A possible draft

The real question is if the United States undertakes another military operation.

The specter of young adults who could be involuntarily required to serve in the military is particularly troubling. Still, given current military operations, a draft is unlikely. Military officials have consistently said they neither want nor need involuntarily conscripted soldiers.

There are two bills in Congress now that advocate involuntary military service. The Universal National Service Act of 2003 and its companion, HR 163, proposed respectively by Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., and Rep. Chuck Rangel, D-N.Y., are disturbing on their faces. But brief research reveals the bills were designed to draw attention to the possibility of a draft as well as the racial and social imbalances of the military as it stands now.

The real question is whether the United State will undertake another military operation. Currently, there is a troubling, growing discussion of “regime change” in Iran. That’s Iran, with an “n.” This would require a draft without question. As it stands, our military personnel are serving longer and returning quicker. Furthermore, Iran is twice the size of Iraq, has three times the population and a considerably more organized military.

While the idea might seem absurd, especially given the current lack of security in Iraq, statements by Bush administration officials are troubling to the point that it seems likely a re-elected President George W. Bush will push for invading Iran.

Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld have issued sharp statements accusing Iran of funding the insurgency in Iraq. John R. Bolton, undersecretary of state for nonproliferation, has stated his poor hopes for a “negotiated approach” to Iran. This sounds all too much like the early rhetoric surrounding what became the war in Iraq.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, while sharing Bush’s concerns over Iran, has indicated his policy toward Iran would focus on lining up support from our allies, which likely precludes war and should, in the event of significant operations in Iran, provide backup.

The draft is a troubling possibility. As it relates to the coming election, the better question is what direction the two candidates will take U.S. foreign policy in. In that light, re-electing Bush might very well lead to a draft in the near future.