The incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Charlie Rangel, introduced a bill that would re-instate the draft right before the 2004 election --he then used the bill to induce a "GOP Draft" scare among the MTVers. It was surreal.
He's now proposing a similar bill --the stated reason being a mandatory draft would give politicians pause before committing troops to war:
"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded
Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rangel said.
Rangel, a veteran of the Korean War who has unsuccessfully sponsored legislation on conscription in the past, has said the all-volunteer military disproportionately puts the burden of war on minorities and lower-income families.
Rangel said he will propose a measure early next year. While he said he is serious about the proposal, there is little evident support among the public or lawmakers for it...." (source)
Here's a shocker...I agree with Rangel...sort of. I know that in many discussions here Veterans and active members of the military have strongly bucked this idea and I really get the "I want someone in the foxhole next to me who wants to be there" argument.
But the constant "you haven't served" arguments and the "hollow support" yellow ribbon accusations --in addition to the disdain or dismissal of the Armed Services by the general public, leads me to believe we need a change.
I believe that a one or two year military conscription could be the answer. Now key to this proposal is that Americans be used in whatever capacity they could serve most effectively...design, accounting, advertising, research, etc. This would mean that the various branches wouldn't have to lower their physical/endurance/skill standards due to this mandatory service --those conscripted wouldn't necessarily be "in the foxhole", but they would be serving in whatever area they could excel and be a productive asset.
This might just instill a bit of pride and cohesion in the country --sentiments that have been waning since Vietnam.