"…At This Point."

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Remember that qualifier tacked onto Gen. Richard B. Myers' denial that the draft is needed to help flesh-out America's stretched military. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff surely knows that at some point, if politicians keep finding new missions, something is going to have to be done about finding more people in uniform.

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  1. Andrew,

    Draftees are far cheaper than volunteers, especially if your draft can be selective based on skills. When France ended conscription in 1996 the Army had to shed about 1/3 of its force (down to 350k) in order to stay within the budget. Of course a volunteer army has its advantages, at least in France; since France can now send around 50,000-60,000 soldiers into harms way abroad in comparison to the 10,000 it could send in GWI (the conscripts were allowed by the constitution to fight only in France and Germany). Anyway, France has since 1996 had no problem filling its manpower requirements; in fact, only budget caps have been a limitation. I suspect that an American will also easily increase its ranks as well if the money is available.

  2. More can be accomplished with the same or even less numbers of men in only one way;

    The targeted areas of conquest/occupation/liberation need to be bombed a little flatter from the start.

  3. What Gen. Myers knows is only what is perfectly obvious: the United States military can not do all the things we are now asking it to do without more men. We could pay for them, but with deficits soaring into the half-trillion dollar range this is not practicable. Some form of conscription, or a drastic reduction in current overseas deployments, will be required within the next five years.

  4. I wonder if the policing missions we are doing these days could open the door to the private sector. I recall Ross Perot’s private rescue of his own people, I hear about the increased need for low intensity operations, I dunno …

  5. The draft issue is a red herring. Ten or twelve years ago, at the end of the Cold War, the U.S. Army was much larger than it is today, with probably twice the number of combat divisions. During the 1990s, we cut the size of the Army (and the other armed services) dramatically and saved a bundle in the process. If a larger military is necessary to meet our current requirements, it will take time to build it, and it will take money to pay for the equipment, salaries, and training. Of course, that’s true whether the military is comprised of volunteers or draftees.

  6. Jason: Whenever you hear the phrase low intensity in relation to a military mission, your B.S monitor should go through the roof. When you have live rounds in the box, there is NOTHING low intensity about it.

  7. We could afford a lot more people in uniform without a budget increase if we reduced our outlays for expensive new ships, aircraft, and satellites. This would also be a good strategy for shifting from a war against national armies to a war against small bands of covert operators.

    We need more guys standing around with rifles. That is the propert tool for the jobs our country needs doen. Does anyone think we’re going to lose air superiority if we put off building the Raptor for 10 years?

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