Washington - If American forces aren't pulling out of Iraq in a year, a draft will be needed to meet manpower requirements, military analysts warned Wednesday.
With recruitment lagging and no end in sight for U.S. forces in Iraq, the "breaking point" for the nation's all-volunteer military will be mid-2006, agreed Lawrence Korb, a draft opponent and assistant defense secretary in the Reagan administration, and Phillip Carter, a conscription advocate and former Army captain.
Korb, assistant secretary defense for manpower from 1981 through 1985, said the current rotation is unfair to the "patriotic" men and women who volunteered for military service and are stuck on a cycle in and out of Iraq. Since only a tiny segment of the populace is sacrificing, there is no political pressure to change the system, he said.
"If you had a draft right now, I think you'd be out of Iraq," Korb said. (my emphasis)
The American society "hasn't gotten the message that we're at war," agreed Carter.
"Those at peril are completely divorced from those in power," said Mark Shields, a syndicated columnist and TV commentator who moderated the symposium. "It's 'Patriotism Lite' -- you put a sticker on your SUV."
"America has a choice," wrote Carter. "It can be the world's superpower or it can maintain the current all-voluntary military. But it probably can't do both."
If that's all it would take to get out of Iraq and quit killing American troops and Iraqi civilians for evil ideology and oil, then fire up the draft. Hell's Bells, I'll go if I can get my stripes back. The Marine Corps needs more Corporals with forty years in grade! Especially if they don't have to do the stuff they did when they were nineteen! Been there already.