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If We Only Had a Draft

Discussion in 'News, Politics & Debates' started by anthony, Sep 10, 2006.

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  1. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Yesterday I heard someone make this comment:

    "If we still had a draft, we'd have anti-war demonstrations on every college campus, like in the '60s."

    If we had a draft?

    Many people currently serving in the military are not doing so voluntarily. We have all heard news stories of troops whose scheduled release from active duty has been postponed. A lesser-known fact is that many soldiers who already have served and been released are being forced to return to active duty.

    A typical enlistee might serve four years of active duty. Upon release, the soldier automatically becomes part of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) and may be recalled to active duty. This soldier, who may have been living a civilian life for years, will receive 30 days notice to make all arrangements to leave that life.

    My son enlisted during the Clinton administration. I don't think anyone could have anticipated at that time that we would become involved in such an immoral quagmire. My son does not support our presence in Iraq. There are thousand of others like him.

    Although it is true that IRR duty is part of the contract an enlistee signs when entering the Army, it was never intended to be used as it has been by the Bush administration. Gen. Richard Cody, speaking before the House Armed Services Committee on July 7, 2004, said of the members of the IRR, "These soldiers may be called upon during a national emergency to fill the mobilization needs of the Army." Invading and occupying a country is not a national emergency, especially when there is no end plan. The Bush administration deliberately misled the American public about the need to go into Iraq; now it finds itself with inadequate forces to maintain this presence. Its solution is to deploy thousands of troops who already have served and who return to duty involuntarily. According to Cody, "Our great soldiers in the Army's active and reserve components, including the Individual Ready Reserve, will remain the centerpiece of everything we do."

    Many reactivated soldiers suffer from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following their earlier deployments. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that about 30 percent of those who spend time in war zones suffer from PTSD, and many of those individuals are being reactivated. "Leadership cares a lot about this," according to Col. Elspeth Ritchie, psychiatry consultant to the Army surgeon general. The Army's response: Combat stress control companies take mental-health support to the units, including critical event debriefings when a unit suffers a casualty. Continued exposure to horrific events, the scope of which most of us cannot even imagine, is neither humane nor intelligent policy.

    In November 2005, an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer stated, "The Army has suspended plans to ... call up inactive soldiers for military duty." My son got his orders a month later, on Christmas Eve.

    This is a slippery slope we're perched on. How long will it be before a full draft is reinstated?

    Source: Seattle Post Intelligencer
     
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