Draft 2005 Essay

This essay has a total of 1768 words and 10 pages.

draft 2005

The Draft will Start in June 2005

There is pending legislation in the House and Senate (twin bills: S 89 and HR 163) which
will time the program's initiation so the draft can begin at early as Spring 2005 — just
after the 2004 presidential election. The administration is quietly trying to get these
bills passed now, while the public's attention is on the elections, so our action on this
is needed immediately.


$28 million has been added to the 2004 Selective Service System (SSS) budget to prepare
for a military draft that could start as early as June 15, 2005. Selective Service must
report to Bush on March 31, 2005 that the system, which has lain dormant for decades, is
ready for activation. Please see website: www.sss.gov/perfplan_fy2004.html to view the sss
annual performance plan — fiscal year 2004.


The pentagon has quietly begun a public campaign to fill all 10,350 draft board positions
and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide.. Though this is an unpopular election year
topic, military experts and influential members of congress are suggesting that if
Rumsfeld's prediction of a "long, hard slog" in Iraq and Afghanistan [and a permanent
state of war on "terrorism"] proves accurate, the U.S. may have no choice but to draft.


Congress brought twin bills, S. 89 and HR 163 forward this year, entitled the Universal
National Service Act of 2003, "to provide for the common defense by requiring that all
young persons [age 18-26] 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." These active bills currently sit in the
committee on armed services.


Dodging the draft will be more difficult than those from the Vietnam era.

College and Canada will not be options. In December 2001, Canada and the U.S. signed a
"smart border declaration," which could be used to keep would-be draft dodgers in. Signed
by Canada's minister of foreign affairs, John Manley, and U.S. Homeland Security director,
Tom Ridge, the declaration involves a 30-point plan which implements, among other things,
a "pre-clearance agreement" of people entering and departing each country. Reforms aimed
at making the draft more equitable along gender and class lines also eliminates higher
education as a shelter. Underclassmen would only be able to postpone service until the end
of their current semester. Seniors would have until the end of the academic year.


Even those voters who currently support US actions abroad may still object to this move,
knowing their own children or grandchildren will not have a say about whether to fight.
Not that it should make a difference, but this plan, among other things, eliminates higher
education as a shelter and includes women in the draft.


The public has a right to air their opinions about such an important decision.

Please send this on to all the friends, parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and
cousins that you know. Let your children know too — it's their future, and they can be a
powerful voice for change!


Please also contact your representatives to ask them why they aren't telling their
constituents about these bills &mdash and contact newspapers and other media outlets to
ask them why they're not covering this important story.


Origins: As U.S. military involvement in Vietnam came to an end in 1973, so did the draft.
For the first time since the days of World War II, the U.S. military shifted to an
all-volunteer force; all vacancies in the armed forces were filled through recruitment and
re-enlistments rather than conscription. (The requirement for young men to register with
the Selective Service was not abolished until 1975, however, and it was reinstated in
1980.)


As recent U.S. military involvement in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq has required
the largest commitment of American troops since the mid-1970s, and the military has had to
double the deployment periods of some units, call up additional reserves, and extend tours
of duty by a year in order to maintain adequate staffing levels, the specter of a
resurrected draft has been looming on the mind of many a young person. Although the
possibility of a reinstatement of conscription cannot be ruled out, a renewal of the draft
anytime soon appears unlikely, and one implemented as early as June 2005 seems rather
improbable.


As reflected in the message quoted above, the draft issue has largely come to public
attention due to pair of bills introduced in Congress (S.89 and H.R.163) which seek to
obligate all citizens and residents of the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 26 (both male
and female) to perform a two-year period of national service (not necessarily as part of
the military), and the Selective Service's advertising for volunteers to man draft boards
around the country. However, both these bills were introduced not by legislators genuinely
seeking to reinstate the draft but by Democrats seeking to make an anti-war statement, and
they languished in committee for 21 months before Republicans brought the House version to
the floor and overwhelmingly defeated it in October 2004.


The Selective Service also maintained that the timing of ads to fill draft board positions
was coincidental, part of a process of filling expired board positions that had been
underway for several years:

About 10,000 to 12,000 people serve 20-year terms as unpaid board members. [Selective
Service spokesman Pat] Schuback said because the current board system was set up in 1979,
and the bulk of volunteers stayed the full 20 years, many of the appointments expired
beginning in 1999.


That means hiring replacements has been going on for several years. Confusion arose in
recent weeks when someone posted the hiring notice on www.defendamerica.mil, a Pentagon
Web site about the war on terror, even though the Selective Service System is not a part
of the Defense Department.


"Serve Your Community and the Nation — Become a Selective Service System Local Board Member," it said.

Several newspapers around the world wrote stories, leading to questions about whether the
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