Saturday, 3 July 2004
Will the USA reinstate a military draft?
If you read this article in today's New York Times , you should also read this .
The erroneous (but so taken for granted as to be unstated) assumptions behind the Times story, and many similar ones, are that:
- The only threat of a draft is of a general draft of young people for unskilled cannon fodder.
In reality, even mouthpieces for the Selective Service System say that a special-skills draft, starting with physicians and other health care workers including men and women of a wide range of ages is the most likely form of draft, and would be called for much sooner than a general draft. (I've also pointed this out to the authors of the urban legends Web page on the draft, which was cited in a Usenet reply to one of my earlier posts on this topic.)
- Whether there will be a draft is a decision for Selective Service or the Congress.
In reality, the SS has no role in the decision -- their job is to carry out the draft, once it is ordered, not to recommend whether or when to do so. Only Congress could authorize the draft, and they aren't going to unless and until the military says it's necessary. So the question should be, "How soon will the Pentagon decide they need a draft to get enough doctors?" Even that misses a critical historical lesson: Whether there will be a draft will be determined by whether draftees submit. The reason we don't have a draft today, almost a quarter-century after the reinstatement of draft registration in 1980, is the sustained and ongoing, spontaneous and unorganized, individual noncompliance with draft registration.
Ultimately, the fate of the draft rests with those who would be drafted. It's what Dave Dellinger was talking about when he titled one of his books, "More Power Than We Know". If large enough numbers of draftees don't step forward when called, only a police state, and maybe not even that, can make them.
You have other choices . Don't go.
Posted by Edward on Saturday, 3 July 2004, 22:16 (10:16 PM)
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WHAT HAPPENS IF THE UNITED STATES RETURNS TO A MILITARY DRAFT?
Here is a brief overview of the sequence of events that will occur:
1. CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT AUTHORIZE A DRAFT
A crisis occurs which requires more troops than the volunteer military can supply. Congress passes and the President signs legislation which starts a draft.
2. THE LOTTERY
A lottery based on birthdays determines the order in which registered men are called up by Selective Service. The first to be called, in a sequence determined by the lottery, will be men whose 20th birthday falls during that year, followed, if needed, by those aged 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25. 18-year-olds and those turning 19 would probably not be drafted.
3. ALL PARTS OF SELECTIVE SERVICE ARE ACTIVATED
The Agency activates and orders its State Directors and Reserve Forces Officers to report for duty.
4. PHYSICAL, MENTAL, AND MORAL EVALUATION OF REGISTRANTS
Registrants with low lottery numbers are ordered to report for a physical, mental, and moral evaluation at a Military Entrance Processing Station to determine whether they are fit for military service. Once he is notified of the results of the evaluation, a registrant will be given 10 days to file a claim for exemption, postponement, or deferment.
5. LOCAL AND APPEAL BOARDS ACTIVATED AND INDUCTION NOTICES SENT
Local and Appeal Boards will process registrant claims. Those who pass the military evaluation will receive induction orders. An inductee will have 10 days to report to a local Military Entrance Processing Station for induction.
6. FIRST DRAFTEES ARE INDUCTED
According to current plans; Selective Service must deliver the first inductees to the military within 193 days from the onset of a crisis.
Source: Selective Service System Website
The statement from the Selective Service System posted in the comment above (which is also linked from my Web page on the draft) is largely true with respect to current Selective Service plans for a general (cannon-fodder) draft of young men.
(1) What actually happens would depend on whether those subject to an attempted draft would comply -- all evidence is that many would not.
(2) Any or all of the Selective Service plans could be changed by the same bill that authorized the draft, since any draft would require Congressional action. And some aspects of current plans, such as whether to include women and what, if any, provisions to make for conscientious objectors, would likely be debated in Congress as part of such a bill.
(2) The process for a health care workers draft -- which is much more likely and would almost certainly be called for sooner than a general draft -- would probably be quite different and could be much quicker, as discussed in the articles and leaflets linked from my Web page on the draft.
are really getting a draft?
U.S. Selective Service Updates Contingency Plan for Draft of Health Care Workers
October 19, 2004
The Selective Service, the federal agency that plans for and carries out the U.S. draft, this summer issued a confidential report updating its contingency plans for drafting doctors, nurses and other health care workers in case of a national emergency that "overwhelmed the military's medical corps," the New York Times reports.
According to the Times, in 1987, Congress enacted a law requiring the Selective Service to develop a plan for "registration and classification" of health care workers essential to the armed forces. The Selective Service in 2003 began focusing its preparations for a national crisis on "narrow sectors of specialists, including medical personnel," the Times reports.
A recent newsletter circulated by the Selective Service System said that the military has "critical shortages of individuals with special skills" that might be needed in an emergency. Under the plan, some 3.4 million male and female health care workers ages 18 to 44 would be expected to register with the Selective Service. From that list, the agency would select 36,000 professionals specializing in 62 different areas of health care to report to the Department of Defense "if and when a special skills draft were activated," according to Richard Flahavan, a spokesperson for the Selective Service System.
Doctors and nurses would be eligible for deferments if they could demonstrate that their departure would deprive civilians of "essential health care services," according to the Times.
The report, prepared this summer by contract consultant Widmeyer Communications, described how a draft of civilian health care providers would work, how to ensure compliance with draft orders, how to influence public opinion and how to communicate with health care workers. The report said that the Selective Service should establish in advance contacts with medical societies, hospitals, medical and nursing schools, managed care organizations, rural care providers and editors of medical journals and trade publications.
However, the report also said that such contact efforts should be limited and discreet because "overtures from Selective Service to the medical community will be seen as precursors to a draft," which could alarm the public. The report also advised the Selective Service to contact local government groups, such as the National Association of Counties, because local governments could be affected by the call-up of emergency medical workers if a health care draft is instituted.
The report also summarized the findings from focus groups held this summer by the Selective Service and Widmeyer on a possible health care personnel draft. It said that public opinion shows "substantial resistance to the notion of a call-up of civilian professionals that would send draftees to foreign soil."
In addition, the public sees such a draft as unworkable because "training would be inadequate to transform groups of people who had never worked together into cohesive units," according to the report. The report also said the focus groups showed people are apprehensive about the length of service that could be required with a medical personnel draft and believe the government is capable of finding "whomever it needs" in a crisis by using a "master database."
Flahavan said, "We have been routinely updating the entire plan for a health care draft. The plan is on the shelf and will remain there unless Congress and the president decide that it's needed and direct us to carry it out."
Pentagon spokesperson Lawrence Di Rita said Monday, "It is the policy of [the Bush] administration to oppose a military draft for any purpose whatsoever. ... There will be no draft." He added that instead, the military could offer bonuses and other incentives to attract and retain medical specialists.
Both Bush and Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) have said they oppose a military draft, according to the Times (Pear, New York Times, 10/19).
Draft? I'll support one. Get a few worthless youngsters off the street. Draft them all, no deferrments , no rich brat excuses. No drafting of females, that's pathetic the wimps of this country would even consider it.
fuck you asshole your fucking worthkess you piece of shit
You're absolutely right Joe. In fact, I think we should just skip the draft and just shoot all the young people of the United States. Just imagine how much less crime there would be then (and of course shooting them wouldn't be a crime, because the government approved it.) (And of course we wouldn't shoot women because that would just be mean and they're not people anyways and they've never caused trouble anyways.)