Phillip Carter and Paul Glastris, writing in the Washingotn Monthly, « make a compelling case for an Imperial draft of sorts » summed up by the following passage:
‘In short, America’s all-volunteer military simply cannot deploy and sustain enough troops to succeed in places like Iraq while still deterring threats elsewhere in the world. Simply adding more soldiers to the active duty force, as some in Washington are now suggesting, may sound like a good solution. But it’s not, for sound operational and pragmatic reasons. America doesn’t need a bigger standing army; it needs a deep bench of trained soldiers held in reserve who can be mobilized to handle the unpredictable but inevitable wars and humanitarian interventions of the future. And while there are several ways the all-volunteer force can create some extra surge capacity, all of them are limited.
‘The only effective solution to the manpower crunch is the one America has turned to again and again in its history: the draft. Not the mass combat mobilizations of World War II, nor the inequitable conscription of Vietnam — for just as threats change and war-fighting advances, so too must the draft. A modernized draft would demand that the privileged participate. It would give all who serve a choice over how they serve. And it would provide the military, on a “just in time” basis, large numbers of deployable ground troops, particularly the peacekeepers we’ll need to meet the security challenges of the 21st century.
‘America has a choice. It can be the world’s superpower, or it can maintain the current all-volunteer military, but it probably can’t do both.’
— Washington Monthly
Gonna be an interesting four years.