Tuesday, August 3, 2010

To Draft Or Not To Draft?

What a question!

One irony of wars like Iraq and Afghanistan has to do with who fights them. An all volunteer army is essentially a mercenary army, and they need work. A case has been made that the Crusades were a way to keep the various kings' paid militias, the so-called knights, busy, giving them something to do. They were trained to kill, not build or make anything and they were prone to causing trouble domestically when they couldn't find work which required their killing skills.

A draft is a temporary army, and the goal of most draftees is to get the fight over with and get back to the productive lives they were skilled at pursuing.

A professional army, as is the case with volunteers, needs work to do. If they were all Army Engineers the work would be more constructive.

This article makes the case that our wars of choice might not be happening if there were a draft, something I've been writing about for quite a long time. These wars of choice keep some of the professional killers occupied, not prone to causing trouble domestically. Clearly they are not what you would usually call professional killers, like in hit men. Are there hit women? In bad economic times, like we have now, many volunteer because it's the only paid work they can find. Makes me wonder if the Neocons of the military/industrial complex aren't secretly pleased with bad economic times.

And, at least as important, back in the day, it required an act of Congress to declare war. No doubt that requirement birthed the saying, "It would take an act of Congress", when something really controversial is on the table, as controversial as declaring war and instituting a military draft.


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