Better idea, Thomas E Ricks: let’s draft YOUR kids.

(H/T: Hot Air Headlines) Or nephews. Nieces. Second cousins. Doesn’t matter, really: surely there’s a small child or two in Ricks’ life that he’d hate to see turned into an infantryman… what’s that? Yes, “infantryman:” because Ricks’ attempt to gussy up a moral-equivalent-of-war-forced-government-expansion in the form of a ‘draft’ WILL NOT FLY. If we bring back the draft – and may we never do – it will be a draft without deferments, without college exemptions, without National Guard sanctuaries… everybody goes, everybody fights.  And if you have a true moral objection to war, well, the front lines can always use more stretcher details.

Sorry, but I have two kids.  If they want to serve their country, I will be proud of them.  But forcing them to spend three or four years enabling Thomas E. Ricks’ institutionalized need to pretend that expanding the role of government is morally equivalent to combat duty is not serving the country.  Particularly since I’m not entirely certain that Ricks is entirely down with the idea that wars, once entered, need to be won… whether or not you agreed with the war in the first place*.

Moe Lane

PS: This isn’t the first time this fool has pinged the radar on this issue, by the way.  My offer still stands.

*We will now pause while someone on the Left inadvertently reveals his or her true feelings about the United States of America by coming up with a suitably Horrible Example of a war that the USA shouldn’t win.  Assuming that said Lefty does not simply invoke Iraq, no doubt in the belief that Kurds and Marsh Arabs quite enjoy direct applications of nerve gas and napalm.


  • Bob Mc says:

    This guy’s dictionary has a different definition of “freedom” than mine.

  • antisocial says:

    “wars, once entered, need to be won… whether or not you agreed with the war in the first place”.

    That is so true. Losers never get ahead. The problem is losers don’t know that.

  • DaveP. says:

    Ricks tips his hand in another way. He doesn’t want The Draft for reasons of military effectiveness… he wants it for social conditioning. In fact, he wants The Draft for the exact opposite of military effectiveness: not to make sure that if war comes, we have enough soldiers; but to prevent America from entering wars Thomas Ricks doesn’t approve of.
    Somehow every Leftist who pushes for a new Draft makes exactly the same arguement. It’s almost like they care for their idea of The Way Society Should Be rather than for the lives and rights of those drafted, or for the country itself.

  • CivMar says:

    Except for crimes for which a person has duly been convicted, involuntary servitude shall not exist within the United States.

    13th amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

    Paying a person for a task you are compelling them to do by force does not make their servitude any less involuntary

  • Marine Mom says:

    sorry to disillusion you, but at least one “kid” near and dear to Tom Ricks IS active duty military, infantry in Afghanistan. Who said, when he decided to become a Marine: “If you believe we need a military, Mom, then why shouldn’t it be me? Do you think it’s fair just to ask other people’s kids to serve?”

    • Moe_Lane says:

      Marine Mom: why would it disillusion me? I’m a Republican: we actually consider military personnel to be human beings. Unlike, say, Tom Ricks.

      Moe Lane

      PS: Your email address amuses. Thanks for letting me know that the shot hit at least somewhat close to home!

      PPS: You’re probably noticing at this point that whatever comment you made in response to my sneer to the guy that you’re being apologist for is languishing, unread. Alas, I am capricious and cruel. But at least I don’t want to make people suffer because I desperately desire to profit from “the moral equivalent of war.”

  • Alan says:

    Suppose we throw Mr. Ricks a curveball: support “half a draft”, a.k.a. universal military _training_, more or less along the lines of the Swiss model? The objective of fewer wars would be enabled – because who wants to mess with a nation that can quickly multiply the size of its army? And I suspect that the experience of being in the armed forces, and subject to their highly-effective management model, would be useful and transforming education for a great many young adults!

  • Steve says:

    Wouldn’t it be way more cost-effective just to pass a law that any military action must include a program of drone strikes on American civilian targets? They could be random, or maybe aimed at the “1%”? Just a thought.

  • Jeffrey Ring says:

    How is a draft different from slavery? Your life and liberty are taken from you for three or four years. Drafted troops are poorly treated.

  • Frank Martin says:

    Service to the country should not be limited to Military service. Military service should be limited to volunteers but there is a good argument for service to the country itself being compulsory. I can think of a whole host of things that can be done by some form of national service, but the military should be limited only to those who choose to be there.

    First, it is simply an honor to serve and to make an honor compulsory degrades that honor. Second, people tend to perform better when they are volunteers. History is littered with conscript armies that while large, also underperformed to the detriment of both soldier and state.

    The desire by some to enforce the laudable cultural value of service to the nation should not be allowed to degrade the basic fighting integrity of the military itself.

    I would recommend that some form of military training be compulsory as all citizens of a democracy should be aware of what they are asking other countrymen to do, even if they themselves have no plans to serve. Even a fundamental working knowledge of the battle history of the United States would be a great help but understanding why the military is different than civilian life is very important.

    I would consider making attendance in some from of Hoplology in high school compulsory, perhaps bring back ROTC as a norm on High School Campus.

    Once upon a time not too long ago, most of the country could point to someone in their family who had been in the military and part of that shared experience left them with a basic understanding of what the military was ( and more importantly, what it was not).

    Today, we live in a generation where the military experience is very much removed from the lives of most of the people in the country. I come from a Navy family that goes back 3 generations. I was a civil air patrol cadet for 5 years. I chose not to serve in the military but the knowledge of what those who do serve actually do has always stuck with me. I regularly find the civilian worlds lack of understanding about military mechanisms absolutely distressing. These days, most peoples knowledge of the military comes from what they see from Hollywood, which is decidedly inaccurate and biased to the highest degree.

    My son, a Marine, agrees.

  • Don51 says:

    Given over two hundred years of gender discrimination, isn’t it time to make up for historic past unequal results in filling our military cemeteries with ‘privileged’ white males, let’s set up ‘non-quotas’ to insure equal representation in outcome in this proposed process.

  • Ed Joyce says:

    “A revived draft, including both males and females, should include three options for new conscripts coming out of high school. Some could choose 18 months of military service with low pay but excellent post-service benefits, including free college tuition. These conscripts would not be deployed but could perform tasks currently outsourced at great cost to the Pentagon: paperwork, painting barracks, mowing lawns, driving generals around, and generally doing lower-skills tasks so professional soldiers don’t have to.” Thomas Ricks

    So Ricks’s prescription is to have potential doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc digging ditches, painting rocks and generally doing busy work for 18 months is a solution to a problem we don’t have. I can see lots of problems, the biggest being most of the people drafted into service are going to hate every minute of it and will at best do a lackadaisical job, at worst (and more likely) cause substantial damage that will have to be fixed by the professionals.

    Also, in Ricks’s Utopian universe with no deferments, then the military will have to accept juvenile delinquents, the “intellectually challenged”, the autistic, the physically disabled, the weak, the obese, the blind, the deaf, the mama’s boys, the daddy’s girls, pedophiles (which, later in the article, Ricks would put in Day Care Facilities), and every other type of individual that populates this great nation. Can you imagine the leadership nightmare this would be? The strain it would put on the military health care system? (BTW It’s easy for General McCrystal to advocate a draft, by the way. He’ll be collecting retirement pay in Florida but the time this would come to pass.)

    Rick’s article deserves a full “fisking”, but I don’t have the time, and at least I know (hope?) that his idea will never be implemented.

  • willis says:

    “sorry to disillusion you, but at least one “kid” near and dear to Tom Ricks IS active duty military, infantry in Afghanistan.”

    So you’re saying the kid was drafted? How did that happen?

  • JPS says:

    In my early-mid-thirties I walked away from a career in which I’d invested seventeen years, to join the Army. (Too old for the Marines, and possibly not a good fit.) I asked for infantry, got it, and served in Afghanistan.

    I loved, and love, the Army, and I honor to my soul those I served with. And I am more opposed than ever to a draft. Never liked the idea before, but now it’s personal.

    No matter how unpleasant things got, I could tell myself: You wanted this. You made a choice. Here you are, now do your duty. What I couldn’t imagine was submitting to all of that because – well, because someone else decided I had to. We’ve decided you need to do this, or to indenture yourself in some form of servitude we deem equivalent, or to go to jail. What gives them the right?

    Sure, if the nation’s very existence hangs in the balance, I can countenance a draft. I might be tempted to argue that if a nation can’t summon enough volunteers to defend it in its hour of need, it’s done for anyway – but that’s in the abstract; in the real world you do what you have to, and hope to be worthy of it.

    But not for the wars we’ve been in – and I felt strongly enough that they needed winning to put myself on the line. Not for some abstract ideal of societal fairness; not to share the burdens better, nor to ensure better communication across race and class lines, nor to open new job training opportunities to more young people. And not, for pity’s sake, to rig the game so that a war the pundit deems wrong would be harder to start.

    MarineMom, hat’s off to your son, and best wishes for his safe return.

  • Vanguard of the Commentariat says:

    Noted foreign policy and Kansas voting expert Thomas Ricks also said that with a draft we would be less likely to go to war. Wonder if he ran that goofball conclusion past history to see if it held up? Lets see, just off the top of my head, the most deadly wars in our history (WW1, WW2, Korea and Vietnam) either caused or occured while we had a draft. (And strangely we were led into all of them by Presidents from the party Ricks likes, the self proclaimed “anti-war” guys!) And the most costly war in our history, the Civil War resulted in drafts (and was actually started by Ricks’ favorite party). Since the draft ended, we have not had a war that was even fractionally close to any of the wars involving draftees. So again, like his “Whats the Matter with Kansas” everything this guy said is a perfect reverse barometer of what is right.

  • Rob Ives says:

    The left wants a massive draft not for the military but for a giant government employment/benefit system. It is a back door method of further enlarging our bloated federal government while getting young adults used to everything being supplied to them by Uncle Sam.

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