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Old 10-29-2004, 03:52 PM   #1
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Draft Mischief

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Draft Mischief
Debunking an election-season myth.

By Donald H. Rumsfeld
The peculiar thing about myths is that even the most far-fetched can be nearly impossible to extinguish. This is especially so when there is a vested interest in some quarters in keeping them alive.

Like many Americans, I have recently heard a great deal of misinformed talk about a so-called "secret plan" to bring back the draft. This plot is so secret that it doesn't exist. Neither our commander-in-chief nor the secretary of Defense know anything about it. That's because it simply is not true.

Let me be even more emphatic on that point. To my knowledge, in the time I have served as secretary of Defense, the idea of reinstating draft has never been debated, endorsed, discussed, theorized, pondered, or even whispered by anyone in the Bush administration. When asked about it, the president has flatly rejected the idea. Similarly, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has said a draft is not needed or desirable. And the U.S. House of Representatives voted down a bill, offered by several Democratic congressmen, to reinstate the draft by a resounding 402-2 just two weeks ago.

Yet based on absolutely no actual evidence, partisans, conspiracy mongers, and troublemakers are attempting to scare and mislead young Americans by insisting that a draft is coming. This is mischief-making masquerading as a serious policy debate. It is shameful.

This entire deceit is underhanded and just plain wrong. Unfortunately, regrettably, inexcusably, thanks to the available transmission belt in the media, it seems to be working. One recent opinion poll suggests that about half of America's young people surveyed believe that the President Bush favors reinstating the draft.

I take this issue seriously and personally. As a member of Congress in the 1960s, I was one of the first to support an all-volunteer force. I know the inequities and the problems — for both our society and our military — associated with compelling people to serve against their will in the armed forces.

Quite beyond the draft's inequities and inefficiencies, the United States simply does not need a draft. America has about 295 million people and some 2.6 million serving in the active and reserve components of our military. We don't need compulsion to attract and retain the people we need to serve our country.

As it stands today, the active Army and Marine Corps continue to exceed their recruiting goals despite the high pace of activity. Retention is also doing well. Particularly striking are reenlistment rates for units that have deployed overseas. Of the Army's ten active-duty divisions, nine are exceeding re-enlistment goals by five percent or more.

The United States is so fortunate that every day so many brave and talented young men and women willingly sign up to serve their country, knowing full well — just from watching the nightly news — the dangers and sacrifices involved.

Each one is a volunteer, and if it happened that we were to not have enough people to serve, all we would have to do is what any other organization would do — and that is increase the incentives and make military service a more attractive option for the best and brightest young people.

There is stress on our forces — but not because of any shortage of uniformed personnel.

For example, there are over one million soldiers in the active Army, Army reserve and National Guard. Of those, less than 12 percent are actually deployed to the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters. And the Army has already increased its active strength by as many as 30,000 troops since September 11, 2001.

The issue is that our forces, particularly the Army, are not properly organized for the post-Cold War era. Too many skills needed on Active duty are heavily concentrated in the Reserve components. Too many of the Active forces are not readily deployable. Too many military personnel — tens of thousands — are performing tasks that could and should be performed by civilians.

We have undertaken a range of initiatives to increase the pool of deployable troops within the Armed Forces and the quality of life for service members and their families. The result will be that individual troops will be deployed less often, for shorter periods of time and with more predictability.

With a professional, all-volunteer force, the U.S. military won the Cold War, liberated Afghanistan and Iraq, and has kept the peace in Asia and Europe. And the all-volunteer force will win the global war on terror.

— Donald H. Rumsfeld is the secretary of Defense.
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:00 PM   #2
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The problem is –
this rattled old man has been making many mistakes.

He is losing his grip and largely responsible for the "failures" in Iraq.
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:05 PM   #3
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no draft is a good draft.

i like how he threw in that we're going to win the war on terror too.
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:11 PM   #4
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There will not be a draft during a Bush administration. Under Kerry however the "civil service" policies that have mysteriously dissapeared from the website have not been dismissed.
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:14 PM   #5
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The draft BS is all part of Kerry's goal of attracting the youth vote.
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:18 PM   #6
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Stop-loss is "compulsory service".
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:21 PM   #7
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what about not allowing soldiers to opt out when their tour of duty is over?

Rumsfeld has said alot of things: there is a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda, the Iraqis will welcome us with flowers, we have an exit strategy etc. etc. Why should I believe him now after all the disasters he has caused?
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Old 10-29-2004, 06:03 PM   #8
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Is the stop-loss option well within the rights of the military to exercise? Are people in the military, when signing up, not aware of stop-loss?
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Old 10-29-2004, 06:04 PM   #9
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I believe if Kerry wins, he will re-instate the draft. Especially since the re-instatement of the draft is a Democratic party measure.
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Old 10-29-2004, 09:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
The draft BS is all part of Kerry's goal of attracting the youth vote.
I'm sorry but this is BS, the draft issue was brought up before Kerry was even the Democratic canidate.

Of course neither canidate is for a draft. Yet no one has shown me what we're going to do if we "have to invade" Iran or some other country in the next year. I think the fear is legitimate. Our troops are stretched thin and we still have very real threats to the world's security out there.
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Old 10-29-2004, 09:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Flying FuManchu
Is the stop-loss option well within the rights of the military to exercise? Are people in the military, when signing up, not aware of stop-loss?
It is an exectutive order signed by Bush after 9/11. There are many enlisted National Guard that are being required to pull extra service beyond the time they signed up for.

And yes, they signed up before Stop-loss existed.

I posted a thread, now on page two.

President Bush's Executive Order 13223- Resist the DRAFT! It is WRONG!

that explains this in detail.
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