Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Corrollary

In the three days since I've written the draft post, I've had to write a district essay for APS concerning the draft, and I just watched Why We Fight, which is a incredible film, and really makes me wish that people like Eisenhower would run for president again.

The writing prompt concerned mandatory military service or government service upon completion of high school. I argued in favor, for many of the reasons that I was in favor of the draft, but also for the great political consciousness that it would bring, and the notion of national service as a due to pay for living in a nation. I also reasoned it would make politicians especially reluctant to go to war, provided that in times of war only a draft is an option, and that there are very few ways to avoid it.

This analysis was idealistic, and overlooked a few key parts of war:
1. The time delay between drafting an army and deploying an army
2. The role of volunteer, professional armies

Firstly, the draft as preventative-war-method requires that a nation rely on a drafted army, and that a nation be willing to wait for the army to be drafted, trained, and then deployed before going to war. This is an unrealistic assumption, and so let me qualify it - going with the war powers act, (since this is largely US specific, but not entirely), a sixty-day period exists where the military can be used before the action has to be declared a war. This exists so that an immediate response can be made, and so that congress can ultimately decide whether the war is worth fighting. It does change the "Congress declares war" part of the constitution, which is unfortunate, but it allows a civilian-controlled, civilian-guided immediate-response war effort, which is preferable to letting the military respond as they deem appropriate.
So, the military must be able to fight for 60 days before a full-scale war is needed. The draft should be required to strengthen the army beyond that point, and to allow a nation to fight war.
For any war lasting beyond the sixty-day period, war must require drafted troops.

The role of the professional armies in a draft-dependent military is two-fold. The first role is to learn everything and run everything that would be too time-intensive for drafted soldiers to do. This is the tricky work, the mechanical work that requires serious training and long-term career-devotion, where military as profession is required. The second role for the volunteer, professional army is to provide the necessary military force to respond immediately in defense of a nation. This is very tricky, because the nations defense must no longer include military adventures into the third world that can wait for a full-scale, drafted military to be deployed. The immediate-response must be there to protect our nation, itself, and do little more.

The third part is the hardest, and has been commented, the draft is useless at limiting war if people cannot change politicians attitudes/votes, and back the nation away from war. in this new "War Powers Law" doctrine thingy I'm hammering out, a requirement would be made for a nationwide war vote during the sixty-day period of immediate action, or whenever a proposal to go to war is set before congress. Making the decision to go to war a national one, and not just one guided by the opinions of congressfolk must be necessary.

More to say, more to say, and some mention of the role of the UN in all of these needs to exist. More to come, after school at the soonest

No comments: