Election update: possibility of a military draft

By Michael Sitiriche
September 23, 2004

The United States military is everywhere. The Armed Forces are on active duty not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in the former Soviet Union, South Korea and in scattered parts of Europe.

Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska, stressed the issue on how the United States must reinstitute the draft. Saying how there’s not an American that doesn’t understand what’s we are engaging in today and what our future has to hold.

Sen. Hagel therefore raises the question, “Why shouldn’t we ask all of our citizens to bear some responsibility and pay some price?” He believes that by reinstating the draft, citizens will begin to understand the intensity and challenges we face.

Sen. Hagel argues that this would help spread the responsibility of military service in Iraq among all Americans, not just the lower and middle class, which seems to be the majority of soldiers fighting in Iraq.

This is not soley a Republican idea; it has support from both Republicans and Democrats. Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel of New York, a veteran of war, thinks that fighting for this country should be equally disbursed amongst all Americans, despite racial and economic groups, not just volunteers.

The Bush administration is in favor of reinstating the draft. It is currently on the table in both the House and the Senate, in the form of two bills S 89 and HR 163. Draft dodging will not be as easy as it was during the Vietnam War since attending college, being a female or fleeing to Canada are no longer a valid means for avoiding the draft.

John Kerry believes that if he is elected, the answer to the issue is not to reinstitute the draft, but to formulate a better foreign policy program. “We went to Iraq with too few troops to prevent looting and crime, to maintain security, fundamental order, to secure nearly a million tons of conventional weapons now being used against our troops, these have complicated our mission: a stable Iraq with a representative government secure in its borders, which is our goal,” Kerry said.

A point that Kerry makes about soldiers now compared to those in the past is that the burden has increased because more than half of the soldiers are married.

Posted to the web by Cecelia Francisco

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Michael Sitiriche

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