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America Marches Into Permanent War; a Military Draft Looms on the Horizon

By       Message Michael Payne       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   6 comments

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A draft? In America? That's insane, that will never happen! The idea that America would institute another military draft after all these years of using an all-volunteer army is delusional thinking many might say. Well I'm here to tell you that this is not some kind of misguided notion; this is a potential reality, something that could happen before very long, given the fact that our current foreign policy is taking us ever closer to a permanent state of war. If we simply project our current military agenda and policies into the future, a draft cannot be avoided.

The draft, sometimes called conscription, has been used many times in American history and was a necessity during World War II. It stayed in effect through the Vietnam War. During that senseless military conflict multi-thousands of young Americans were drafted and what was did it accomplish? 58,000 U.S. troops died for no good reason; they were victims of the facilitators of war that controlled America at that time. These were young Americans that would never go to college, never get a job, nor have a family and lead a good life. They were drafted, they served their country honorably, lost their lives, and their families suffered enormously. The draft expired in 1973 when that war came to its inglorious end.

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Since there is no draft today to threaten their children, what do parents think about our seemingly endless wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? Well, polls seem to indicate that about 60% of Americans do not believe that we should be involved with these wars. But are people screaming and yelling for our president and our Congress to immediately end them? Absolutely not because it is not affecting their personal lives, their children are not being killed; it's the children of all those "other people" out there somewhere. So it's really not a great worry or concern for most of us.

Do other nations have draft systems? While America, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan have no military draft, the majority of the nations of the world have either a compulsory draft or a limited one. Germany, France and Italy have limited drafts with specific exceptions allowed. Our greatest "ally" and recipient of billions of dollars in U.S. military aid, Israel, drafts men for three years and women for two, plus reserve duty of about one month in every year until the age of 54.

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Right now it is unlikely that the U.S. government would institute a military draft, especially considering it has plenty of volunteers coming from the ranks of the unemployed who are desperate for any kind of paycheck. But two things could change this policy. In the first instance, if the current economic crisis would come to an end and our economy would once again add millions of jobs, then the combination of America's escalating wars and a large drop in volunteers could trigger a draft. That's still a long shot.

But let's do a "what-if analysis." What if the U.S. government, led by President Obama and the Pentagon does not follow through on the proposed July 2011 Afghanistan troop withdrawal? And, further, that the current illegal U.S. military incursions into Pakistan not only continue but are greatly escalated, resulting in much greater conflict within that country.

Now, let's take this hypothetical scenario even further into a situation that is not at all far fetched but could very well happen. The government of Israel and the large contingent of neocons and war hawks in Washington D.C. are continuing to beat the drums of war with Iran, the last impediment to the U.S. and Israel's domination of the Middle East. President Obama, the Nobel Peace (what, are you kidding me?) Prize laureate has stated on numerous occasions that "all options are still on the table" with regard to our policy with Iran; with the message being that war is not out of the question.

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So, at this point let's see just where we stand relative to America's current and potential wars. The situation in Iraq is becoming very tenuous and a new civil war could break out between the Sunnis and the Shiites at any time. If that happens, Iran will greatly increase its involvement in Iraq and side with the Shiites who share their religion. If Iran becomes active in Iraq, even if operating beneath the surface, there is a good possibility that the U.S. and Israel would decide to launch an attack on its nuclear facilities and military installations.

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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