Bush's War Czar says the draft is on the table

‘War Czar’ Concerned over Stress of War on Troops

Is this just a trial balloon to judge the level of opposition to restoring the draft? Or is it a real possibility that will be decided in the near future?

Sounds to me like it will be considered, perhaps as soon as next spring:

Hell, no! Too old to go!

Let them try to bring back the draft. It would be a fitting epitaph for not only the Bush administration but the entire Republican Party.

I wonder if it would force any Republican candidates (besides Ron Paul) to finally repudiate any part of the Administration’s Iraq strategy.

Do it! Do it! Do it!

It’ll never happen. No way, no how. Lute’s superiors would never agree to it.

I don’t doubt it’s “on the table,” but it’s probably “on the table” in the same way one would put abolishing mail service “on the table” for preventing anthrax attacks - an extreme case that has to be mentioned, but will never be actually done.

No actual reading of that quote could come to that conclusion. He said there were three variables to consider, listed the three, and none of them was the draft:

Numbers added for clarification. No draft in there.

Besides, Congress has to act to re-institute the draft and that just isn’t going to happen.

Not specifically, only that next spring, maintaining force levels in Iraq is going to become a critical issue. If the draft is on the table, it may be evaluated at that time. I only included that quote to highlight next spring as a crucial decision point.

Agreed. But if the Administration even proposes it, it will have a devastating effect on the remaining shreds of support, as well as create a problem for Republican candidates who find it painful to disagree with the President on matters of defense.

God, I hope this idea is the centerpiece of Bush’s next SOTU. The only thing that would make it better is if he also proposes that the wealthy can hire a replacement to go in their stead.

Well worth doing if you believe we are in a decades-long war on terror. If you do not really think so, then not so much.

I would suspect the Administration doesn’t believe the snake oil they are selling.

Funny, but I thought I kept hearing that a bunch of conscripts would be a liability in the field. You know, compared to those National Guard and straight-out-of-Basic guys that get shoveled over there on a regular basis.

Must be mis-remembering.


I thought it was usually a democrat that suggested a return to the draft in recent years. Hey, maybe that can be the dems next platform!

Nope the situation has changed. If we want the sort of force levels long-term we have been generating short-term, we need more guys. At this point, I suspect the need for people outweighs the traditional distain professional soldiers have for conscripts.

There is a canary in the mine. Before they will get to drafting, they will long since have greatly increased the number of foreign-born soldiers enlisting for immigration status for themselves and their families. Say, two family members for every tour of combat infantry. Something like that.

This presumes the American people are unwilling to fight or take casualties. This is one of those facts everyone knows; but it may not be true. We willingly buried our sons for Union and to defeat Fascism, there is no obvious reason why we cannot fight our own fight this time around.

The idea that Americans will not fight is untrue. Better to say the politicians are unwilling to ask them to.

Standards were higher. Pre Bush you wouldn’t see soldiers as poorly trained sent in, our recruiting standards were higher, and so on.

The Democrats bring up the subject for political reasons, but I think it unlikely they ever had any intention of pushing for it seriously. On the other hand I’ve been hearing for years about the Bushies making preparation for a draft; funding and staffing the draft infrastructure and such.

As for them actually pushing for one; if it was any other Administration I’d laugh off the possibility. These fools might just be dumb enough to try.

Fighting against Hitler or in a Civil War is one thing, but Iraq is just an international version of a mugging and beating. Americans might not care about how many Iraqis die for our profit and amusement, but few of them are going to risk their own skin. Especially since the Iraqis have the poor taste to fight back instead of grovelling like they are supposed to.

The Democrats do it to force the Republican hand. Of course the pubbies denounce it, rally their troops :smiley: against the bill and defeat it. But what that ends up doing is tying Bush’s hands. Even if the draft idea has legs out of the White House, Congress (the pubbies) now are in a real knicker twister. How do they support their president when they’ve already committed a preemptive strike against him, on the record?

Rangel is that shrewd.
On a slight hijack, I just saw the maximum enlistment age was raised to 42, with signing bonuses of up to $20,000 if you sign up and enter boot camp in less than 30 days. Desperate times require desperate measures.

Why would a draft be of any use in such a war? (Which would not be the kind of war you can effectively fight with an army, and which would bear no resemblance to anything we’ve done in Iraq.)

It wouldn’t be useful. If the terrorists would neatly line up and fight like an army we’d kill them all without needing a draft, which is why they’ll never do that. If we fight terrorism effectively, we need intelligence agents, police, diplomats, and enough military force to take out any safe harbors we can’t talk into giving them up; we don’t need a draft for that either. In no case is a large, unmotivated body of troops needed for a “war on terror”, which is what the draft will get you. For an occupying force for wars of conquest; that’s what you’d need it for, and I expect that’s what Bush & friends want it for.