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01 February 2013


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Very good read and made complete sense. This would stop frivolous wars and improve US foreign policy. Deferments would have to be re-evaluated so it is not still a poor mans war when conflicts occur.


I was drafted into US Army exactly 44 years ago. I would never have volunteered to serve in Vietnam. Two generations have passed, who have never felt the power of the State.

Without this obligation, citizens have abdicated the war making powers to the American President and his crony capitalists. Instead, we all are in hock to Wall Street bankers who have gotten a get out of the jail card with their takeover of Washington, DC.

America has been at war with Islam for two decades without the manpower to win the holy war that the draft would supply. I am currently reading US Grant’s autobiography. America needs political and military leadership with his clarity and strategic vision.

The Mali jihadists are led by Arabs with plenty of weapons and gasoline. Also, they have passion of true believers. Follow the money. Rather than drone wars, the West must ratchet down the conflicts, promote development and secular government, secure borders and become energy independent.

On the other hand, we can always “Kill them all and let Allah sort them out”. But, that risks blow back and requires the draft and taxing the rich to start paying for the wars that they are profiting from.

Most of all the USA needs new leadership like Washington, Grant, Pershing, Marshall or Eisenhower from our past.


The United States needs to start adhering to the Nuremberg Principles.

Jay McAnally

Couldn't agree more. I have argued Mr Smith's point for years to no avail. But he is right -- and so am I.

On a completely unrelated point, I suspect you'll enjoy this:

Medicine Man

I'm conscious of the times that our host has commented on the unsuitability of much of the current generation for armed service. While this idea appeals to me on some levels - it would certainly be karmic - I wonder if the US armed forces wouldn't become half a daycare center in the process.


While the professionals no doubt hate the idea of the draft, it does have advantages.

The services have made more people than they have broken. I remember several guttersnipes that the army turned into what passes for reasonable citizens.

The draft would need to be both inescapable and unpostponeable, especially for the sons and daughters of legislators and any other holder of public office. The Universities can go to hell.

Favouritism in postings would also need to be wiped out by simple administrative action.

Patrick D

Any guidance on downloading and opening this as a complete document? I get lots of small files with mostly software code but no coherent, unified text.


Hard to argue against Mr. Smith's point.

Abu Sinan

A draft or a system like Germany or Israel where EVERYONE is required to do a period of service?

r whitman

Me too


Click on the link above.
Click on FILE (in upper left)
It is a WORD doc.



What's the problem? It won't open? pl


There's no problem.
The 2 gentlemen(and I) clicked on the link and got a directory, not the file itself.


tv et al

I sometomes have the same problem with Word files. This is new. How do I overcome this? pl


Col Lang,
I had no problem with the word file on my Mac. My opinion is that without skin in the game the elites will continue to send our "volunteers" to foreign shores without fear of consequence.


Did a little more investigation.
I use CHROME and the directions I posted above worked fine.

I tried IE and got the same unusable results reported above.
Problem is that is a zip WORD file and IE gets all confused. Winds up converting the extracted files to HTML script.

Will try FIREFOX and see how that works


The premise that the U.S. military is made up of low income, low opportunity dregs is simply not true and a properly instituted draft of all of the best of the pool might create a dangerous elite instead of a more egalitarian force.

According to the Heritage foundation, "The men and women who serve in America’s all volunteer military do not come disproportionately from disadvantaged backgrounds. Instead, the opposite is true. Both active-duty enlisted troops and officers come disproportionately from high income neighborhoods—a trend that has increased since 9/11." http://s3.amazonaws.com/thf_media/2008/pdf/cda08-05.pdf The U.S. Military, and particularly the Army is increasingly a force from the upper middle class.

The military academies draw their corps from the academically, most well rounded elite from high schools. The service academies are some of the most selective colleges in the world. Few lower class families can provide the preparation necessary for admittance to the academies. Since the date of the Heritage Foundation Report, the admissions to West Point has become increasingly competitive and thus much less accessible to the lower middle class and the otherwise culturally deprived. Compare the class profile of the class of 2013 http://www.usma.edu/admissions/shared%20documents/profile2016.pdf and 2016 http://www.usma.edu/admissions/shared%20documents/profile2016.pdf

One of the issues of a draft is that more than half of the persons who would be called are unfit for enlistment at all. The dodge for avoiding enlistment, like in the Viet Nam era would be accomplishing a 4F.

While a draft might make a difference, in reality, if the sorting process were rational, only the most qualified and elite would be selected to create the best, most trainable force possible. Those who now would be going on to the best educational institutions would be increasingly recruited and acceptance into the military would come to be considered an elite right of passage. The end result might be to accelerate the natural selection that is presently occurring--the military is increasingly an elite force from the upper middle class.

Generally, young people do not now join the military primarily because they lack economic opportunities. To the contrary, the military has increasing prestige and offers unique educational, job experience, and prestige opportunities not otherwise available. People join the military both out of patriotism and for the possibility for career development—almost never out of desperation. The economically desperate cannot qualify. To the extent that some minorities are over-represented, the military enlists some of the best and brightest, particularly into the officer corps.

The danger is not that the lack of a draft force makes bad foreign policy, but that if we instituted a draft, the military would become an elite position that would eventually aggregate into a the “standing army” danger foreseen by the founders of the republic.


As a supplement to my last post. Military pay is quite competitive with national pay scales a the 70th percentile.


Carl O.

It's a docx, which means it was created using a newer version of Microsoft word. You can download a docx reader from the Microsoft website.

Carl O.

George Washington believed that if you were a citizen of the republic, you had an obligation to defend the republic if it's existence were threatened by a foreign enemy. He had a plan, which Henry Knox helped him develop, for universal military service, which would have provided the necessary manpower for the defense needs of the republic as he saw them at the time. One historian I read on this estimated that had Washington's plan been implemented, the US would have been able to raise a 75,000-man army in 1812. Had that happened, subsequent history would have been far different.

Washington's plan was blocked in the Congress by the beneficiaries of the militia system as it then existed, the very same system that Washington and Hamilton wanted to replace with the "well regulated militia" provided for in the US Constitution.

A reading of Washington's "Sentiments on a Peace Establishment" is well worth the time.


That's a flawed study. It assumes income based on zip code of the military accession and then compares the percentage of our population with those incomes compared to the percentage in the military from zip codes with those incomes. It also, I believe intentionally, sets the income brackets in such away to make the graphs look like the "wealthy" are overrepresented but in reality poverty/wealth is an income to family size assessment. No effort was made to truly assess wealth status. No account whatsoever was made for those making more than 250K (the truly wealthy). It's a frequently referenced study when discussing this topic, but an equally frequently rejected one for the above reasons.

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