Saturday, December 23, 2006

Two years ago, the idea that the draft would be reinstated was laughable... to ignorant optimists. But today, in the midst of a conflict that has outlasted the U.S. involvement in World War II the idea's not looking so far-fetched once you see the warning signs.

First, troop strength in Iraq is fading. Watch the use of language on this issue. It's not the number of troops, but the strength of the force as a whole. A lot of our soldiers are on their third tour and counting with shrinking breaks between tours. They are brave; they are strong; but they are also getting tired. There is concern that if they don't get a break, they will break and working them to that point is not an option anyone wants to do. Increasing troop strength does not mean simply adding troops, but also refreshing our current force, and that requires an influx of soldiers far greater than the 30,000 figure being tossed around.

Second, President Bush is emphasizing he is keeping ALL options ( on the table when discussing the possibility of increasing troop strength. And he's not flat-out dismissing the draft as one of those options. Curious omission given the state of affairs. Also, don't discount the fact that he's got nothing to lose. He is past the peak of his political career. His approval rating is in the gutter. His only fear is failure in Iraq. The political drawbacks of reinstating the draft will not deter him.

Third, the Selective Service Agency ( is testing the military conscription system. By itself, this is not a sign of impending draft, but put it together with the other signs and it indicates a very real possibility it is being seriously considered.

Finally, the editorials ( supporting a renewed draft are creeping back in. They surged during the '04 elections as liberals pushed for shared burden across the social classes. But I predict we'll see conservatives joining in as they gird their readers for the possibility. Watch for an increase after the holidays. A rise indicates trouble.

All that said, these are just warning signs, not absolute indicators. The first is clear fact, but the rest are likely reactions to the first. But make no mistake: action will be taken and a draft is a very real possibility. Time, and the rise or fall of the warning signs, will tell.

CateGoogles: political_silliness
Mood = concerned

Get Ready to Burn Your Draft Cards!


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