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16 August 2016

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Tyler

Prem,

Gotta stop watching those documentaries about Eric Prince. You're seeing fascists under the bed.

Peter Reichard

Colonel,
Google "military lowering recruitment standards" with posts from The Guardian 6-3-05 and Newsmax.com 10-28-07. Google "Army raising standards" where Fox News 5-23-12 implied it went on until at least 2011.

Peter Reichard

Fred,
I believe we left Iraq in 2009, of course we're back and Afghanistan goes on and on. My point was not that an AVF would prevent long and costly wars just that it would,compared to a drafted army, make it more difficult for our leaders to carry them out.
If a Draft really meant the leaders' sons were as likely to end up in a rifle platoon as the rest of us then the reverse would be true but it requires that those who write the laws are willing to place their own progeny in harm's way and not amend them when the bullets start to fly and the bodies pile up. In a perfect world perhaps but alas, unlikely in our own.

turcopolier

Peter Reichard

Yes. There was a force expansion for the war and in that context the US Army lowered educational standards for enlisted men as well as minor criminality like marijuana use. This was done to facilitate building the force. This is a normal thing to have happen in a major war situation. The previous standards were very high. As you point out after 2011 he higher pre-2007 were reinstated. pl

LeaNder

"pull out the shiv"
Tyler, we seem to share something basic, beyond respecting Pat, with you pleased and me slightly puzzled here...

Notice, no way, I could ever assess this beyond personal impressions and conversations left on my limited mind. But one thing, I seem to have stored more then other things, is the fact that American soldiers collectively were some type of image of the enemy in my larger student context at the time. ...

But a lot of my "costumers" in fact had returned from Nam. As costumers they were slightly more challenging, especially when they had drunken too much. Maybe because it wasn't a standard Berlin bar, but a bar set up by an American (considering dishes, with Italian background) basically for US soldiers? No Germans I met there, not even the house prostitute, at my time there.

Peter Reichard

Colonel,
The standards were quite high in 2005 but never the less had to be lowered in the face of growing casualties in an unpopular war which is the whole point of how a volunteer army is a deterrent to ill advised military adventures. Standards were raised again because casualties dropped as we pulled out of Iraq and the economy tanked. The Draft presents a different kind of disincentive to the decision makers but while a close call I think an all volunteer force is a greater impediment to aggressive war. The difficult goal is to create a system that provides a massive response to existential threats, a quick and effective response to minor attacks but doesn't encourage imperialism or coups d'etat.

turcopolier

Peter Reichard

Casualties in the Borg Wars did not cause us to withdraw from Iraq or Afghanistan. There was never a serious manpower shortage. As hurtful as the thought may be the casualties in these wars have not been debilitating to the US. Casualties in WW2 and in VN were a much more serious matter and in VN eventually caused a political reaction in the US that it forced withdrawal in spite of success in combat and COIN. pl

turcopolier

LeaNder

"I seem to have stored more then other things, is the fact that American soldiers collectively were some type of image of the enemy in m!y larger student context at the time." Collectively the image of the enemy ... Perhaps you would have been happier at a GDR University. pl

Fred

Peter,

We are still there:
http://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/07/21/more-us-troops-likely-to-be-sent-to-iraq-gen-votel.html

MRW

LeaNder,

Are you suggesting, with the gold standard gone, the US could theoretically print money to it's straight-heart's-desire?

It’s not theoretical. The US has been doing it domestically since 1933, and internationally since August 15, 1971. The latter change cemented the US reserve dollar status because Kissinger got the Saudi Arabians to denominate all oil sales only in USD, and therefore all countries in the world need USD to buy oil. We buy overseas oil for keystrokes. Or, to make that more understandable, we buy their oil—the US federal government buys Saudi oil—for the cost of printing up a $100 bill, about $0.07.

"to it's straight-heart's-desire” is absolutely possible, but the US Treasury absolutely would not do that. It would lead to one kind of inflation called ‘demand-pull’ inflation, which is the kind where too many dollars (in the hands of citizens) would be chasing too few goods for sale, leading to wild price increases because of scarcity. [This is considered the normal definition of inflation, but it isn’t; and it hasn’t existed since the WWII workers filled their savings accounts with savings because everything was rationed, and they couldn’t spend it. That was the reason why there was a high income tax on high income earnings post-WWII; it removed high-income dollars from the economy. It allowed the middle class to have a much reduced tax level which encouraged them to spend, and buy all the new things US factories were producing. This is what created the great prosperity post-WWII.]

The other kind of inflation is ‘cost-push’. This occurs when there’s pressure on the supply side, such as when the price of oil and commodities rise and cause the price of everything in the economy (transportation, food, getting to work, etc) to rise as a result. This occurred in the 1970s in the US when the price of oil rose 10X over seven years, and inflation soared.

Germany cannot do this. It used to be able to do it when it had its own currency, but it gave up the Deutschmark for the Euro in 1999 or 2000. Also, Germany’s 1923-era hyperinflation was because it had to make international reparations in gold, which depleted its gold supply and bankrupted the country. The reason why Hitler, on the advice of the brilliant banker/economist Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht, refused to pay any more reparations and used the new Deutschmark for the benefit of the German people by “printing money." That’s why Germany quickly became an economic powerhouse after 1933, and the German quality of life soared.

MRW

More...actually a correction.

"The reason why Hitler, on the advice of the brilliant banker/economist Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht, refused to pay any more reparations and used the new Deutschmark for the benefit of the German people by “printing money.” Germany could therefore afford to pay for anything that was denominated in Deutschmarks, such as new industries, the development of its own resources, and provide a massive amount of new jobs to its starving and out-of-work people. That’s why Germany quickly became an economic powerhouse after 1933, and the German quality of life soared."

Ante

This is not universal, but my Swiss friends all seem to become better leaders, and more well rounded 'citizens' in the classical sense after doing their mandatory duty. It's a model worth following. Our enlisted men shouldn't just be people from the no-economy badlands with no other options. That might have worked for Prussian infantry, but it's no good for modern war.

Charles Dekle

I agree.
Regards,

Charles Dekle

TTG,
That is an excellent point and I think the country would be better served by its young people if we go in that direction.
Regards,

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