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Is it time to re-institute the military draft?

ASK THIS | April 24, 2004

By Barry Sussman

Q. The case for a larger Army has been made by many, and some in Congress are now talking about mandatory service. That's a story wherever there are young men and women and parents, which, when we last checked, includes most places.

Q. You'd think the likelihood of going to war would reduce the ranks of volunteers — both in the main military branches and in the National Guard. Has it where you live?

U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) and others have been asking for discussions on resumption of the military draft. The fact is, the draft is already in effect: As of now, 20,000 soldiers, thought to be done with their tour of service in Iraq, have been ordered to stay for an additional three months. That's a draft.

Many National Guard and Army Reserve members have been kept on duty far beyond the few months most of them thought they had signed up for. According to a New York Times article, these groups are caught up in the largest, longest mobilization of civilian soldiers since World War II. A member of a Military Police company quoted by The Times in April, 2004, said, "We were told we would return home within 5 to 9 months and now we are being told it will be 22 months. How much is enough?" That also is a draft.


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