Draft legislation… again!
Yes, thank you very much, Charlie Rangel, your input is much appreciated. BTW, I listened to you be interviewed on NPR last week, and from your own words, two things were immediately clear to me. One, that you seem to prefer dismissing your critics by calling them names. Secondly, you appear to think of the whole mighty apparatus of the state as merely some kind of huge teat which you have the power to squeeze vigorously and produce thereby an array of benefits for your constituency. I appreciate that this is why politicians are re-elected; they service their districts/community/state or whatever, but most of them do not sound so nakedly obvious about it: they make a convincing pretense of attending to the interests of the nation as a whole.

Discussing how the military is staffed and where it is fielded are legitimate concerns, and open for discussion, but attempting to rectify them by reinstituting a draft is… well, ill-advised. The military itself has been all-volunteer for over thirty years, and Rep. Rangel might be informed that the volunteer military is actually pretty well representitive of American society… those bits it between the very poor, and the very rich… and the coasts!

Everyone who has signed on the dotted line and taken the oath has done so because they want to be there; right, tight, professional and squared away. Who wants to deal with whiney, physically-unfit, unmotivated and useless proto-civilian a-holes on short tours of duty? Not an NCO I know of looks forward to that prospect. Dealing with people who don’t want to be there is more trouble than it would be worth; and a universal draft would bring in more than could ever be made use of. Just what we need; a large barely-trained, minimally skilled military, most of whom wouldn’t be in service long enough to learn anything useful. It’s not like it’s World War II , or previous wars fought by drafted armies. These were fought by teaching large numbers of variously motivated draftees over a short time to march, and shoot, and then packing them off toot-sweet off to the front. It may also have escaped attention that the necessary skills the military needs these days are a little more complicated than learning how to march and shoot, and therefore need a much longer learning curve… longer than the service-time for a draftee would cover. And some military specialties are so challenging that only someone who is really motivated, and really wants to be there has a hope of qualifying.

Yeah, we could use more special forces, more linguists, more brainy innovators, but resorting to a draft to get them would inflict more damage on the services than it would be worth. I suspect Rep. Rangel’s solicitude for the condition of the military is based more on emotion, his political fortunes, or hunger for headlines, than actual concern for military personnel.

(Another aspect here, from BNN(

“Sgt. Mom” is a freelance writer and retired Air Force NCO who blogs at www.sgtstryker.com, and lives in San Antonio.

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