The all-volunteer Army is fine in peacetime, and in military routs like the first gulf war. But when the troops are locked in a prolonged war that yields high casualties, and they look over their shoulders to see if reinforcements are coming from the general population, they find -as they're finding now - that no one is there.
. . . Now, with the war going badly and the Army chasing potential recruits with a ferocity that is alarming, a backlash is developing that could cripple the nation's ability to wage war without a draft. Even as the ranks of new recruits are dwindling, many parents and public school officials are battling the increasingly heavy-handed tactics being used by military recruiters who are desperately trying to sign up high school kids.
. . . What's not so wonderful is that this war with no end in sight is becoming an ever more divisive issue for Americans. A clear divide is developing between those who want to continue the present course and those who feel it's time to craft an exit strategy.
But with volunteers in extremely short supply, an even more emotional divide is occurring over the ways in which soldiers for this war are selected. Increasing numbers of Americans are recognizing the inherent unfairness of the all-volunteer force in a time of war. That emotional issue will become more heated as the war continues. And it is sure to resonate in the wars to come.
While Bushco's monumental mendacious blunder into the Iraq Debacle is the immediate cause of this crisis, the issue seems to extend beyond this. We must consider the real possibility that our nation will need to fight a war which will result in significant casualties. War is always always always a last resort, but it still is a resort.
Have we been kidding ourselves on believing an all volunteer force is adequate for our national security needs? And if it isn't, do we want a draft? And if not a draft then what?Update [2005-6-27 1:9:51 by Armando]: Trevino of Red State argues for a draft.