The conclusion being that this linkage does exist, suggesting the current state of affairs as being an entirely inappropriate and dysfunctional way to run a country requiring immediate and aggressive fixing. The thoughtful reader reactions provoked the author to now formally address the solution by way of a series of recommended actions across several integrated problem components.
The following is that comprehensive solution plan, the "6 Fix" Solution/Plan, broken down by the 6 specific actions designed to integrally fix that country operating dysfunction and in so doing a) reinvigorating the middle class, b) reinventing our global economic/security participation behavior and c) creating a functional approach to sustaining an all voluntary military. As an added huge bonus byproduct in doing so, rationally and functionally addressing the ballooning illegal immigration problem too.
Note: While Military Draft rhetoric has begun to emerge in some Congressional camps, it will likely go nowhere for the reasons presented in the first piece above.
Here's the "6 Fix" Solution/Plan:
1) Middle Class Investment: Invest in, rather than divest the middle class. Begin with the new Democrat majority Congress demanding and organizing a collective Congressional/Corporate/Public "Middle Class Study Group" (MCSG) to substantively and fundamentally assess the damage to this segment and recommend to Congress and the American people "real" corrective actions to address and rebuild the country's main economic segment/infrastructure backbone. A healthy middle class is crucial to a sustained healthy US economy, and should be top priority.
2) U.S. Military Combat Employment Protocol: Create a new "Prudent Military Employment" (PME) protocol or "Rules of Use" (ROU) protocol to preclude unilateral "cowboy militarism". Begin with the new Congress convening a joint Congressional/State Dept/DOD "Military Combat Employment Study Group" to debate usage and accountability (President/Congress) parameters, with the objective of creating a series of military combat employment protocols (i.e. substantive checks and balances on when/when not to use) - also see both the coming "Fast War" article specifically dealing with Iraq and it's respective solution.
3) Re-engineer the DOD Infrastructure to support 21st century "Matrix Warfare": Create a new Department of Defense and "Matrix Warfare" focused military people/command/asset infrastructure to address the 21st century threat landscape as outlined in this piece here.
4) Foreign Policy Direction Change: Congress/State Department to formally revamp (completely overhaul) and "formalize" in non-wavering charter amendment format, framing foreign policy to be "partner collaborative" with the rest of the world, thus bringing a halt to the independent agent approach. The go forward foreign policy code/direction being that we will constructively partner rather than behave/act in renegade fashion, but we also unlike now, expect and diplomatically seek every other nation to carry their proportionate weight and responsibility on all global economic, security and military engagement issues. This links directly with the PME Protocol above.
5) Revisit (and Upgrade or Terminate) Free Trade Agreements: The Democrats to demand and convene a combined bipartisan Congressional/Corporate "Free Trade Study Group" to identify the reasons for our global non-competitiveness and recommendations to correct, including if appropriate, termination cancel and rewrite.
6) Solve Illegal Immigration: The detrimental economic impact, particularly upon the middle class as previously noted, coupled now with the growing polarized national debate on the issue is beginning to unproductively wear the country down and needs prompt resolution. The Democrat Congressional leadership to provide and aggressively pursue the solution - a 2 step plan, called the "Mexican Amnesty Citizenship (MAC) Plan".
Author's Note: The concept of a Study Group is indeed a very good one and aside from some non-embraced yet good ideas, perhaps its (conceptual) emergence is the real good that fell out of the Iraq Study Group example. The lesson however learned from the ISG episode is that any going forward Study Groups, such as the several being recommended above, are granted real bite and authority before ever convening its first working session. Each SG's charter and execution authority will be firmly established in advance.
In summary, items 2, 3 and 4 collectively result in less military usage demand, vis a vis both new PME/ROU restrictions and then where military engagement absolutely necessary, shifting more of the combat personnel burden on our allies, heretofore that not being the case. Now add in the argument made in item 3 for greater investment in military technology which too reduces military labor demand; all yielding a smaller military in terms of required peoplepower. As item 1, 5 and 6 take root and the Middle Class recovers, the military employment (job) option will no longer really be the only viable employment choice, and voluntary enlistment interest by this demographic group may begin to wane some. But that decrease in supply will be offset by the decrease in military usage demand as noted, maintaining the draft not necessary equilibrium balance.
In conclusion: If we focus on solutions not politics, and make the tough choices and investments necessary and outlined above, we can create the optimal integrated "economic/security balance tripod", including a 1) healthy economic environment, with a strong middle class as its bulwark, 2) "constructive, prudent and efficient" combat employment use of the military, and 3) global economic/security partnership with allies.
In doing so, ensuring a vibrant middle class as well as maintaining an all voluntary approach to military recruiting - and in the aggregate, a safer, more prosperous, and substantially more robust collective US/global economic and security situation.
.....and if you really think about it, what's wrong with that?
To which our newest proposed citizens might reply - Nada.