Military Draft System To Be Tested

Officials Say Selective Service Apparatus Is Being Checked, Not Implemented

Did you catch that? “Officials say” it is being checked. And we all know how much we can trust officials, don’t we? Interesting editorial choice.

Anyway:

The agency is planning a comprehensive test — not run since 1998 — of its military draft systems, a Selective Service official said. The test itself would not likely occur until 2009…The “readiness exercise” would test the system that randomly chooses draftees by birth date and its network of appeal boards that decide how to deal with conscientious objectors and others who want to delay reporting for duty.

I guess it seems reasonable. If it made sense to do it in 1998, it makes a lot more sense to do it in 2009. Any guesses as to why they can’t rush the test and run it in mid-2008?

We’re going to be hearing about how this test is a cover for the return of the actual draft for the next two years. Goodie.

See also: How the draft has changed since Vietnam at the Selective Service System.

Then there’s A U.S. military ‘at its breaking point’ considers foreign recruits:

Foreign citizens’ serving in the U.S. military is a highly charged issue, which could expose the Pentagon to criticism that it is essentially using mercenaries to defend the country. Other analysts voice concern that a large contingent of noncitizens under arms could jeopardize national security or reflect badly on Americans’ willingness to serve in uniform.

The idea of signing up residents who are seeking U.S. citizenship is gaining traction as a way to address a critical need for the Pentagon, while fully absorbing some of the roughly one million immigrants that enter the United States legally each year.

The proposal to induct more noncitizens, which is still largely on the drawing board, has to clear a number of hurdles. So far, the Pentagon has been quiet about specifics, like who would be eligible to join, where the recruiting stations would be, and what the minimum standards might involve, like English proficiency. In the meantime, the Pentagon and the immigration authorities have expanded a program that accelerates citizenship for legal residents who volunteer for the military.

Since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the number of immigrants in uniform who have become U.S. citizens has increased from 750 in 2001 to almost 4,600 last year, according to military statistics.

Currently only immigrant residing in the US can join, but some suspect that we may begin recruiting overseas to help meet recruiting requirements.

I’d suggest ramping up pay and other benefits to meet current demand and to also grow the size of the Army and Marine Corps slightly, allowing longer periods between deployments. The last thing we should be trying to do is to save a few nickels by hiring substandard labor.

It’s the old “they’re doing jobs regular Americans won’t do” argument, which isn’t quite right. The argument is really “they’re doing jobs regular Americans won’t do at this wage“.

Comments

  1. The last thing we should be trying to do is to save a few nickels by hiring substandard labor..’ Uh, all those unaccountable contractors come to mind (see your above item). I know a lot of folks who work with these characters, and they don’t think very highly of them. It’s like an army of Han Solos, without the Milennium Falcon, the gynormous hairy sidekick, the witty banter, the competence… you get the point. But on the serious tip, your prescription still begs the question… where is this money going to come from? People are more expensive that weapons systems (just ask the Undersecretary of Defense for Health Affairs) when you add in benefits, etc. So, you either cut some weapons systems or raise taxes. I know, in an ideal world, there would be ‘entitlement reform’ but we both know that’s not happening anytime soon. At its heart, you’re correct – in time of a good economy, there’s more competition hence you need to pony up the dough to attract good talent. But will the American People bite? Jury’s still out.