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  1. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    United National Services Act

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by lordofhats, Feb 19, 2009.

    I've been putting a project together for my Human Communication's class for the past few days and my selected subject was the Seletive Services System (I had to pick something relating to people my age and I couldn't think of something more fitting... and everyone else was doing cancer XD). In my searching for info I added a wide range of new fun facts to my trivia listing but I did come across something interesting.

    There is currently a bill called the United National Services Act, which minus its fancy wording is mostly just a call for the reinstatement of the US draft. It calls that men and women ages 18-48 would be available to be drafted. This same bill came up in 2003, but was beaten 402-2 in the House (I'm actually surprised there were votes at all in favor). I doubt the bill will ever pass just because there is so much against the idea politically, militarily, and socially so I'm not going to bother with that. I have essentially found further proof that politicians are idiots. Charles Rangel, the guy who started the bill founded it on the assumption of two things:

    1. That the US military disproportionately consists of the under privileged and minorities while the more privileged are underrepresented or absent. A draft will make the US more representative by forcing the more privileged to join.

    2. That there will be a higher standard to pass for entering conflict if all citizens have a stack in fighting in it.

    Now, the first I now know 100% is false. The military demographically is 78-80% white, and 19-20% black, with the miniscule .001% style statistics for other group. Socio-economic data shows most enlisted come from the middle class. Further, less than 11-12% of the military come from the lowest income bracket, while 25% comes from the highest income bracket. The military actually disproportionatey represents the more privileged than the less privileged and whites are actually overrepresented in the ranks (by a margin of 10%-12% to their representation in total US population). These staticstics are pulled from the Heritage Foundation and the Military's own demographics data.

    The second reason seems like complete nonsense to me. It assumes that without a draft we hold no opinions, which I think we all know is not true cause most people I've met don't like the Iraq war.

    Again though I'm sure the bill won't pass. Congressmen care only about reelections, and they won't get reelected by sending their supporter's kids into the military. Rather I'm interested in these questions:

    Would a draft be more trouble than it's worth?

    Does the Draft Weaken the military?

    Should women be drafted?

    I'm almost certain a draft is more trouble than it's worth. Public opinion against it s so strong throughout US history that using it at any time other than drastic dire emergencies to fill the ranks is foolish (New York Draft Riots). I don't see the military as needing a drastic increase in it's personnel right now. All branches have been maintaining their forces since 2000 as expected and they have to turn a lot of applicants away because there's no room for them. Right now I prefer the Obama plan to expand the ranks of the Army and Marines by 100,000+ personnel.

    I've talked to my dad, and other family members in the service, and we all agree a draft would weaken the military. Right now it functions as it should with those who want to be in it. I don't see adding those who don't want to be in it helps. It would cause nothing but a long slew of disciplinary problems and trouble maintaining moral (unlike most of the government, I think the military actually learns from it's mistakes. They don't want a repeat of the troubles they had maintaining a fighting force under Vietnam conditions).

    For the last one I really don't see the point in drafting women. As the military determined in a 1993 review of it's policies and again in 2007, there's no need. The draft only pulls people for combat duty, and women are excluded from all combat roles in the US military except as combat pilots in the Air Force and Navy (which you can't be drafted for. Have to go to the academy for that). A draft of women would be pointless unless the military changes it's policy which I also don't see a need for. Women in ground combat units alongside men present a whole barrel of problems for units under combat stress and the concept of "equality" isn't worth all the trouble that would ensue as a result.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I don't agree at all with the draft, and I am ex-military and I come from a dual military family. Both mom and dad were in the Air Force. So was I.

    I believe in the idea that a person should want to defend his/her country in time of need, but I also feel that this needs to be a voluntary wish and action. The level of voluntary will to protect an institution is directly correlative to that institution's merit, its worthiness of protection. When you erase this measure, then you erase some of the most fundamentally important ideals upon which this country (the U.S.) is supposed to have been founded.

    Of the people, for the people, by the people.

    When you force a draft, then you may still have for the people, but you have compromised of the people and completely lost by the people.

    That's a loss of two out of three. Unacceptable.
     
  3. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes. If they did a draft, a large number of them would have to stay in the U.S. simply as peace keepers in the major cities. Also, the U.S. has a one of the biggest militaries already. We won't gain any type of edge against other major countries and against terrorist by forcing people to join.

    Yes. It would lower morale, plus most of the active combat troops we have know are very well trained. These people wouldn't be. Besides, in modern warfare, and hell even in ancient warfare, numbers really aren't that important. A smaller well trained force, with a decent morale will likely beat a large drafted force in most cases. Or at the very least, that drafted force would end up with a pyrrhic victory at best.

    If there was a draft, then it should be for all able body people, which includes women. I know that in American and most European cultures since the middle ages the idea of women fighting on the frontlines is considered a big no-no but if you really look throughout history, you'll see that women have often times been in wars. For example the war-like horse tribes that lived in eastern Europe and the steppes of Asia during the Roman empire era, had their women fight right along side the men. I some of those tribes it was considered tradition for the women to get their first kill in combat before losing their virginity. Also in more modern times, the Soviet Union used female soldiers during WW2 and were pretty succesfull. And finally, Israel uses female soldiers on the frontline and considered that they pretty much beat damn near the entire Middle East in a war, apperantly women can be pretty successful.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    FAIR WARNING - potentially inflammatory topic

    As with every thread dealing with controversial subjects, this one will be closely watched. As long as everyone remains respectful toward everyone else's beliefs, the thread may continue.

    FAIR WARNING! In the past, we have simply closed the thread when it gets too heated. This time, whoever takes it to the point that requires it to be closed will also be subject to an infraction.

    We have had a very poor track record with political-based threads in the past, and this is why we will follow a zero-tolerance policy on this one.

    So please keep the tone respectful at all times.
     
  5. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    The "draft" is nothing less than slavery...forced work, imposed on unwilling people under threat of jail or other punishment. I didn't agree with it in 1968 (the first time I was drafted) and I don't agree with it today. That said, I am an unabashed patriot. Even at 60 years old, I would be quick to take up arms to protect my country and our way of life and I believe the vast majority of American citizens would do the same thing.

    Why do some of our leaders feel we "need" a draft? We don't. We never did. It's an invention of politicians, used for political agendas. We did not need to be in Vietnam. We never did need to be in Iraq. If the draft ever comes back, I will actively promote civil disobedience among young people who are subjected to government imposed slavery. I know this is pretty strong language, but I do not trust our "leaders" to use our combat troops in wise and beneficial ways...they just serve political agendas, with no regard for the lives they put at risk...including innocent civilians.
     
  6. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    There is no modern military force in the world that allows women to fight in direct combat as standard policy.

    Women are prohibited from close combat operations in the ISD by ISD policy. The women there right now are actually part of a trial case to see the effect it has and right now it's not going their way. The RUssians you mentioned where not combatants in the Red Army. The only Russian women to fight in combat in WWII were partisans (aka paramilitary), or combat pilots.

    The primary reason women aren't normally allowed in front line combat has nothing to do with opinions towards them actually. Studies find that the effects of their presence on fellow male servicemen under extreme stress is very negative. Studies in Australia and Germany find that men have an instinctual urge to protect females, and this carries into combat situations in which a units effectiveness and cohesion is damaged by the effect of female combatants. Unlike a civilization which benefits from diversity, the military benefits greatly from uniformity. The more alike everything is the easier it is to maintain the force. The psychological effects of integrating both sexes into a military force is the primary reason most forces in the world don't integrate. Putting both genders together under extreme stress in trial cases has found that no benefit is produced, but rather that the unit involved suffers decreased performance and efficincy.

    You can also call it sexest, but most soldier sin a US survey said they would not trust a female combatant to fullfill her duties. Morale and unit coheshion are vital for direct combat. The presnece of women alongside men at the moment has been found in most cases to damage both of these. The miltary is a fighting force not a social club. it does what it must to function at its best and anything that has an undue negative effect must be removed or excluded.
     
  7. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_women_in_the_Great_Patriotic_War

    So while not exactly frontline infantry like most draftees would likely be, they have been succesfully used in major combat against well trained enemies. Ha, but this is likely getting off tope. :p
     
  8. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    We allow women to serve in medical, political, and communication roles as well. I was unaware of the tank drivers however. The snipers are negligable as I know for a fact these women wer enot officially in the Red Army, evne though they were under its command. They were partisan fighters and I can cite several books that say so.

    Also, we're not Russians. We're the US and we have a different culture. I'd also like to point out the Scythians are not the best example of a military organization even though women did play a major role in their battles. The Scythians got whooped by the Sarmatians, the Romans, and the Huns, and now no longer exist.

    Our current culture has put us in a situation where the full integration of both genders into our armed forces is not the best idea. The miltiary reviits the issue every decade or so since the 60's though and I'm certain we'll eventually reach a point where it's possible.
     
  9. Raven
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    Raven Banned

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    I completely disagree having served with Women in the forces I can assure you they are very skilled and very good as their male counterparts. after all equality is fair game. And why shouldn't women be able to serve their country if they choose.

    Though that said you don't and won't get women in the Paratroop, Marines nor Gurkas. But they do excel in other aspects.
     
  10. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    As far as women in combat, give me a batallion of women with no Midol and I'll beat ANY army! Seriously, I have served next to some weak men (physically and emotionally) who I did not trust in combat. I would rather share a foxhole with a strong female who would not heistate to pull a trigger than a whimpy "dude" who wet his pants at the first mortar burst. Same thing goes for physical strength...give me a 180 pound woman who can keep up with me in an obstacle course, rather than some skinny draftee who lacks motivation or endurance. War is about strength; not gender.
     
  11. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm, it would seem that mostly guys are talking about the possibility of women in war. Come on ladies, what do you all think about it?

    Also, Lordofhats, I was actually talking more about the Sarmatian tribes than the Scythians. Particularly the part about a woman getting her first kill before losing her virginity.
     
  12. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    I gave my presentation today and I was honestly expecting someone to ask about it but no one did XD. I was asked about "Don't ask don't tell" but no one asked about why women weren't drafted. I was surprised but happy I didn't have to answer. Don't ask don't tell is enough of a crap shoot XD.

    I didn't know the Sarmatians did that too. I know the ancient Scythians did but it makes sense to me that the Sarmatians being from the same region would have a similar practice. I'm actually recalling that some other tribe did something similar but with hunting animals (I think it was the Goths but I'm not sure).

    I'm sure they are. I was in Karate for years and half the time the girls beat the boys XD. I have no doubt that a woman can match a man in combat. Officially the only reason the US military doesn't include them in combat duties is because of fears of how their presence will effect unit performance. Ironically though I don't think the US has ever done any direct trials itself and rather cites trials performed by other armed forces. I do know that the British military has officially said they find promoting the "Boy's Club" mentality in it's combat units very effective, and worry integrating women into those units can damage the mentality.

    A good book for this subject is On Killing by Dave Grossmen. One of the best military texts I've found that focuses on the psychology of war rather than the strategy behind it. He explores several of the psychological reasons many militaries exclude women from combat duty.
     
  13. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ha, I'm not too suprised. Military being more of a boys club is considered a cultural norm and many people don't question norms.

    Honestly, I think that if bullets starting flying and explosion start going off, guys in a unit would quickly get over the novelty of having women there with them and they're minds would just shift to the us vs them mentality. with the women being part of the "us." Also, someones expectations of a group of people tend to change after experience with them. So a guy or group of guys would likely end up seeing the woman or women in their unit as just being "one of the guys" after a battle or intense training.

    Though I admit that I basing this off of my understanding of basic human nature, since I've never been in the military. So do any of you veterans agree?
     
  14. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    It worked for the Army's integration of African American's into the whole of their force. Tuskegee Airmen and other segregated units earned a lot of respect in WWII that made the transition to desegregation of the armed forces very smooth in comparison to other desegregations in the US. No idea if it would work with women though. A black guy is still a guy after all. The Iraq War and Afghanistan have a few situations where women not in combat positions have ended up in a fire fight though and to my knowledge they perform with the same level as a male would be expected. No idea about how their performance affected their interactions with other soldier though.
     
  15. Carmina
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    Carmina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow...where are the ladies in here? This is more about the draft than women in combat, but as a woman I feel I should address that. I don't see a reason to keep women out of combat situations. If the issue is distractions for the men, they can learn to get over it. It might take some proving that the woman in the foxhole doesn't need special treatment, but after a while what does it matter who in the foxhole with you as long as they are capable? I hate that men take the greater risks for the protection of our nation and our rights. It isn't fair. Women can be just as capable in combat. They have just as much patriotism and dedication to their country. They should share the risks.

    As for the draft, it should be reserved for last resorts only. If someone bombs the crap out of our country and we need every able bodied man and woman to defend our nation, draft who you need to. However, in that situation, every worthy soldier you would draft would probably enlist. We don't get enough people enlisting when the war is stupid and none of our goshdarn business, i.e. Vietnam and Iraq.

    I find it immoral to force someone to serve and die against their will. This country is based on freedom. I think the draft violates that. Just my two cents.
     
  16. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm currently finishing a Vietnam war story and a woman (CIA pilot) plays a major role.
     
  17. Carmina
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    Carmina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think we will actually be reinstating the draft any time soon. I am not too worried. Even if they did...they wouldn't touch me with a ten foot pole. I doubt they would even let me enlist.
     
  18. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    I doubt it as well. Too much public opinion is against the draft for any politician to kill their career by reinstating it... what does that say about Charles Rangel...:confused: Is political suicide as illegal as real suicide?
     
  19. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    He's probably one of those congressmen/senators that have been in there forever. Nothing short of treason is really a threat his position.
     

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