Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bush Eyes Mullen for Joint Chief's Head

President Bush's top choice for Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael G. Mullen, may signal a subtle shift in the administration's strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mullen, currently head of the US Navy, has been voicing concern for some time that our extended involvement in Iraq is putting excessive strains on the Marines and Army. (Washington Post: Nominee to Head Joint Chiefs Sees Current Strain on Military.)

The argument is not a new one, however it is an abrupt about-face for the President to appoint one with such views to head the Joint Chiefs. Admiral Robert J. Natter who attended the Naval Academy with Mullen described him as, "A realist [who] would say this is as much a political issue solvable only by the Iraqis as it is a military force issue partially solvable by the U.S. military." That would seem to signal a shift in the administration's focus from a military solution towards a more political solution, assuming one is even achievable in that region.

While a new perspective at the top is certainly a welcome change, we as a nation should be more concerned that a four-year engagement involving approximately 140,000 US troops should pose that great a strain on the military. Indeed, while nobody will argue the hazards of serving in Iraq, by all standards the engagement there is extremely light compared to past wars involving the US. If this engagement has strained the marines and army, then it is high time we addressed that problem and restructured our military to support a sustained conflict.

Vietnam lasted for 7 1/2 years with 4.3% of the US population enrolled in the military. World War II, the Korean War, the American Revolution and the Civil War were all as long as our current engagement in Iraq, and there can be little doubt that the actual amount of combat in those wars was astronomical compared to anything we face today in Iraq, yet the current structure of our military is straining to maintain 140,000 on the battlefield. That is a problem.

The last time we had to mobilize for war we instituted a draft. Unfortunately, the draft concept is flawed from the start. It breeds corruption and pretty much guarantees that only the poor or minorities will end up serving. Oddly enough, the draft was conceived to prevent just that, but never underestimate the ability of the human race to corrupt and abuse any bureaucratic system. In any case, I do not advocate a draft since there is no legitimate reason to believe that it would be any less corrupt, any less racially and socially biased today than it was in 1970. Instead, what I advocate is Universal Military Service.

In my view, every American has an obligation to serve his or her country. When a US Citizen turns 18, then it is that American's obligation to enter military service for a period of not less than two years. No exemptions, no deferments, no objections. Every American serves regardless of race, creed, gender, financial status, or any other category by which people avoided service in the 1970s. Service in the military should also be a prerequisite for obtaining US Citizenship and even for obtaining a visa that extends beyond five-years.

It is time Americans gave back to this nation instead of standing on the backs of a select few. It is also time that we recognize the short-comings of an all-volunteer force with regards to long term conflicts. Take Admiral Mullen's concerns to heart, and develop the plan now to address our ability to maintain a sustained conflict. You can be sure that our enemies will not sit idly by while we gear up when the time comes.


Scott Kohlhaas said...


You are right about one thing--the sss is corrupt!

Would you be willing to spread the word about www.draftresistance.org? It's a site dedicated to shattering the myths surrounding the selective slavery system and building mass civil disobedience to stop the draft before it starts.

Our banner on a website, printing and posting the anti-draft flyer or just telling friends would help.


Scott Kohlhaas

PS. When it comes to conscription, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Kannafoot said...

Scott, I'm not sure you actually read my entire post. While I do not what to see us revert to a draft for the reasons I listed, I do want to see us adopt Universal Military Service. I somehow suspect your organization would oppose that as well.

Let me make this perfectly clear. I have absolutely no use whatsoever for draft dodgers. President Ford may have pardoned the draft dodgers, but I have not. To me, they are worthless scum that have absolutely no reason for being allowed back into this country.

If a person is not willing to serve this country then they are undeserving of any benefits this country has to offer. Get rid of them. I hear all to often from co-workers that, "If they re-instituted the draft I would send my kid to Canada." My response is always the same. Go now and take your kid with you. Neither of you deserve to be here.

Hopefully that clarifies my view on draft dodging or draft resistance. If a draft is re-instituted in lieu of Universal Military Service, then I will fully support that draft and would prefer to work to see that the corruption we saw in the 1970s does not materialize again. But under no circumstances would I ever support or condone draft resistance.