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A Selective Draft

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According to a short piece in the April 12th Business Week magazine, the Defense Department is considering the idea of selectively drafting the skilled professionals it needs most, such as someone who can setup a computer network or speak Arabic.

I suppose it's easier to violate the rights of a few selected groups, as opposed to a full draft that violates everyone's rights equally. Of course even the selective method violates everyone's rights, because anyone could one day be part of such a selected group.

According to the article, the Selective Service has had the ability, since WWII, "to draft doctors and other medical personnel." I wasn't aware of that, until now.

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This question isn't precisely on topic...

But I was wondering how would you suggest the United States in world war two get enough forces to fight the war we did. Sure there was millions of volunteers but that made up only a portion of the forces fighting. I am not saying this justifies drafts however I am just wondering how you would get enough forces to wage such a war.

I guess under an objectivist society people would be more willing to fight for their rights?

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No force can really be "overkill" if it is more effective in getting its objective done, which is to save lives. If we require 40 million people to save the lives of one American there's no reason to suggest that those volunteers are not needed and not overkill

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I was under the impression that nearly every of age young man rushed to sign up for the military in WWII...
There was a draft during/before World War 2 and millions did get drafted. Millions did volunteer as well.

Anyway, we would not have such a problem today; with the technological advances, such large forces are overkill

You can't totally make up for a lack of forces with technology. You need to balance out the cost for new technology and the cost of keeping a relitivly large military.

Look at all the money we are wasting on these rediculus programs, they are so obsessed with fancy gizmos that they are ignoring what we really need, more airlift!

They are going to force our Army to use these light vehicles (look up Future Combat System if your interested) that an average Iraqi RPG-7 could destroy just because the Air Force wants fancy new fighters that we don't need instead of transport aircraft which we do need.

Then of course we got these awsome weapons of Destruction, the two Iowa Class battleships in Mothball that can deliver more firepower in a single day then our entire Carrier Fleet but they don't want to bring them into service because they want these two stupid Submarines( look up SSGN conversion project if interested ) that deliver Tomahawk missiles when we already have over 10000 holes to put Tomahawks and we only have 700 of them. These Battleships with new rounds could hit targets 200nm away, and over 90% of the worlds population lives within this area exspecially so in the third world.

Ok blood pressure lowering...

Anyways technology is by far over rated exspecially in the warfare we will have to be fighting in the future.

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Really, folks, selective or not, the government is forcing you to do something against your will with the draft.

While in college, I observed thousands who were drafted to serve in Vietnam, a war without justification.

America is about life, liberty, and prosperity, not moral obligation/mandatory service to others.

Given the current setup of the armed forces, with salary, benefits, incentives, and veteran's health benefits, the armed forces should have little trouble attracting volunteers.

The army should be a "paid" army as it is now.

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There still remains the quandry of what to do when a non-optimal number of individuals consent to fight for their country, is this a problem that could be helped by privatization of military and greater benefits from competitive firms? (i suspect it is, but would be interested in hearing what your ideas about how it could be accomplished)

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Auto-JC, I don't support the draft in any form.

I am merely arguing that we don't need anywhere near the number of troops we did in WWII to mount a ground invasion anymore. Between special ops, and massive bombing campaigns, a couple thousand troops would be sufficient to take over a small country if that was all we had.

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Praxus -

The Army should deal with transporting the troops, not the Air Force. The Army should purchase and maintain transport aircraft. The Air Force is in the business of aerial attack, not transportation. That, of course, is merely my own uninformed opinion.

Young -

If a "non-optimal" number of individuals volunteer to fight for their country (or support the military), and the rest of the country lets their homeland slide into oblivion, everybody else doesn't deserve the freedom of which they deprive themselves.

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I am merely arguing that we don't need anywhere near the number of troops we did in WWII to mount a ground invasion anymore. Between special ops, and massive bombing campaigns, a couple thousand troops would be sufficient to take over a small country if that was all we had.
I believe you are wrong. I can only name a hand full of nations you could take over with a "couple thousand troops" and they are of no significance.

Aircraft can not take and hold ground, they can not go house to house and hunt down the enemy.

Massive bombing campaigns only work when you know where the enemy is.

That being said, in a Capitalist nation we would not have as much beuacracy in the military, and we would not be paying billions of dollars to protect other nations and carry out peace keeping operations in places that have no effect on us. Even without this our military is far to stretched out, we do not have the forces available to deal with the threats around the world.

We all agree that the draft is not an option, but the problem is what do we do if there isn't enough volunteers.

Young had a good idea, you could essentially privitize parts of the military that deal with protecting bases far from the combat zone, protecting high level generals, etc...

The Army should deal with transporting the troops, not the Air Force. The Army should purchase and maintain transport aircraft. The Air Force is in the business of aerial attack, not transportation. That, of course, is merely my own uninformed opinion.

The problem is money is getting invested into programs we don't need, simply switching a job to another branch isn't going to solve the problem.

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I agree with that, but I think in less of an emergency, as per pre- 9/11 military, falling numbers of enlistees were hard to counter. I was thinking new measures should be taken to enlighten people to the benefits of military service as well as increase the monetary benefits to enlistees to allow them to continue in service.

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If the Army is counting on the Air Force to transport Army troops, the job won't get done. But if the Army generals know that if they want it there, they've got to get it there, guess what will be the next thing running through their heads.

Switching your own job to another branch is the problem.

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If the Army is counting on the Air Force to transport Army troops, the job won't get done. But if the Army generals know that if they want it there, they've got to get it there, guess what will be the next thing running through their heads.

Then we gotta hope that congress gives the Army more money to pay for these transports and it's entirely possible they won't. The military in general along with congress and the civilian parts of the DOD is stuck with the idea that small light forces is better then heavy forces simply because they can be deployed faster. The whole military structure is ignoring the fact that the problem is that we don't have enough air transports.

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My point is, if we only had a couple thousand troops to work with, we could blow up the entire country if necessary and than send in our men to take care of the few survivors...

It would, of course, be preferable to have more troops to get the job done in a more convential way... but if that is what it came down to... it could be accomplised.

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What do you do if their forces are hiding in caves, Afghanistan proved that without realiable troops on the ground you might as well not even try fighting. All it did was disperse the enemy.

Send the UN (altruists) in to take care of survivors.

The US military has no call being social workers. 

I think he meens the remaining enemy fighters.

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A draft is a horrible idea.

With a volunteer army, the public's will to serve in the armed forces balances the government's power to make war. If no one wants to join the fight, then who is the government serving by entering into a conflict? No one.

A volunteer army is a check on arbitrary power.

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Millions did "volunteer" to join the military at that point in time--faced with the prospect of being drafted, and then being sent into relatively crappy conditions in the army, many young men enlisted in branches or areas of service that they considered more tolerable, or at least less deadly. My grandpa enlisted in the Navy knowing full well he was likely to be drafted as Army infantry. He had just started courting my grandmother--he would not have gone into the military at all had the situation been otherwise.

My point: When you institute a draft, seeing rising numbers of enlistees doesn't mean they all support the war (though most Americans did, after Pearl Harbor). By watching the reactions of young people during draft times, you can see the individualistic, counter-collective drive for self-preservation at work.

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Auto-JC, I don't support the draft in any form. 

I am merely arguing that we don't need anywhere near the number of troops we did in WWII to mount a ground invasion anymore.  Between special ops, and massive bombing campaigns, a couple thousand troops would be sufficient to take over a small country if that was all we had.

That's a very valid argument, Rich.

Massive, well-targeted bombing campaigns are all that's needed to get a rogue nation like Afghanistan down on its knees.

As far as saving troops for occupational purposes, that can more than adequately be done with our paid, volunteer armed forces- the best on earth.

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