The possibility of a military draft has understandably gotten the attention of college students. The age group of 18-25 year-olds would likely be affected most by such a measure. President George W. Bush is categorically stating there will be no draft. Not surprisingly, his word alone is not enough to quell concerns. It is unlikely the issue will go away before the election, as Bush cannot conclusively prove a draft will never happen.
When Bush was asked about the possibility of a draft, he dismissed it as “rumors on the Internets (sic)” and said, “We’re not going to have a draft, period.” He reasoned a volunteer based army works best, particularly if you pay troops well and provide good benefits. He also said, “We don’t need mass armies anymore.”
As none of these statements ring true, the controversy surrounding a possible draft is not dying.
Bush tried to cut pay of troops and successfully closed Veterans’ hospitals across the nation. For him to now argue the troops feel valued hardly makes sense.
The statement that “mass armies” are not needed anymore is even more troubling.
One of the reasons why the situation in Iraq is so dire is the Bush administration’s decision to overstep warnings by military experts and send too few troops to Iraq to ensure a secure country even after Saddam Hussein’s regime was toppled.
According to a poll the Associated Press released Saturday, 58 percent of troops and 66 percent of individuals who have a family member serving in Iraq agree that there are too few troops in Iraq. Paul Bremer, former administrator overseeing the construction of Iraq, also said there are too few troops.
Others, such as Sen. John Kerry, question if the war was necessary in the first place. Considering that justifications for the war have been repeatedly replaced by ones that proved equally flimsy, such a question should at least be raised as it committed troops to Iraq while military actions in Afghanistan had not been finished successfully.
The troops who are abroad know mistakes were made and that their lives are on the line as a result. The dire situation troops are facing is hardly making recruitment efforts stateside any easier, either. As National Guard members are shipped overseas, candidates think twice about joining, and recruitment numbers are not suggesting a change in this trend anytime soon.
Meanwhile, President Bush is insisting that plans in Iraq are working out and that we need to “stay the course” while things could clearly be going better, to say the least. He is not showing any credible plans of alleviating the problems caused by an overextended army, and is showing no sign of doing so in the future.
Bush has also misled the American public about virtually every aspect of the war in Iraq. From its original planning, under pretenses the administration knew were false, to giving his word to Congress and the American public that military action would be a last resort, to prematurely declaring “mission accomplished” and now by via a rose-tinted portrayal of a dire situation in order not to jeopardize his re-election, Bush has been less than honest.
It is only natural that young voters are unlikely to take the president’s word, as their lives would be massively affected if Bush chose to break his word like he has repeatedly done in the past.