Without Merit

Murtha Joins Debate Over Reinstating Military Draft

This guy is totally off his rocker.

“I voted against the volunteer army because I felt if we ever had a war, we wouldn’t be able to sustain [it],” Murtha said during the March 29 edition of CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

Well, any problems sustaining the current war are not with the military. They’re with cut-n-runners like Murtha. He’s the one unable to sustain it.

Something often lost on those debating the draft is that there is not room for one single draftee in the military today. The military is full.

Is the military stretched? Yes. But keep in mind that no one arguing for a draft says we need it to increase the size of the military. They say we need it so that the military better represents America socially and culturally, so that everyone has an equal chance of being forced into service whether they want it or not.

Murdoc says stay with the all-volunteer force unless we reach a point where we simply cannot fill the ranks and the situation requires that they be filled immediately. At that point, a draft would be in order.

Oh. That’s what we have today.

“This is one of the smallest armies we’ve had since before World War II, right before the Korean War,” added the congressman. Murtha, a frequent critic of the war in Iraq, claimed that the president’s handling of the war has depleted the country’s strategic reserve.

As noted, Murdoc has no problem with expanding the size of the military. For the record, I think the Army needs to add another 10-12 brigades. But we had a far larger military than that in the 1980s with no draft. It would be nice if characters like Murtha would stop implying that a draft is needed because the military is stretched. If he thinks the military is too small, first you have to expand it. If you expand it and cannot fill the larger ranks, maybe talking about a draft would be in order. I’d think there would be a lot of other options to try first, but at least it would be an honest need for more enlistees.

Right now he just wails on about how he thinks people should be forced to serve because that’s what it was like in the old days when the military was larger, then mentions that today’s military is stretched and pretends that a draft would solve the problem.

“And I think also, everybody ought to be able to serve in this country,” Murtha said. “I think we ought to not just have a select few who volunteer. I think everybody ought to be obligated to serve.

“We’d do it by lottery, and we’d call everybody up,” he continued. “I think we have a citizen’s army is what it ought to be, not just a volunteer professional army.”

Is it me, or does he almost sound like he’s claiming that not everybody is able to serve? He’s playing it like it’s all so terribly unfair that only volunteers are able to serve, while all those poor folks who didn’t volunteer don’t get to serve.

Like I said, the man’s just plain lost it.


  1. First of all, the compaison to the Korean War-era armed forces is apples and oranges, and so irrelevant. If we were about to take on a million-odd Chinamen, a draft might be in order. Otherwise, enjoy a tall glass of make sense. Second, the funny thing about being a citizen is that you have the freedom, by definition, to pretty much do what you like. Such as enlisting. Or not. Which is why his bit about a ‘citizen’s army’ is confusing. Aside from the fact that, as a purported sentence, it is largely gibberish.

  2. I am not a supporter of the draft, unless there are assurances that the elites cannot avoid service. In WW2 you had Harvard and Yale men serving in combat. Even Bush (41), a Yale man, flew combat missions. But in Vietnam the draft did not take people from all walks of life. Too many deferments and loopholes for kids with the means. So if Murtha wants a draft to make the military better reflect society, he would have to convince me that all would be equally required to serve regardless of their parents and social status. On a side note, the draft would not do much for the Army if their training of non-combat troops has not improved over the past few years. Although this article is a few years old, it is a sad reflection on the Army’s basic training for support troops. It’s a long article, but I trust the author, the late Colonel Hackworth. http://www.hackworth.com/article04032002c.html

  3. I went into the Air Force (1952-72) it was alot different than now. You young guys are sharper troops than we were in those days, but there is so much high tech gizmos now. I would say that a 2 year draft would not work because it would take at least 2 years just to train a soldier. That means you would have to have a 3 year draft instead of the standard 2 years. Two years to train then a year to use the soldier. The John Q Public would never stand for such a thing. Only in a dire situation like Pearl Harbor would it ever happen Presently son in the Marines and grandson in the Navy. I came after the Greatest Generation and we still had equipment from WW2 except for the jets, but the troops today are the best. It’s just too bad that a section of the public just doesn’t realize it and what the stakes are.

  4. If you are third world nation and need a ready supply of cheap labor, and are not all that interested in military skill – the draft is the way to go. (See Chinese army, Russian army) If you want an army capable of military action, get a professional army. (See Roman legions,US Army in Gulf war/Iraq) Personally, I would dead set against having an army match the racial/social composition of the country at large. I want an army staffed by the select few of the country that want this way of life and see this way of life as a way to advance themselves. I would never want to trust my life or the lives of my sons to some unhappy, unmotivated 2 year debutante brat.

  5. I am from a country that used to be on the other side of the Berlin Wall, and I have been obliged to serve in the military, as any other citizen of my country, without disabilities had to do. The doctrine was called ‘The Entire Nation Army’ or some non sense like this… IMO, this service time was a total waste of time. First of all, you cannot properly train a huge mass of people to fight a war. Simply, you do not have the resources, and even if you have these resources, you should consider people are not all the same. They do not have the same physical aptitudes and mental attitude, so it is impossible to make them act like a homogenous entity. Unless you want to have huge losses on the battlefield in the case of a war, you should look at having an elite army of professionals, well trained and equipped. I just remember how nice it was when 30% of my colleagues could not stand an eight miles walk, so they had to be picked up by a truck. Nowadays, we gave up with this non sense, and are implementing a smaller, yet modern army of professionals, but if you change your system, we should probably switch back to our old system. 🙂

  6. My son was telling me about the radar he’s working with. They guys trained to do actual maintenance(take it apart, etc.) have a full year of training/education and have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with the graduate. Other specialties, again you have long training, a 2-year draft service would be idiotic for these MOS’s. From what I’ve been hearing/reading, if Murtha has a problem with the size of the military, then he needs to start proposing a lot more cash so the various branches can take more people. Not bitch and whine about a draft. ‘And I think also, everybody ought to be able to serve in this country,’ Murtha said. ‘I think we ought to not just have a select few who volunteer.’ My God, this man is an idiot.