Bits and Pieces

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

The Draft

Kevin has an interesting article on the contingency planning on the SSS to prepare in case the US brought back the draft:

The chief of the Selective Service System has proposed registering women for the military draft and requiring that young Americans regularly inform the government about whether they have training in niche specialties needed in the armed services.

The proposal, which the agency's acting Director Lewis Brodsky presented to senior Pentagon officials just before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, also seeks to extend the age of draft registration to 34 years old, up from 25.

....Some of the skill areas where the armed forces are facing "critical shortages" include linguists and computer specialists, the agency said. Americans would then be required to regularly update the agency on their skills until they reach age 35.

Forgetting for a moment the ludicrous idea that the draft is a sensible option for a developed country, the first thing that came to mind on reading that was a line from the episode of The Simpsons in which Bart gets sent to a military school to knock him into shape:

"Since you attended public school, I'm going to assume you're already proficient with small arms, so we'll start you off with something a little more advanced."

Anyway... I'm assuming, as Kevin does, that this planning is nothing more than a hypothetical, but it strikes me as ridiculous that the draft would even be considered in a hypothetical sense. If it was actually instituted it would be nothing less than political suicide for Bush, an admission that the war was a mistake. However, even as a hypothetical it must hurt the Republicans. It could easily be used as fodder for a Kerry ad. Deep voice, moody lighting: 'George Bush wants to send your children to die on foreign soil...' etc. etc.

Seems stupid to me.
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