Mandatory Draft Bill

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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby Serenity » Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:39 pm

Excellent point Selma. I agree with you on the opposition to war in general and not in specific terms. And yet I believe that my opposition to war in general may not exclude me from participating in a specific war in the future if my reasons are strong enough. (Am I hypocritical?)

The article also stated that Muhammad Ali was initially declined Conscientious Objector status by the Justice Department and FBI on grounds that the teachings of Islam rested on political and racial grounds, objecting to only certain types of war, instead of participation in war of any form. The Supreme Court unanimously overturned the decision and affirmed Ali as eligible to be classified as a CO, along with all registered members of the Nation of Islam.
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:53 pm

Originally posted by Serenity:
And yet I believe that my opposition to war in general may not exclude me from participating in a specific war in the future if my reasons are strong enough. (Am I hypocritical?)
In a word, yes. This is what is called situational ethics, and CO status is determined by the religious, moral, or ethical conviction that the taking of human life is intrinsically wrong.

The points about Muhammed Ali I ignored, along with Lew Farrakhan, as not pertinant to the behavior of the guys who decided they could pick and choose their fights. In the US military, that decision is not the option of the individual service members. Civilians in the congress and oval office make those decisions, which are not subject to debate by the soldiers.
>^..^<
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby Serenity » Sat Sep 25, 2004 2:14 pm

Maybe I should have stated "specific fight" instead of "specific war". What I meant was something on the scale of an invasion of the USA, as an act of self-defense; an invasion would technically be a declaration of war, so I used the term "war". Or on the scale of a genocide, like the elimination of Jews in WWII. And of course, I would try to defend myself if I was in physical danger; I wouldn't contort into a lotus-pretzel and chant OM.
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby barfle » Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:28 pm

This may be one of those long posts, Shos, because there are several points that I feel are worth my response.

When I got drafted, although I wasn't eager to go, I recognized that it was the result of my not performing adequately as a student (two freshman years, with a third one looming), and that I, like my father and his father, had a duty to perform. While I was performing that duty (and I did well, making E-5 in 15 months), I gradually came to realize that I was doing nothing of value to anyone, including myself, and that the powers that be couldn't be bothered with such trivial matters as wasting two years of a young man's time. I'm sure career military people like Haggis had entirely different experiences, and while I was in, I met several career soldiers, whose decision to make a career of the Army, I found quite admirable. There were also several who I felt couldn't "make it on the outside." Being a career soldier doesn't automatically classify you as either excellent or deficient.

During the time I was in the service, I found that a lot of the guys who had enlisted were taking what they felt was the best road out of poverty. This was when a recruit got about $80 per month (but had very little in the way of expenses).

I used to work with a former recruiter for the Air Force. He quit about 15 years ago, so whatever information I have about the environment is dated by that much. However, he said that it was tough to get into the Air Force. You had to already have at least an aptitude for a skill, and you also had to have a clean criminal record. I've noted before that I knew a fellow soldier who enlisted because the judge told him it was either that or jail for three years for stealing a car. Times change, and I believe that many soldiers these days have selected that as a career, not because it was their last hope, but because it was their first choice.

To Haggis (whom I recognize disagrees with a lot I have to say), there seems to be a fair amount of dirty tricks going on in this campaign. I don't know who is behind them, but the forged CBS memos and this email campaign to college students seem far too familiar to me. Although I doubt that we will be drafing young adults any time soon, we have already extended the tours of several groups of soldiers in Iraq involuntarily, which isn't quite the same thing, but dangerously close.

Yes, our liberties come with obligations. But I feel quite strongly that, in a free country, those obligations ought NOT to be defined by either a politician or a bureaucrat. Those of us who recognize that freedom isn't free will do our duty as we see it. If that becomes a failure, it will be a failure of education, not of liberty.

One thing a soldier gives up when he or she becomes a soldier is the right to question the tasks they are assigned. Most jobs you can quit whenever you damn well feel like it, but the military is different. There, it's called desertion, and is punishable by death (not that it happens much). Joining the military, then refusing to serve in a conflict because you believe it's wrong is just plain stupid. If I were in the military early in 2001 with a six year hitch, I would have no reason to complain if I were sent to Iraq, in spite of my personal misgivings about it. That's a reality of being in the military. It may not seem fair to an outsider, but in combat, there's no room for debate.

Have I ticked off enough of you yet?
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby shostakovich » Sat Sep 25, 2004 8:46 pm

Marginally long. I did read it (FYI). ;)
Shos

<small>[ 09-25-2004, 09:50 PM: Message edited by: shostakovich ]</small>
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby haggis » Sat Sep 25, 2004 9:29 pm

Barfle indirectly confirmed why I said there would never be a military draft in the U.S.

The technical skills required and the training time involved - how long was sub school OT? My friend's son spent 2 years just training to work in subs - preclude all but a few military specialties where draftees might be able to work and most of them (combat arms) require a commitment that most draftees wouldn’t be willing to put forth.

Look, you have to realize that the difference between the military of today and the Vietnam era military is the difference between the revolutionary war and WWII.

Precision Guided Munitions (PGM) GPS, technology, tactics of flexible maneuver warfare, and awesome air power has not only made a smaller military possible but desirable. Read Tommy Franks “American Soldier” and you’ll see what I mean.

Another son of a friend, a USAF Combat Controller, was in both Afghanistan and Iraq and could call down precision attacks that had the same destructiveness of battleships, but he could call for the release of 16 bombs and target each bomb to a different target.

In Baghdad he was calling precisions munitions strike with bombs filled with concrete so there was no collateral damage other than the kinetic energy of 1,500 lbs of concrete traveling at the speed of heat.

We have a military today when one 23 y.o. USAF SSgt with so much destructive power at his beck and call can destroy an enemy tank company, one man.

Every rule of warfare has changed so dramatically since even the first gulf war that the French and German militaries couldn’t have help us even if the had wanted to.

Their forces can’t communicate with ours and they haven’t maintained the research that cutting edge military technology requires.

There will be no draft mainly because it would only slow us down.
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby dai bread » Sun Sep 26, 2004 6:55 pm

Reliance on technology is the big weakness of the U.S. miltary. The whole point of guerilla warfare, which terrorism essentially is, is the negation of the sort of superiority the U.S. has.

I suspect the U.S. is still fighting with one if not both hands tied behind its back in Iraq. I'm sure it could do a lot better if it wanted to, as it did in Japan in 1945-50.

As far as conscription goes, we had it here some 40 years ago. Most of us hated the very thought of it, having been raised with school army cadets. School cadets are the best anti-military device ever invented. It wasn't until some 15 years after I left school that I found that it was possible to have a very good life in the military. I worked with an ex-airforce man for a while and got talking.

The Swiss require part-time military service of every man (I'm not sure about women) between the ages of 18 & 45. They haven't fought a war for 500 years, but they still require the service.

Quote:
"Every rule of warfare has changed so dramatically since even the first gulf war that the French and German militaries couldn’t have help us even if the had wanted to.

Their forces can’t communicate with ours and they haven’t maintained the research that cutting edge military technology requires."

I find these paragraphs alarming. The F & G are much more swept-up militarily than we are, yet if they can't help U.S. forces in Iraq, what hope have we got? Yet we were pressured hard to sent troops to Iraq & join the Coalition of the Willing. What for? To get shot up for U.S. political purposes? I really do hope not.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby RC » Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:09 am

There will be no draft mainly because it would only slow us down.
Excellent point Haggis.

But the "draft" which started this debate was not an emergency call to serve in a specific confrontation but a call for every person between the ages of 18 and 26 to serve.

That means that you would ALWAYS have able and ready service people somewhat trained for whatever came down the pike. 2 years for sub school? hmmm, that just happens to be the mandatory service time proposed.

What do you think of that?
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby RC » Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:52 am

Ugh. The thought that we would have a nearly endless supply of partially trained military makes me a little queezy.
Sure would be simpler to use might over diplomacy if that were the case.

Nah...we'd never do that now that we are arguably at the top of, if not the only, remaining super power of the world.

I wonder if Rangel thought about that.
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby barfle » Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:24 am

Even with my own limited experience, I know that a reasonably trained military won't exist if it depends on draftees. As a draftee, I spent nine months in training to be a radio teletype operator, then only about 14 months actually on duty (where I never typed a letter on the air, but that's another story). That's quite an investment to squander, although VietNam was a lesson in squandering if I ever saw one.

I know that many schools required a six year enlistment. They wanted a return on their investment, which makes sense.

I'm not privy to what's happening in Iraq on the ground. Although my information may be obsolete, one thing I was taught and believe is that destruction alone isn't going to win a war. It takes men with armaments. I think the latest catch phrase is "boots on the ground."
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby haggis » Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:45 am

” Reliance on technology is the big weakness of the U.S. military. The whole point of guerilla warfare, which terrorism essentially is, is the negation of the sort of superiority the U.S. has.”


“Reliance on technology” is a favorite of technology naysayers who try to somehow argue that primitive is better because it doesn’t rely on technology. But my question to you is, at what level of "technology reliance" does weakness begin? Bows and arrows? Firearms? Internal combustion? Computers? Semiconductors? Satellites?

Before WWII the United States made the decision that we were rich enough that massive firepower and application of superior technology were preferable to loss of life. As simple as that may sound, the U.S. was the first country to embrace that philosophy and apply it on the battlefield. We still do and very successfully. I recall cries of “quagmire” when we went into Afghanistan and that was over in less than 50 days (this is where Barf, despite all the evidence to the contrary, claims that Afghanistan is still a “quagmire”)

"The whole point of guerilla warfare, which terrorism essentially is,”

Two distinct and separate activities. Guerillas might employ terrorism in their tactics, but terrorism has no military objectives while guerilla warfare does. And guerillas warfare can be more easily defeated than terrorists, sadly.

Guerillas almost universally rely on controlling some part of the rural countryside and loss of that operating area reduces or eliminates the ability of guerillas to be an effective force. That was how the British defeated the guerillas in Malaysia.

And few guerilla attempts to directly confront their adversary succeed. Many of us forget that guerilla warfare in Vietnam ceased to be effective after the 1968 Tet offensive. An estimated 12-15,000 VC were killed then and the VC never regained their power. Many military historians suspect that elimination of the VC was one of the objectives of North Vietnam when they planned the Tet Offensive.


"But the "draft" which started this debate was not an emergency call to serve in a specific confrontation but a call for every person between the ages of 18 and 26 to serve."


My comments were directed at a military draft, but any attempt to instill a "sense of duty" or "patriotism" in the youth of our country that begins with the word "mandatory" is, in my estimation, flawed.

I could be wrong though, I joined the USAF to avoid being drafted and found a job I loved and stayed and I'm fairly confident that Barfle is proud to say he's a veteran so maybe in hindsight mandatory expectation of service is good??

Comments?
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby Shapley » Mon Sep 27, 2004 12:05 pm

re:"But the "draft" which started this debate was not an emergency call to serve in a specific confrontation but a call for every person between the ages of 18 and 26 to serve."

Are we prepared to pay the cost of having every person between the ages of 18-20 on the governments payroll at all times. Whether serving active duty military or peace corps, the cost of employing all these citizens, particularly during peace time, would be tremendous. Or could those gainfully employed, or wealthy enough to go to college, be exempt? Then, that would mean only the poor would be drafted, which defeats the whole purpose of the bill.

Do we really want to pay Donald Trump, Jr. to serve as a groundpounder simply so that Charles Rangle can feel better about the ethnic composition of the military? I think not.

V/R
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby RC » Mon Sep 27, 2004 1:29 pm

Shap,
Another good point.
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby OperaTenor » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:29 pm

Originally posted by Haggis:
- how long was sub school OT? My friend's son spent 2 years just training to work in subs -
As a nuc, I didn't go to actual sub school. We were the only crew members who didn't. My training consisted of basic, Machinist Mate "A" school, Nuclear Power school(we were told it was the second toughest technical school - next to MIT), then protoype training, punching holes in the desert at the Nuclear Propulsion Training Unit in Idaho Falls, ID. The inside joke was we weren't sent to sub school because we would see the futility in escape training(only "feasable" at depths of 500' or less).

My training lasted for about 2 1/2 years.

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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby OperaTenor » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:38 pm

Originally posted by Shapley:
Are we prepared to pay the cost of having every person between the ages of 18-20 on the governments payroll at all times?
Taking it a little out of context, plus hijacking a little, just think: If everyone made careers out of government service, we would eliminate the health care issue!

:D
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby Shapley » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:53 pm

OT,

RE:My training lasted for about 2 1/2 years.

Does that include the time getting qualified on the sub, or just schools and NPTU? I was two years to the day in schooling and NPTU, then about 3 months in RT (Reactor Training Division), although part of that was waiting for a berth to become available in my division berthing. Of course, watch qualification was ongoing, so I was still training after 5 1/2 years, after which I was officially granted "Short Timer" status, and was able to slack off on the qualifications.

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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby Shapley » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:56 pm

OT,

RE:Taking it a little out of context, plus hijacking a little, just think: If everyone made careers out of government service, we would eliminate the health care issue.

Yeah, but who would pay them? Of course, since we're talking about 18-26 year-olds, who traditionally don't access health care very often, that doesn't solve the H/C delimma. There's a reason they don't draft 40-year-olds!
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby RC » Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:08 pm

18-26 year-olds, who traditionally don't access health care very often,
except that is the prime reproductive years... :eek:
Now we're really hi-jacking. Insurance premiums balloon for women through those years and taper off again in the 30's
Just FYI
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby piqaboo » Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:10 pm

Boots on the ground have a clear utility in maintaining control of territory. Had we had more soldiers available in Iraq, we might have been able to keep the infrastructure in better shape by guarding key buildings and deterring looters. This in turn would have made transition to a fully functioning Saddam-less government much easier.

This is an area where drafted infantry could be effective.
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Re: Mandatory Draft Bill

Postby OperaTenor » Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:22 pm

Hi Shap,

I don't rightly remember, were you a surface nuc?

The 2 1/2 years was prior to my getting on a boat. My sub qualifications took ~1 1/2 years, and in that time I also got up to Engineroom Supervisor. After that, I went to advanced auxialry package school, which got me gas and stick welding, air conditioning and refrigeration(I'm good at the exotic, high-capacity stuff nobody uses), and machine tool operating. Oh yeah, and sub-safe Quality Assurance Inspector school.

Out of almost 9 1/2 years of service, I was training/ being educated for ~4 years.
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