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How to Bring America's Endless War to a Screeching Halt

 
 
Reply Mon 21 Aug, 2017 05:46 pm
Robert Reich
41 mins ·
This is the 16th year of America's war in Afghanistan -- the longest war in American history. I guarantee you that if we still had a draft, it wouldn't have lasted this long.
From World War II until the final days of the Vietnam War, in January 1973, nearly every young man in America faced the prospect of being drafted into the Army. Sure, many children of the rich found means to stay out of harm’s way. But the draft at least spread responsibility and heightened the public’s sensitivity to the human costs of war. Richard Nixon officially ended the draft and created a paid military, mainly to take the wind out of the sails of the anti-war movement -- and he succeeded.
Today’s military is composed of fewer young people from rich families than the population as a whole. Most come from the same kind of blue-collar households whose incomes have gone nowhere for four decades.
It’s easy to support a war that you don’t have a fight in. A 2004 survey showed that the majority of young people supported the US. Invasion of Iraq but only a small minority were themselves willing to fight in that war.
Bring back the draft, and make Americans personally aware of the human costs of war.
 
Glennn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Aug, 2017 07:52 pm
It could also be done by forcing those who declare war to lead the charge.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Aug, 2017 07:57 pm
@Glennn,
We have had the draft. We will never have what you suggest. Actually, we may never again have a draft, but I can dream.
seac
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Aug, 2017 01:45 am
@edgarblythe,
The poll in 2004 don't seem to be valid anymore. I bet there are more people against the Middle East war now. I don't think sending our military in there is going to do much good. It is a mess that will go on for many more years. Pulling out completely is the best answer.
0 Replies
 
seac
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Aug, 2017 01:45 am
@edgarblythe,
The poll in 2004 don't seem to be valid anymore. I bet there are more people against the Middle East war now. I don't think sending our military in there is going to do much good. It is a mess that will go on for many more years. Pulling out completely is the best answer.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Aug, 2017 04:50 am
Trump's newly announced policy will create many thousands of dead civilians. Families and friends of dead civilians generally = more enemies.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Aug, 2017 02:12 pm
There is profit in military arms, especially those high tech arms that are battle tested and easy to sell to foreign governments. So, the military is already too high tech for a two-year draftee. A universal draft like Israel would solve that problem, since men are in the reserves for decades, where they can hone their knowledge of the latest innovations.

And, like the days of the British Empire, the sons in wealthy families just became officers. Only the working class poor masses were most of the dead. This won't change, in my opinion.

You seem, in my opinion, to be concerned about inequality. This country never reflected equality, nor did any other.

And, even in Vietnam, young men would join the AF or Navy if they wanted the statistical odds of a safer deployment. Naturally, that came with a longer enlistment. So, if one could not tolerate regimentation beyond the draft time, they wound up in the Army usually. And, if one enlisted in the Army (for three years) they might get a better assignment in the Regular Army, rather than as a draftee. In effect, it was not just the sons of the rich that survived Vietnam, but those that joined another branch of the military, or came from a poor background, but had high enough scores on the military aptitude tests to be assigned a job that was more technical. One's parent's wealth is sort of a false correlation, in my opinion, as to whether a young man survives a war where there is a draft.

0 Replies
 
MethSaferThanTHC
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 25 Aug, 2017 06:05 pm
@edgarblythe,
I don't know the affect of the draft in comparing it with this god-awful stink of war-weariness in the US, but cold-war fossils (ie closed-minded traditionalists) love hating islam ...and anything with a warm heart.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 26 Aug, 2017 12:57 am
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:
Trump's newly announced policy will create many thousands of dead civilians.

Unlikely.


edgarblythe wrote:
Families and friends of dead civilians generally = more enemies.

If someone chooses to ally with al-Qa'ida, kill them.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 28 Aug, 2017 01:13 pm
@edgarblythe,
I wouldn't wish for the draft. It's only likely to be reinstituted if we are involved in a war that our volunteer military doesn't have the numbers to fight.
InfraBlue
 
  4  
Reply Mon 28 Aug, 2017 03:03 pm
The US military does not have the numbers to win a decisive victory in Afghanistan. Four thousand more troops won't cut it. A diplomatic resolution with one faction of the war, the Taliban, isn't likely because they know they can outlast the US at the level that it is waging the war, so they refuse the US' overtures. Against Al-Qaeda and ISIS, and killing terrorists, all the US can do is fight it's low intensity war that's bleeding a dizzying amount of money, and a body count, both American military personnel and civilian, which the US public is willing to tolerate.
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 28 Aug, 2017 07:42 pm
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue wrote:
The US military does not have the numbers to win a decisive victory in Afghanistan.

That depends on tactics. There's a certain Roman phrase "create a desert and call it peace".

I'll agree though that we won't win a decisive victory using current tactics. But that's OK. We can just keep on killing people forever.


InfraBlue wrote:
Four thousand more troops won't cut it.

We do have a force in place to kill any suspected terrorists. However the majority of our troops there, including all of the ones that are being added, are there not to fight but rather to train up the Afghan military so they can fight for themselves.


InfraBlue wrote:
A diplomatic resolution with one faction of the war, the Taliban, isn't likely because they know they can outlast the US at the level that it is waging the war, so they refuse the US' overtures.

The Taliban is wrong. We can last forever at current combat levels. Especially dronestikes. We can keep dronestriking suspected terrorists forever.


InfraBlue wrote:
Against Al-Qaeda and ISIS, and killing terrorists, all the US can do is fight it's low intensity war that's bleeding a dizzying amount of money, and a body count, both American military personnel and civilian, which the US public is willing to tolerate.

I don't have current financial costs at hand, but I think we can afford it.

Very few Americans are being killed or maimed by the current level of conflict. We can maintain the current combat intensity forever. Dronestrikes in particular usually result in no American dead at all.

If you refer to non-American dead, I don't mean to sound cruel, but they did start this war by coming to our country and massacring thousands of civilians. The number of non-American dead is a matter of no significance, even if the number is very large.

Of course I don't mean to count our friends and allies in that. We want to minimize the carnage suffered by our friends and allies. It is the dead among those who oppose us who don't matter.
0 Replies
 
emmett grogan
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Aug, 2017 09:56 pm
@edgarblythe,
The reason that W didn't institute a draft was it would have ended Cheney's war.

Bring back a draft where chicken hawks like Cheney, Trump get NO deferment.
0 Replies
 
emmett grogan
 
  3  
Reply Mon 28 Aug, 2017 10:01 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
So you never served, eh?

Because W was afraid to draft, my stepson spent over eleven months in stop loss in Iraq. His four year hitch became an involuntary five year hitch. He spent over two years in Iraq.

Stop loss was just a chicken **** form of the draft.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 29 Aug, 2017 08:37 am
@emmett grogan,
No, I did not, although I don't know how that is relevant to my comment.

I was very lucky. By the time I turned 19, the draft had been ended, but quite a few of my friends and classmates were either drafted or had enlisted.

By the time the first Gulf War broke out I was 36 and married with three little kids. On 9/11 I was 47 and my oldest son was 19. He enlisted in the Navy. I don't know if the military accepts volunteers of those ages, but I'll give all due credit to anyone who attempted but I don't feel any remorse for not joining them.
emmett grogan
 
  4  
Reply Tue 29 Aug, 2017 05:10 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Weren't they taking any peacetime enlistments?

You didn't feel like it, just come out and say it. Don't lie like "better things to do" Cheney or "boils on his ass" Limpbaugh or "bone spur" O'Reilly.

I didn't get drafted. I enlisted in wartime two years after the lottery passed me over..
Finn dAbuzz
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 29 Aug, 2017 05:18 pm
@emmett grogan,
emmett grogan wrote:

Weren't they taking any peacetime enlistments?

You didn't feel like it, just come out and say it. Don't lie like "better things to do" Cheney or "boils on his ass" Limpbaugh or "bone spur" O'Reilly.

I didn't get drafted. I enlisted in wartime two years after the lottery passed me over..


Good for you but of course we have no way to prove you are telling the truth. You won't even tell me what part of Texas you live in.

Why should I have enlisted in peacetime? They didn't need me and I had nothing to gain.



emmett grogan
 
  3  
Reply Tue 29 Aug, 2017 06:57 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:

Good for you but of course we have no way to prove you are telling the truth. You won't even tell me what part of Texas you live in.


Thats ******* ignorant. You have the same guarantee I have you aren't a lying sack of fascism.

BTW: how'd your open heart surgery go, ace?

Quote:
Why should I have enlisted in peacetime? They didn't need me and I had nothing to gain.


We don't need a peacetime force???? The US military is the best disaster relief organization on the planet. You only sign up for the wars? Your country needed you, and you stayed home playing Nintendo.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Wed 30 Aug, 2017 09:08 am
@emmett grogan,
What's with the insults?
emmett grogan
 
  2  
Reply Wed 30 Aug, 2017 09:37 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
What's with the insults?


Can dish it out but can't take it, huh?

How about you me just ignoring each other?
 

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