Friday, May 18, 2012

A U.S. Ambassador (Retired) on America: Draft Registration: Hel-lo!

Here are a couple of paras from Danger and Opportunity [2008], by U.S. Ambassador (Retired) Edward P. Djerejian; he touches on our topic but, surprisingly, gets a basic fact wrong.
In an NPR interview in 2007, a United States Army general in Iraq observed that we are "an Army at war, not a nation at war."  He expressed the painful sentiment that "folks [at home] can do more to support the effort."  During a September 2006 visit to Baghdad by members of the Iraq Study Group, one of the most effective generals we met was Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli.  In an article in the journal Military Review, he wrote, "The U.S. as a Nation -- and indeed most of the U.S. Government -- has not gone to war since 9/11.  Instead, the Departments of Defense and State (as much as their modern capabilities allow) and the Central Intelligence Agency are at war while the American people and most of the other institutions of national power have largely gone about their normal business."

This is an important issue that strikes at the heart of American society and the concept of public service and sacrifice.  Senior military officers have told me that they prefer the all-volunteer armed forces because of the professionalism they can achieve within the ranks, without having to train new recruits drafted every two or three years.  But we should give consideration to registering Americans for the possibility of a draft if we are faced with a major war that would require an all-out national effort.  We should also consider creating a system of national service in civilian government operations and institutions, in lieu of military service.  When we started the all-volunteer armed forces in 1970 during the Nixon administration, the U.S. military began to lose a vital link to the country and American society.  The historic concept of "the citizen soldier" was weakened.  When we go to war we should be "a nation at war," with the citizenry engaged in various ways and, to the extent possible, from the broadest levels of society, to defend our national security interests at home and abroad
OYE Comment:  Ambassador (Retired) Djerejian makes some good points above; many are worthy of serious consideration.

However, we have already been "registering Americans for the possibility of a draft if we are faced with a major war that would require an all-out national effort" since 1980.  American men age 18-25, including new immigrants, are required to register.  Failure to do so before turning 26 can lead to ineligibility for various government activities later in life, so compliance is highly encouraged.  Just go to the Post Office.

It seems odd that an acknowledged national security expert would allow such an error into his own manuscript.  We noted a few other minor editing errors [mostly related to who was President when], but this is more serious.

Conclusion:  Even our national elites don't necessarily have a clue about some important things.  Nor do their staffs or those who edit their books.  Hel-lo!

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At 24 May, 2012 11:33, Blogger Beyond-The-Spectrum said...

Most leaders in America don't have a clue run the things/organizations they are in charge of

At 20 June, 2012 02:00, Anonymous David K. M. Klaus said...

The draft is enslavement. Period.

And as Robert Heinlein noted, illegal under the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, regardless that the Supreme Court is illiterate in basic English.

"Amendment XIII

"1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

(Ratified December 6, 1865)

At 15 July, 2012 11:47, Anonymous David K. M. Klaus said...

Made typos in the last entry; it should have read:

It might also have helped if the Congress actually declared war instead of abdicating their Constitutional responsibility to an over-powerful President who can send fighting troops to the other side of the planet at his whim.


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