drone wars?  Of course not.  He is, by our votes, the commander in chief.
Read the whole thing for yourself, here.

Unfortunately, while the staff got my photo right, the bio that went with the photo sounded to me more like that of say retired Air Force Colonel John Warden, or maybe retired Air Force Lieutenant General David Deptula, who, like me, doesn't rate a Wikipedia article.

But, back to Mr Goldman, is it possible that he doesn't really care about bringing back the draft, but just wants another chance to cry "Chickenhawk"?  I would hope not.  Let us mark him befuddled and not venal.

Regards  —  Cliff


  Remember, articles in The Sun go away after a while, to a different place.  I will not be updating their links unless I am bedridden and have read every book in the house.  And, besides, the Editor tells me the links cost money after a few weeks.  It is the new business model.


Jack Mitchell said...

As an Infantry Team Leader, my most powerful motivational line was "You chose to be here, so ruck up and move out smartly."

Anonymous said...

The last person I want to be next to me in a combat environment is some guy or gal who is pissed off because they didn't want to be in the military to begin with. The current flock of eligibles have a different perspective on Duty, Honor, and Country.

If we engaged in an ACTUALLY DECLARED that was unpinned by a national consensus and support, conscription might well work once again. But....the last time it had any of that sort of support was in December, 1941.

When Presidents stop committing military to combat because of their political aspirations and connections, duty for country might enjoy somewhat of a resurgence. Nobody wants to fight "Obama's war" any more than they did Bush's bungle...of Long Binh Jail's sorry demonstration of military acumen.

Don't bring it back......because you simply can't.