December 20, 2006

I feel a draft...

According to this article in today's NY Times, we haven't even reached the troop levels authorized by Congress in the wake of September 11th. And now Bush wants to increase troop levels even more? I may not be a military genius, but I know of only one way they are going to accomplish this.

Congress authorized a 30,000-soldier increase in the active-duty Army after the Sept. 11 attacks — when the Army stood at about 484,000 — in what was described as a temporary measure. Army officials say they hope to reach that authorized total troop strength of 514,000 by next year and would like to make that a permanent floor, not a ceiling.

To that end, the Army already has drawn up proposals to grow to up to 540,000, with some retired officers advocating an even larger increase.

The active-duty Army peaked at 1.6 million troops during the Korean conflict [with a draft] and stood at just below that figure during the war in Vietnam [with a draft], before hovering around 800,000 for much of the 1970s and 1980s, according to Pentagon statistics. Following the first Persian Gulf war, which coincided with the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the Army’s active-duty force dropped first to below 600,000 and then below 500,000 before the increases ordered after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Any decision to increase the size of the Army and the Marine Corps would do little to meet the need for more troops should Mr. Bush order a significant increase of American forces in Iraq in 2007, as it takes considerable time to recruit, train and deploy new troops. Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, said last week that the Army could probably grow by only 6,000 to 7,000 soldiers per year.
It may take considerable time to RECRUIT...but the local Draft Boards are staffed and ready, aren't they? According to this timeline, the first inductees must be ready to go by about six months after the institution of the draft.

George can start the ball rolling by sending Jenna and Barbara to the nearest recruiting station.