Draft Needed For
War With Iran And Syria?
By Steve Hammons
27 September 2006
the U.S. soon need to activate Selective Service System plans for a
military draft if open hostilities break out with Iran and Syria?
There are signs that for
many possible reasons, there are people and groups in Washington and
elsewhere who desire a wider war - war between the U.S. and Iran and
Syria - World War III.
If they have their way,
the necessity for a military draft would become a real possibility.
As has been widely reported,
the U.S. Army, the Army Reserve and the National Guard have been stretched
thin by the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Over 2,600 of these men
and women have been killed. Thousands more have been wounded so severely
they are unable to return to duty. U.S. Marines have also been killed
and severely injured.
Accounts of re-enlistment
statistics seem to be mixed. Many troops are re-enlisting. At the same
time, some experienced officers, non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and
enlisted troops are reportedly choosing to leave the Army, Army Reserve
and National Guard.
Reports have also surfaced
about Army troops and Marines experiencing significant post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological and emotional difficulties
being sent back to Iraq for repeated tours of combat duty.
Although the Army recently
met its periodic recruiting target, there is no question that many young
men and women do not wish to join the Army at this time.
Part of the reason may be
because of controversies about the reasons for the Iraq invasion and
occupation, as well as the manner in which the occupation has been carried
out and mistrust of some in Washington.
Broken US Army an Opportunity
Many current and former
senior military officers have pointed out that the Army, both active
duty and reserve components, as well as the National Guard are at risk
of being "broken."
As with many other aspects
of recent developments such as the "intelligence failures"
prior to the 9/11 attacks, the apparent tactical errors leading to the
escape of Osama bin Laden from Tora Bora, the seemingly gross miscalculations
during the occupation of Iraq, and other situations, some senior officers
naturally view the "breaking" of the Army as another in an
apparent long line of "mistakes."
But, as with these other
circumstances, one man's mistake is another's discreet plan. After all,
what if the 9/11 attacks were not just an intelligence failure but part
of a covert plan for a "New Pearl Harbor" that actually provided
many benefits, in the eyes of some?
What if the turmoil in Iraq
provides a perfect opportunity to justify U.S. forces remaining there
for years, decades? After all, a fairly strong case has been made that
the invasion of Iraq was linked to acquiring oil supplies, providing
a base of operations for further military actions in the region and
other reasons not openly stated.
What if the breaking of
the Army, Army Reserve and National Guard in Iraq, and war with Iran
and Syria provides the perfect opportunity to convince the public and
Congress that the military draft is needed?
The breaking of the Army
in Iraq and the vast increase in troops from a military draft also provide
rich business opportunities for the makers of military equipment, supplies
and services. Private defense contractors are finding the extended Iraq
War operations very profitable. Imagine the profits from war with Iran
and Syria and an expanded U.S. Army from a draft.
Selling the Draft
As with the Iraq War, dire
circumstances would need to be present for the American people and Congress
to stand for the re-activation of the military draft. Something like
9/11, like another severe terrorist attack, like war with Iran and Syria,
like World War III.
After all, for Americans
who believe in limited government that minimally interferes with citizens'
lives and liberty, the military draft is somewhat of a concern. It is
a form of involuntary servitude.
The government comes to
older teenagers and citizens in their early 20s, tells them and their
parents that the government is taking them for a few years, and, by
the way, they might end up dead or with horrible physical and/or psychological
Some have pointed out various
positive aspects of a military draft versus an all-volunteer military.
And some of these arguments seem valid. The draft would expose a wider
range of young citizens to the military and this could have several
kinds of benefits.
Military service can include
many positive experiences: Fellowship, honor, respect, courage, new
skills, teamwork, duty to country, learning about people from other
backgrounds, sacrifice and many other very valuable aspects of military
service are important. Many veterans can attest to this.
However, there is a dark
side to military life. The killing and destroying. It can bring out
the worst in people. It can be dehumanizing. It can lead to blind obedience
to authority and the abuse of authority by those in power. It can be
destructive in many ways.
And, sometimes it seems
like those in Washington and the people and groups who have so enthusiastically
pushed the Iraq War, and now expanded war, did not learn the former
- only the latter.
Steve Hammons graduated from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, with concentration
areas in communications (journalism focus) and health education (psychology
focus). Hammons is the author of two novels about a US government and
military joint-service research team investigating unusual phenomena.
Mission Into Light and the sequel Light's Hand introduce readers to
the ten women and men of the "Joint Reconnaissance Study Group,"
their exciting adventures exploring the unknown, and their missions
to help create a better world.
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