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Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Military preparedness.

Feeling that we might be a little stretched in Iraq? James Fallows reported back in March:

The military's people, its equipment, its supplies and spare parts, its logistics systems, and all its other assets are under pressure they cannot sustain. Everything has been operating on an emergency basis for more than two years, with no end to the emergency in sight. The situation was serious before the invasion of Iraq; now it is acute.

What does "acute" look like? Two alarming statistics:

This year nearly 40 percent of the U.S. presence in Iraq will be from the Guard and the Reserves. . . .

The military press has been abuzz with the news that four divisions, representing nearly half the Army's active-duty strength, are now officially in the two lowest readiness categories, because of their service in Iraq.

And Nick Confessore notes at Tapped:

[A]fter a couple of years of dipping into the main reserves — essentially chewing through them to sustain post-9/11 deployments, the Afghanistan occupation, and then the Iraq invasion — we're now dipping into the inactive reserves. And if we still need more manpower after that — well, then we start drafting.

And President Bush thinks the secretary of defense has been doing a "superb" job?

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 18 May 2004 at 6:31 PM

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Sarah Stewart:

May 20, 2004 03:07 PM | Permalink for this comment

There are bills in both the House and Senate right now which propose reinstating the active draft: the Universal National Service Act of 2003. The Senate version (S89) is in the Senate Committee on Armed Services. The House version (HR163) is in the Committee on Armed Services, which has asked for comment from the Dept. of Defense.

The bills propose drafting all people between the ages of 18 and 26, both men and women, for service, either military or domestic, for two years. There is no exemption for being in college.

You can find this and much other fascinating information at


May 20, 2004 03:53 PM | Permalink for this comment

You'll have to excuse me if this post is not factual, but I remember hearing that the Bill about reinstituting the draft was actually submitted by a anti-war Democrat member of congress. The gist of submitting this Bill was to point out the cost of going war and the fact that minorities and the economically disadvantaged are over-represented in our armed services. (Thus, compulsory service for all, even college students.) There are all kinds of Bills before congress. For the time being, this Bill, especially considering who drafted it, has little chance of being enacted.

Jeff Wilson:

May 20, 2004 04:09 PM | Permalink for this comment

I checked, and RevThom is at least partially correct. Every single sponsor or co-sponsor of the two bills listed above in a Democrat. Their motives are more difficult to discern. Here's the press release that Sen. Hollings, the sponsor of the Senate bill, put out about his bill:


May 20, 2004 04:15 PM | Permalink for this comment

Fact-checking is always a good thing. The Senate version of the Bill reinstating the draft (S89) was submitted by Senator Fritz Hollings (D)from South Carolina. Poking around his web-site, you find numerous interesting things including a statement that increased dimplomacy is the best deterrent to terrorism and "Photo Ops are not a substitute for substantive public policy." Not the type of guy who is really interested in sending your kids off to war.

The House Version of the Bill (HR163) was also introduced by a cadre of Democrats.

I stand by my assertion that this is political maneuvering, not suggested policy.


September 29, 2004 11:59 PM | Permalink for this comment

It is a symptom of the fear that grips our nation as a result of the irresponsible administration now in power that the most ardent supporter of that administration in my family sent this out as a call to arms to parents throughout the land. HE believes it is a Republican plot, in spite of being a registered Conservative. As for myself, I think he (W) would if he could. He seems to be just that crazy.

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