In an interview broadcast today on NPR's All Things Considered, US Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute said he shared the concerns of his fellow military officers that repeated and extended deployments of US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq are straining the military to the breaking point.
Gen. Lute, assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan (a.k.a. President Bush's "War Czar"), also said that from a military standpoint, it makes sense to consider reinstating the draft.
Ever since the "battle for Iraq" ended and the occupation began, it has become increasingly clear to me that our military forces are being severely strained. To very near the breaking point.
Re-enlistments are down. Recruiting is down. Recruiting standards (re. age, health, education level and even criminal history) are down. "National" Guardsmen are routinely deployed internationally. US Air Force airmen — e.g., pilots, loadmasters and other aircrew — are receiving ground combat training at Ft. Dix (an Army base), then being sent to help soldiers and Marines fight in Iraq. It seems like we're just barely covering our commitments in the Middle East.
Thus, I've long thought that they could very well reinstate the draft sometime in the next 3 to 5 years, in order to rebuild our military while maintaining (or further expanding) our force level in the Middle East.
But if the feces hits the blower before that — whether here or someplace else in the world — I think a new draft is a slam dunk. The president would probably be announcing it live on TV and radio within a month.
Thus it would behoove parents to start discussing this matter with their sons and daughters, so they can consider how they'll respond to Caesar's fraudulent claim on their lives.