I was all prepared to finish up the review of the new James Bond movie, Casino Royal, when I saw this story (here) about the possibility of the U.S. starting the draft again, and it scared me enough to put off finishing the review and write this post instead.
My first thoughts when it comes to the issue of the U.S. starting to draft young men and women into the armed forces was to think about a recent sculpture that was unveiled in a small town in my province recently (here). This sculpture, which is meant as a memorial to the people who helped those who did not report after receiving their draft order, cause quite the controversies here in Canada, with people worried that it would damage Canada-U.S. relations. In the end, I do believe that the statue was erected in southern B.C., and that there was a reunion of sort with many of the original “Draft Dodgers” attending.
This shows that the idea of the draft, even 30 years after it was fased out in, it still a hot topic.
Now, with Democrats taking control of the House and the Senate, this new leader, Rep. Charles Rangel, of the Ways and Means Committee (Find out more about the Committee of Ways and Means here), plans to introduce legislation bringing back the draft. This could mean several things:
1. All young men and women would have the possibility of being drafted hanging over their heads while they are going to school, working, living their lives.
2. All men and women below a certain age (probably somewhere in the mid 40s) would have the possibility of being drafted hanging over their heads while they live their lives.
3. Perhaps mandatory armed forces service would be introduced? Many countries in the world require their young people to give up 2-3 years of their life in mandatory military service. Could this be coming to the U.S.?
I think that, if there is going to be a draft, the second choise is probably the most likely, as it would give the armed forces a broader range of people from which to choose.
As far as to whether or not I think this will actually happen, my answer is no, I don’t. Rangel has mentioned that he hopes that draft legislation, once enacted, would make leaders think twice about going to war. It would make them think about the fact that now, it would not only be those people who had volunteered for military service that would be sent away, with many of them not returning. It would also be the next door neighbours kids.
I think that that is a really stupid idea. Here, lets use these people as pawns, so that when the next President of the United States decides to go to war with some country, that the death of these everyday people with make it politically uncomfortable for him. Yeah, that sounds great. How about we find a way to make sure that the most powerful military in the world doesn’t go to war needlessly without using the deaths of non-volunteer troops as a POLITICAL motivation.
Man, that idea just pisses me off.