While I appreciate the honesty in Joe Marshall’s column, as such
honesty has been lacking in previous articles about bringing back
the draft (see Ms. Baldwin’s Jan. 20 column), he still does not
give a clear view of the issue. While Sen. Hagel did make comments
about bringing back the draft he is alone in voicing this opinion.
This is not the first time Sen. Hagel has stepped out of the
mainstream and certainly it will not be the last.
The overwhelming majority of military experts and legislators
understand the detriment to the military that results from forcing
people to join. This lesson was well learned in Vietnam and is
remembered today. Instead the military is looking for incentives to
retain current troops and gain recruits. Thursday it was announced
that Gen. B.B. Bell, the Army’s top general in Europe, would
personally be visiting various military installations to find out
how he can help keep up reenlistment rates. These efforts must be
working as the Army recently announced it reached its reenlistment
goals for troops in combat, rates normal to non-combat period.
Before people are lead to believe that the only reason to not
bring back the draft is due to its unpopularity, they should look
at the facts. With few exceptions, the draft is seen as a relic of
prior times and should be reinstated only in dire circumstances.
The military sees conscripts as a detriment to its forces and wants
to keep our volunteer military volunteer.