Recently, there has been quite a buzz about reinstating the draft. Rumors are flying about drafting men, women, and college students. But if either presidential candidate were to admit to plans of reinstating the draft, it would be campaign suicide, and they both maintain they are against it.[troops]
“Both candidates are very militaristic, but the draft would be more likely to be reinstated under Bush so that he could further support the war that he prompted,” Jessica Henderson, an MSU junior, said.
Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense, supports an all-volunteer army because according to an Army ROTC representative that wanted to remain anonymous, “it is not the military’s code to take a draft.” When asked if women and college students would be exempt from the draft, the ROTC representative would not offer any further information except he again emphasized, but worded differently that “it is not the military’s policy.”
But, it seems that the reserves are getting thinner and there’s a demand to deploy more troops. The question remains as to how President Bush or Sen. John Kerry will address this issue without a draft. There are approximately 5 million Iraqis living in Baghdad alone and United States has about 150,000 soldiers on the ground in entire country. That brings the ratio to 33 Iraqis to every American “volunteer” in Baghdad alone. With those frightening odds, there is no wonder that there is an average of one soldier dying per day in Iraq. As of October 20, 1,102 soldiers have been killed and 7,782 wounded. [sam5]
There is still a single division (600,000 soldiers) that could be deployed to Iraq. But can the United States afford to send that division with the rising threat of countries such as North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia? Our troops are dwindling and the United States reserves are stretched thin.
What frightens Americans even more is that what Kerry calls the “backdoor draft,” where soldiers are extending their military careers to serve. The Pentagon does not want to extend the stay for troops already being asked to serve the longest unbroken war since Vietnam.
As for the candidates, Kerry points the finger at Bush, saying that Bush will undoubtedly reinstate the draft and has publicized the advertising for the re-staffing of draft boards. However, the filling of vacancies is an ongoing and public process. On the other hand, Bush has openly admitted to his involvement in the “backdoor draft” and continues to deny any rumors of an actual draft.
Regardless of who is the elected, our country will still be involved in the war. Until Bush or Kerry comes up with a plan to “win the peace” as Kerry says, young men and women will die and the possibility of the draft will continue. Neither candidate wants a draft, but time will tell if they can keep their promises. The question is not whether the country wants a draft, but if it will have to be reinstated. Until Bush or Kerry gets real with the draft-age generation, we will have to wait and wonder.

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