The famous Democratic Sioux Falls Argus Leader gives a facile analysis of the military
America’s National Guard is desperate to reverse a disturbing trend of recruitment shortfalls. We’re doing OK here in South Dakota, in fact ranking No. 1 in maintaining troop strength. But nationwide, the picture is grim: 7,000 short last year, 10,000 short this year and an even bigger goal for the coming year.
Will the new efforts work? Let’s review the cause of the trouble:
• We’re in the middle of a war. Guard units are in harm’s way, just like regular Army soldiers. In some cases, they’re in even more danger.
• Unexpected, lengthy deployments are causing financial and emotional stress on families.
• Even when enlistments are up, soldiers are kept in the service and in the field.
Everyone’s dancing around the real effects of this, though. The recruiting shortfalls call into question the continued viability of our all-volunteer military. When 40 percent of the troops in Iraq are made of National Guard and Reserves, it’s easy to see why there’s concern.
Followed by the ever-so-regreful “fear”
As distasteful as the idea may be, we may have little choice but to consider a draft.
SFAL is correct that the National Guard system is outdated. But its perspective is horribly short. We are not “in the middle of a war.”
The Global War on Terrorism is not going to end soon. Indeed, the front-runners for the White House in ’08 (Senators McCain and Clinton) are both more hawkish than President Bush. Tom Barnett was recently asked how we will know we are winning the Middle East — he answered we will know when we find ourselves in central Africa instead.
We cannot expect our forces to come home, and applauding the de facto merging of the National Guard and Army is insane. We need one force to take out nations and deter China. We need another to fight the dirty wars of peace. The first must be kill-oriented, the second life-oriented. A draft army is neither.
But Sfal gains two things by discussing a draft army. More generously to the editorial board, it seeks to embarras the President by scaring the people. Perhaps more honestly, it advances the American-left infatuation with statism.
Don’t control your schools? Don’t controll your retirement? Don’t control your life in war? Vote leftist.