Tuesday, March 16, 2004

As Preparation for the Draft Continues, Hans Blix Speaks Out

As reported several times on this blog in the past, preparations continue to re-start a draft in this country if Mr. Bush is re-elected. He must have the additional troops and expertise to continue the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive invasions. Congress says it's not in the mood to support the draft, but it won't take much more to change that if other large scale international or domestic terrorism acts occur. Messrs. Bush, Perle, Frum, Wolfowitz will use anything they can to promote the idea of keeping us on an invasion-based foreign policy for four more years.

We have to fight terrorism at its sources and not waste our kids on wars fought "without critical thinking" - those words from Hans Blix, who reported this morning that he believed Bush Administration about evidence of WMDs at first. But then as he conducted U.N. inspections over many months, he came to realize that the Bush administration was "100% convinced, but they had 0% evidence." But that won't stop this administration from doing more of the same.

The government is taking the first steps toward a targeted military draft of Americans with special skills in computers and foreign languages.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is adamant that he will not ask Congress to authorize a draft, and officials at the Selective Service System, the independent federal agency that would organize any conscription, stress that the possibility of a so-called "special skills draft" is remote.

Nonetheless, the agency has begun the process of creating the procedures and policies to conduct such a targeted draft in case military officials ask Congress to authorize it and the lawmakers agree to such a request.

Flahavan said Selective Service planning for a possible draft of linguists and computer experts began last fall after Pentagon personnel officials said the military needed more people with skills in those areas.

A targeted registration and draft "is strictly in the planning stage," he said, adding that "the whole thing is driven by what appears to be the more pressing and relevant need today" -- the deficit in language and computer experts.

The agency already has a special system to register and draft health care personnel ages 20 to 44 in more than 60 specialties if necessary in a crisis. According to Flahavan, the agency will expand this system to be able to rapidly register and draft computer specialists and linguists, should the need ever arise. But he stressed that the agency has received no request from the Pentagon to do so.

Congress, which would have to authorize a draft, has shown no interest in taking such a step.

The military draft ended in 1973 as the U.S. commitment in Vietnam waned, beginning the era of the all-volunteer force. Mandatory registration for the draft was suspended in 1975 but resumed in 1980 by President Carter after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. About 13.5 million men, ages 18 to 25, are currently registered with the Selective Service.

A Pentagon official familiar with personnel issues stressed that the armed forces are against any form of conscription but acknowledged that the groundwork is already under way at the Selective Service System.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link