Rumors, some documented by Nick Confessore, abound that the US government has advanced plans to reinstate the draft shortly after the November election. It's always good when our government does serious contingency planning — had they done more of it (and listened to those who did it) before the invasion of Iraq we might not be in this mess. And contingency plans don't always mean an actual policy. But these rumors suggest something beyond the ordinary 'maybe' scenarios. Plus, they fit in with the Army's obvious serious shortage of troops.
As a colleague of mine pointed out the other day — amidst a discussion of how to ensure that his draft-age son gets into the sort of unit that doesn't take casualties — the really weird thing is how little we've been hearing about this on campuses. It may be that the news happened to trickle out just as students were buckling down to exams (lucky accident or does Karl Rove still have some of the magic?), and now they are scattering to the four winds for the summer. If so, it could be a very noisy September.
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Or it may be an utterly unsubstantiated rumor campaign designed to frightent anyone of draft age, or who has a loved one of draft age, into voting for the party deemed most likely to end the war. One which just isn’t catching fire, because too many people understand that that’s all it is.
Is this a rumor? Who knows. But I have a sixteen year old son and I’m not willing to take a chance. I will be voting for the party that is most likely to end the war.
To bring this topic back, I’ll point readers to the Bill Summary and Status for S.89 and H.R.163 :
“SUMMARY AS OF:
Universal National Service Act of 2003 – Declares that it is the obligation of every U.S. citizen, and every other person residing in the United States, between the ages of 18 and 26 to perform a two-year period of national service, unless exempted, either as a member of an active or reserve component of the armed forces or in a civilian capacity that promotes national defense. Requires induction into national service by the President. Sets forth provisions governing: (1) induction deferments, postponements, and exemptions, including exemption of a conscientious objector from military service that includes combatant training; and (2) discharge following national service.
Amends the Military Selective Service Act to authorize the military registration of females.”
This bill was introduced in 2003. Our media has been focused on other things during this time and certainly the administration won’t be broadcasting it openly. Not until it has to, anyway.
According to internet sources, more action (What kind? More voting, or actual implementation?) is expected in Spring 2005.
Will we the people allow this bill to pass any further than it already has?
[Good idea, linking to selected topics in the comments.]