U.S. Preparing For Military Draft in Spring of 2005

After the champagne popping from Washington to Crawford, Texas
subsides, a re-elected President George W. Bush would reinstate the
military draft sometime next spring. Legislation is already on the
table in both the House and the Senate, in the form of twin bills S
89 and HR 163, ‘in order to staff up for a protracted war on
terrorism,’ writes Adam Stutz, from Project Censored.
Meanwhile, the Selective Service System has received an extra $28
million in funds for this year’s budget to fill all 10,350 draft
board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide and put
‘troops on the ground in 85% of all American high schools to make
sure no one between 18-25 years old slips through the cracks.
Schools cannot very easily claim conscientious objector status, by
the way. ‘Buried deep in the 670 pages of the No Child Left Behind
Act there is a provision which requires that public high schools
give military recruiters access to facilities and also contact
information for every student — or else face a cutoff of federal
aid,’ writes Connor Freff Cochran of AlterNet.

More than 30 years after the last young man was sent off to
Vietnam to be slaughtered in a war ultimately so unpopular that
many Americans believe the selective service will never again rear
its ugly head, the Bush administration’s motives for reinstating
the draft are clear (especially if the Pentagon unilaterally
attacks a third country this fall before the election). Cochran
writes: ‘Twenty-one of the US Army’s 33 regular combat brigades are
now on active duty in the ‘hot’ zones of Iraq, Afghanistan, South
Korea, and the Balkans. That’s 63 percent of the Army’s fighting
force. This is a huge overextension. History has proven that
long-term military operations can only be sustained if you have
twice as many soldiers waiting in the pipeline as are stationed out
in the field. By that rule of thumb, the regular military is now
125,000 soldiers short.’

And ‘draft dodging’ would not be as easy as it was during the
Vietnam Conflict, since attending college, being female, or fleeing
to Canada could not be used as shelters this time around. Stutz
writes, ‘underclassmen would only be able to postpone service until
the end of their current semester. Seniors would have until the end
of the academic year.’ Meanwhile, shortly after the 9/11 terrorist
attacks, ‘Canada and the U.S. signed a ‘Smart Border Declaration,’
which could be used to keep would-be draft dodgers in [the United
States].’ Hold your boys close, mommas. If Bush wins in November,
they could be trading their high school diplomas in for dog
Jacob Wheeler

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US Preparing for Military Draft in Spring 2005

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