Call For Military Draft To Congress
CNSNews.com Congressional Bureau Chief
Capitol Hill (CNSNews.com) - Two members of the Congressional Black Caucus want to reinstate mandatory military service - the draft - in an attempt to escalate the war with Iraq.
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), a Korean war veteran, voted for the congressional resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein last October. That proposal passed by a vote of 296-133 in the House and also passed the Senate.
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, said there is need for a draft at this time and called Rangel's proposal courageous
"It's a variation on 'let's tax the rich,'" she argued. "'Let's draft their sons and daughters,' as well?"
Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), who's also a veteran, has joined Rangel in his quest. The suggestion was made, he said, to correct alleged inequities in the composition of the military.
"Once the conscription process for service in the military becomes universal and mandatory for all those who meet the criteria," Conyers said in a statement, "it removes the long-held stigma that people of color and persons from low-income backgrounds are disproportionately killed and injured while serving as ground troops on the front line."
Donnelly challenged Conyers' premise.
"That's based on false data," she said, noting that the same argument was made prior to the Gulf War but proved not to be true then either. "As far as I know, there's no evidence to back that up."
Research by the Heritage Foundation showed that the number of African-Americans in combat roles has actually declined since the Vietnam War. While the number of whites and Hispanics has increased in artillery and infantry units, African-Americans have moved into less dangerous support units that traditionally do not see direct combat.
Donnelly added. It's a race-conscious goal that they seem to have, and I don't think anyone should take it seriously."
Donnelly said Rangel's colleagues should be appalled by that claim.
Of course, the president has been working with the international community, to a fault, many would say," she contended. Whatever the motivation, she said Conyers and Rangel are ignoring an important step in the well-defined process of effective military staffing.
"If we do need more people, and it's possible that we will before the year is out, what the president should do is call for more volunteers. He has not done that yet," Donnelly said.
"Until he does, any talk of drafting, or even registering men and women - it would have to include women this time around
Donnelly stressed that she is not opposed to the idea of military conscription and believes that there is a proper time for everything, including the draft.
would I favor reinstating the draft," she concluded. "But that situation does not exist right now." http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPentagon.asp?Page=%5CPentagon%85Carchive%5C200301%5CPEN20030106a.html