Some say the apocalypse will come in a fiery explosion. Some say the dead will rise and be judged. Others say robots will rule the Earth. Judging by the reactions to the election, I am betting the majority of this campus thinks the end of days will begin with President Bush’s second term.
Never have I heard of such an incredibly negative reaction toward a candidate who won so decidedly. One issue that continually comes up is this notion that Bush will bring back the draft. This, my friends, is the biggest lie told during this election.
As Bush himself said during the second presidential debate, “An all-volunteer army is best suited to fight the new wars of the 21st century, which is to be specialized and to find these people as they hide around the world … We don’t need mass armies anymore … Now, forget all this talk about a draft. We’re not going to have a draft so long as I am the president.”
In the third debate Bush fleshed out his argument by pointing to new technologies that can be used and the fact that American forces are training a new Iraqi security force that will number 125,000 people by the end of this year.
Meanwhile, Sen. Kerry believed that our army, being as over extended as it is, needed an increase in order to continue the war.
As Kerry clearly stated during the second debate, “I’m going to add 40,000 active duty forces to the military, and I’m going to make people feel good about being safe in our military, and not overextended.”
And again in the third debate, Kerry said, “In addition, I’m going to double the number of Special Forces so that we can fight a more effective war on terror, with less pressure on the National Guard and Reserve.”
I do not know how Kerry planned to get these numbers without a draft. But, does this pressure to increase our military really exist?
According to retired Lt. Col. Leonard Wong, a research professor at the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, the answer is no.
Wong said, “The draft would be the Army’s worst nightmare. We have a high quality Army because we have people who want to be in it. Our volunteer force is really a professional force. You can’t draft people into a profession.”
Also, according to statistics on troop deployment, only three National Guard units are active and four are being mobilized. This means that there are 31 other units that America can still draw on if needed. This is very far from overextending our troops.
Another initiative taken by Bush is a redeployment of troops across the world. Currently, we have troops set up to prepare against a Russian Cold War invasion to Germany or South Korea.
Over the next four years Bush plans to remove troops from those areas and put them in more strategic areas to fight terrorism, such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan so long as those nations allow us.
What Bush recognizes here is a need to change strategies to fight a new war.
What’s ironic in this whole situation is that the only people in Congress who are pro-draft at all have been two liberal Democrats. Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel of New York and Sen. Ernest “Fritz” Hollings have both supported bills that require “that all young persons in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes.”
In these bills’ defense, people can choose in times of peace to enter non-military service. While they are both dead in the water when it comes to them possibly being passed, the bills have the purpose of increasing military service by making people serve whether they want to or not.
So, they would make in effect, a draft.
To me, it seems that the campaign against Bush was run primarily on fear. There is no count to the number of times the Democratic Party and its supporters have tried to pin a draft to this president among other lies.
These fears were believed deeply, especially in states like New Jersey and especially on college campuses.
You all may still fear the overturning of Roe v. Wade; you may still fear an economy run by conservative economics. But one thing you will never have to fear from this president is a draft.