Some Democrat Party lawmakers claim the volunteer military may become dangerously stretched thin by events occuring in Iran, North Korea and Syria. They believe the answer to acquiring more troops is to reinstate the draft.
Last month, Congressman Charles Rangel reintroduced new legislation to reinstate the military draft that will include draftees up to 42 years of age.
"Every day that the military option is on the table, as declared by the President in his State of the Union address, in Iran, North Korea, and Syria, reinstatement of the military draft is an option that must also be considered, whether we like it or not," Congressman Rangel said in a statement.
"If the military is already having trouble getting the recruits they need, what can we do to fill the ranks if the war spreads from Iraq to other countries? We may have no other choice but a draft."
During the Bush-Kerry battle for the White House, Democrats alleged that President Bush had a "secret" plan to reinstitute the draft, when in fact it was certain Democrats such as Rangel who wanted a new military draft.
Rangel's new draft bill would mandate military service for men and women between the ages of 18 and 42. Deferments would be allowed only for completion of high school up to the age of 20, and for reasons of health, conscience or religious belief. Recruits not needed by the military in any given year would be required to perform some national civilian service.
"My bill conforms to the age standards that have been set by the Army itself," Congressman Rangel said, referring to the Army's recent announcement raising the top age for Army volunteers from 39 to 42.
"With volunteers now being accepted up to the age of 42, it makes sense to cap the age of draftees at 42."
”Our military is more like a mercenary force than a citizen militia. It is dominated by men and women who need an economic leg-up. Bonuses of up to $40,000 and a promise of college tuition look very good to someone from an economically depressed urban or rural community. But, as events unfold in Iran, Syria and North Korea and become even more dangerous, at what point will the risks outweigh the attraction of money--even to the hungriest recruits?"
Rep. Rangel and members of the Congressional Black Caucus had complained that Blacks were being used as "cannon fodder" in the Iraq war, until they were confronted with the fact that only five percent (5%) of the troops in Iraq are African-Americans, while 14% of the US population are black. Rangel backed off from making that allegation when speaking with whites, yet he continues to use the canard when speaking to black audiences.
"This is vintage Charlie Rangel. He's adept at distortion and his proposed draft isn't meant to improve the military but to create a Vietnam era military of draftees. Anyone who knows anything about the military knows that conscription brings about negative results, " says former Marine intelligence officer and NYPD detective Sid Francis, himself an African-American.
Republicans understand Rangel's motive for calling for a renewed draft. He's opposed to all military actions undertaken by the Bush Administration and is a vocal opponent of the Iraq war, but he sees an opportunity to undermine the military by infusing it with draftees who don't want to fight. He is also aware that conscription creates civil discord.
"Rangel's draft is part and parcel of the "class warfare" strategy the Democrat Party uses to divide the country," says a high-ranking military officer.
Rangel's critics point out that he has a penchant for making outrageous statements and if he's asked to reinterate them on television or radio he backs off from those comments with tepid excuses. For instance, in a speech in Harlem in New York City, Rangel said that President Bush is "our Bull Connor" a reference to the southern sheriff who used attack dogs on civil-rights protesters. Rangel, however, failed to mention that Sheriff Connor was a Democrat.
"[The Iraq war] is the biggest fraud ever committed on the people of this country," Rangel told WWRL Radio's Steve Malzberg and Karen Hunter. "This is just as bad as six million Jews being killed. The whole world knew it and they were quiet about it, because it wasn't their ox that was being gored."
Asked to clarify his Holocaust comparison, Rangel told the conservative Malzberg: "I am saying that people's silence when they know terrible things are happening is the same thing as the Holocaust, where everyone would have me believe that no one knew those Jews were killed over there."
"So Rangel compared the liberation of 26 million people with the murder of 6 million people. Only in his warped world is there any comparison," says Francis.
Oh, and by the way, the first time his own draft bill came before congress in 2004, Congressman Charlie Rangel voted "nay."
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.