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The War in Iraq
Last Updated: Sep 19th, 2011 - 19:28:10

 


Reinstating the Draft
By Cynthia Kirkeby
Aug 12, 2011, 8:24am



Have you heard rumors about the draft being reinstated? Well guess what? US Congressman Pete Stark and a small band of Democrats have introduced a bill to reinstate, what they call a Universal Draft. It’s called: Universal National Service Act of 2003 (S 89 IS) and it specifies that “To provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes.”
See the bill: Universal National Service Act of 2003

Would you like to know who’s behind it? Well here are the co-sponsors and status of the bill: Summary, status and co-sponsors. When this bill was first introduced it was apparently considered a form of protest by at least some of the co-sponsors (Stark Joins Call to Restore Draft), but could it become a reality instead of a vehicle of protest? It definitely seems possible when you consider the fatigued state of our military troops. Even Congress.org has put an alert on their site about the vote on this issue. (Pending Draft Legislation Targeted for Spring 2005:
The Draft will Start in June 2005)
If you would like to be heard, now is the time.

Although the White House position is that President Bush is not considering reinstating the draft (see Ask the White House), according to Salon.com (Oiling up the draft machine? November 2003), the Pentagon is moving to fill vacant draft board positions. Apparently there was a notice posted on the Defend America website for volunteers for draft boards nationwide, but after the Salon article ran, the notice was deleted. The website now displays a “File connot be found message where the notice originally appeared: (http://www.defendamerica.mil/articles/sss092203.html).
A similar notice , however, can still be found on the Selective Service website: Local Board Volunteers (wanted) - The Selective Service.
If the White House has no intention of reinstating the draft, then why would they have increased the Selective Service budget by $28 million and ask that they report their readiness to President Bush by June 15, 2005?

At the time of this article, there is a new notice on the front page of the selective Service website that reads as follows:
“Notwithstanding recent stories in the news media and on the Internet, Selective Service is not getting ready to conduct a draft for the U.S. Armed Forces -- either with a special skills or regular draft. Rather, the Agency remains prepared to manage a draft if and when the President and the Congress so direct. This responsibility has been ongoing since 1980 and is nothing new. Further, both the President and the Secretary of Defense have stated on more than one occasion that there is no need for a draft for the War on Terrorism or any likely contingency, such as Iraq. Additionally, the Congress has not acted on any proposed legislation to reinstate a draft. Therefore, Selective Service continues to refine its plans to be prepared as is required by law, and to register young men who are ages 18 through 25.”


The last time the draft was in place was 1973, during the Vietnam War. Unfortunately we appear to be in a similar situation once again. We are sending our soldiers into a war zone where the enemy cannot be distinguished from friendly forces. Our allies have already determined that this is a no win situation and they have pulled out of the region, it may be time for us to decide the same thing.

We have sent our soldiers into the region multiple times. In some cases soldiers have done three or four rotations, and they are being told that they have to go back again. Many of these brave young people are being placed on antidepressants for clinical depression, and are then being sent back to Iraq. Rather than losing any more of our brave soldiers in a futile action, members of congress need to start considering placing an Iraqi colition in charge, and pulling out of the region.

Learning Links:

Selective Service Systen Readiness Plan -SSS 2004
Who Must register for the Selective Service? - SSS
Oiling up the Draft Machine by David Lindorff and the Selective Service Notice
US raises spectre of conscription - BBC News
Legislation to reinstate the draft is winding through Congress by Tony Rehagen


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