Friday, June 10, 2005

Am I the only one blogging about this?

This story was all over the morning news as I ate my breakfast today, but both right and left sides of the blogosphere seem to be silent on it. Even the perpetually pessmisstic Andrew has no mention of it at all (probably because it doesn't directly relate to Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo).

There are some worrisome aspects about the story. Obviously, you can't fight a war for long without new recruits. You can't keep unit cohesion without well-trained NCOs. And there's the nagging possibility that the decline might be due to the public losing faith in the war and the military.

But historically speaking, this is par for the course. The War on Terror is the first major war since 1846 that has been fought entirely by volunteers. (Historical note: The Spanish-American War and the Gulf War do not qualify as "major wars" in the sense that both were over long before a draft was necessary).

For perspective, let's review America's use of the draft:

Civil War: The draft was first instituted, over protests of its constitutionality. Massive casualties made it necessary. It also was quite unpopular, unevenly applied, exempted the wealthy, and led to riots in New York City.

First World War: The draft was an integral part of America's war effort. My grandfather found that out first-hand, as he was drafted in late 1918.

Second World War: The Democrat Party's Great Patriotic War was fought by millions of draftees. In fact, the draft was in place prior to Pearl Harbor: It was part of the warmongering Roosevelt Administration's belligerent and unprecedented peacetime military buildup.

Korea: The draft was a constant feature of the first half of the Cold War.

Viet Nam: The draft lost it's steam, as many prospective recruits simply refused to show up. It was quite unpopular, unevenly applied, exempted the wealthy, and led to riots on college campuses across the nation. (sound familiar?)

In short, this drop in recruiting is to be expected. After the initial flush of patriotic pride, many young men become more reluctant to join as the casualty lists increase in length. Add to that a booming economy, and the military becomes a less attractive option.

This doesn't necessarily mean we need a draft; it does mean recruiters will have to get more creative and generous to overcome the reluctance of their potential recruits. While there may be clouds on the horizon, the sky is not falling.

Yet.

1 Comments:

At 7:34 PM, Blogger Rosemary said...

Hello Cpt. Holly. I was a little bothered by this, considering the press and it's bias, but I realized that the numbers they are quoting from are NOT from all branches nor are they lower than they were last year.

The reality is we raised the amount of troops to be recruited. So in a sense, yes, we did fall short in the Army-from the NEW amount of rucruits. See?

I hope this helps. Have a great day.

Sourse: Cpt. Dale Dye, KFI 640 am, LA, CA, 5-7pm on Sunday, either this past week or the week before.

 

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