McChrystal: Time to think about bringing back the draft?

posted at 6:31 pm on January 13, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

General Stanley McChrystal is still making the rounds plugging his new book, as well as talking about any old issue of the day the media cares to toss his way. He sat down on Face the Nation this morning and hit a few of the standard questions on Afghanistan, gun control and Chuck Hagel, before Bob Schieffer decided to ask him whether or not it was time to bring back the draft. (H/T NRO)

When asked about his thoughts on implementing a draft on CBS’s Face the Nation, General Stanley A. McChrystal said national service would have a positive impact because it would “bind people to their nation” and “pull people together in shared experiences.”

Just to get it in context, here’s the video and a transcript of a few of the applicable comments for you.

Schieffer: Would you favor a draft?

McChrystal: I personally believe that national service is important for the nation, and that’s having all young people serve a term of national service. Certainly not all military. But I believe those things do have two effects. One, those things that bind people to their nation are important, and another thing is that we’re also a nation that doesn’t get to know each other too well. Someone from one part of an inner city never meets another person from an upper class neighborhood. We need some things that pull people together in shared experience. We need to be ten years after the fact when they are meeting somewhere, ‘Where did you serve?’ begins a connection that allows them to move on because we are getting too fragmented in my view.

The media’s take on this during this administration is an interesting study in the evolution of the coverage of war under Bush and then Obama. During the Bush years, the big drumbeat from the media was to have Congress threaten to bring back the draft so all of the “rich kids of Republicans who call for war but never serve” would have to go to battle. The rationale there was to have it serve as a cudgel to end the war. But now that Obama is leading The Good War and working on Getting Us Out Responsibly, the draft question is suddenly being treated with a new level of serious inquiry.

But hearing all of McChrystal’s comments in context, he’s not exactly pushing for drafting every high school graduate into the Army. (Though he doesn’t rule out some mandatory military service.) He seems to be suggesting it as one possible option in a variety of choices. And this isn’t something new for him. In fact, he recently wrote an editorial on the subject.

“Service member” should not apply only to those in uniform, but to us all.

The concept of national service is not new, nor is it outdated. When America needs it, national service is the personal obligation of every American. And she needs it now.

All of us bear an obligation to serve—an obligation that goes beyond paying taxes, voting, or adhering to the law. America is falling short in endeavors that occur far away from any battlefield: education, science, politics, the environment, and cultivating leadership, among others.

Without a sustained focus on these foundations of our society, America’s long-term security and prosperity are at risk.

The idea of a national draft is, at this point, essentially a non-starter. There are also problems with mandating any other form of public service at the federal level. But it’s a good discussion to have, if only to remind people that the real way to have young people give something back is to instill those values at home from an early age, with parents teaching by the example they set for their kids. Yet another crazy idea, I suppose.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Hooray! Legalized kidnapping by the State! Yay, force! Boo freedom!

Dante on January 13, 2013 at 8:47 PM

As I recall, the British habit of pressing Americans into service in the British Navy (i.e. kidnapping) was one of the factors (minor perhaps) that led to the War of 1812.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 8:56 PM

I do think everyone should do some kind of service for the country – …

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 8:51 PM

I’d agree with you except for one thing – whose definition of “country” are we going to use?

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 8:58 PM

As I recall, the British habit of pressing Americans into service in the British Navy (i.e. kidnapping) was one of the factors (minor perhaps) that led to the War of 1812.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 8:56 PM

There’s this factor as well. I can easily imagine statewide riots from both sides of the political spectrum if the news gets out that the draft might actually be restarted. The left will stage protests that make the Vietnam debacle look like a domestic disturbance. Does Chrystal REALLY want to chance that kind of anger?

MelonCollie on January 13, 2013 at 9:00 PM

f thousands of near-useless privates on a military that is already beset with problems on all sides. It would be utter Chaos.

MelonCollie on January 13, 2013 at 8:54 PM

My sentiments, exactly. I remember the problems the draftees caused in ’69 -’73. And today’s draftees have had 40+ years of their heads being filled with the stuff that those creeps have been able to instill into the culture.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:02 PM

I’d agree with you except for one thing – whose definition of “country” are we going to use?

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Unfortunately I’d have to say “pre-Obumble” – or perhaps the new Independent Constitutional Republic of Texas…..

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 9:02 PM

. The left will stage protests that make the Vietnam debacle look like a domestic disturbance. Does Chrystal REALLY want to chance that kind of anger?

MelonCollie on January 13, 2013 at 9:00 PM

I’m not so sure about that. The calls for the draft are coming FROM the Left, not the Right.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:03 PM

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 9:02 PM

I’ll take George S. Patton’s, myself.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:04 PM

My sentiments, exactly. I remember the problems the draftees caused in ’69 -’73. And today’s draftees have had 40+ years of their heads being filled with the stuff that those creeps have been able to instill into the culture.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Exactly. The armed forces could easily handle livestupidanddie, Dumb-te, and company.

But getting tens of thousands of people just like them and even worse dumped in the system all at once? At absolute BEST you’re going to have dishonorable discharges flying like oaths when the drill sergeant stubs his toe. At worst you’ll have a national disaster.

MelonCollie on January 13, 2013 at 9:05 PM

I’m not so sure about that. The calls for the draft are coming FROM the Left, not the Right.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Ya – the left wants to give Emperor Obumble his own personal army of jackboot brownshirts to conduct Kristallnacht Round Zwei.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 9:05 PM

I’m not so sure about that. The calls for the draft are coming FROM the Left, not the Right.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Only from their politicians and elite, plus a few clueless ‘averages’ who haven’t yet grasped the consequences.

If it became apparent tomorrow to John Q. Liberal that he was actually in danger of being drafted, we’d see some serious reactions.

MelonCollie on January 13, 2013 at 9:06 PM

But getting tens of thousands of people just like them and even worse dumped in the system all at once? At absolute BEST you’re going to have dishonorable discharges flying like oaths when the drill sergeant stubs his toe. At worst you’ll have a national disaster.

MelonCollie on January 13, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Imagine being a commander in combat telling your unit to charge that hill – and you get a bunch of blank stares and one of them says we’re giving that order a big down twinkles….

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Well Well As someone who was drafted sent to fight in a war with ten times the casualties as this one paid $150.00 a month then had the media and the government for that matter wipe their ass with me and my dead comrades. Called us baby killers and said what bad soldiers we were.

Vol AR was the be all end all best ever was or will be. Every single clerk and wrench turner is a hero, hero, hero and professional too. Except they have suicide rate higher than their battle casualties. Now they want a draft back. May I say F-them.

bluesdoc70 on January 13, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Imagine being a commander in combat telling your unit to charge that hill – and you get a bunch of blank stares and one of them says we’re giving that order a big down twinkles….

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Precisely. Or imagine the big brass coming in for a surprise inspection, seeing a unit that’s straight out of a drunken nightmare, and finding out that with all the MPs and officers together can’t force 90% of the mouthbreathers to obey because they’re just so outnumbered.

Imagine that some high-ranker snaps from sheer fury in such a situation, comes out of the armory with a loaded SAW, and screams “you worthless **** will god**** well obey me or by God I’ll send every **** one if you to Saint Peter right now!

It could happen here.

MelonCollie on January 13, 2013 at 9:12 PM

If it became apparent tomorrow to John Q. Liberal that he was actually in danger of being drafted, we’d see some serious reactions.

MelonCollie on January 13, 2013 at 9:06 PM

I think you underestimate the power of suggestion on a populace that has already been quite conditioned to react to the proper stimuli.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:13 PM

The draft is nothing more than involuntary servitude. Any questions about involuntary servitude please reference the 13th Amendment.

MoreLiberty on January 13, 2013 at 9:16 PM

I think you underestimate the power of suggestion on a populace that has already been quite conditioned to react to the proper stimuli.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Maybe. I just think that the average liberal would go totally apesh!t if he/she were in real danger of being forced to serve in the evil right-wing military-industrial complex.

“Like, they have lots of guns and kill people! HELL NO I WON’T GO!!!”

MelonCollie on January 13, 2013 at 9:16 PM

I think you underestimate the power of suggestion on a populace that has already been quite conditioned to react to the proper stimuli.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:13 PM

I’m afraid I have to agree with you. A lot of the idiots that voted for Obumble might gladly join his brown shirt army to go confiscate guns from the unenlightened flyover peons.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 9:18 PM

serve in the evil right-wing military-industrial complex.

MelonCollie on January 13, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Ahhh yes – but their liberal/communist messiah is now the Commander in Chief.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Maybe. I just think that the average liberal would go totally apesh!t if he/she were in real danger of being forced to serve in the evil right-wing military-industrial complex.

MelonCollie on January 13, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Well, the first thing they always do is change the narrative. Haven’t you been paying attention?

When it was useful they used that description but now that they are the ones in charge, watch the narrative change.

Remember how the reporting on the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars changed after Bush lost the election?

Extrapolate from that.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Hmm. Interesting to think about.

MelonCollie on January 13, 2013 at 9:26 PM

I’m afraid I have to agree with you. A lot of the idiots that voted for Obumble might gladly join his brown shirt army to go confiscate guns from the unenlightened flyover peons.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 9:18 PM

As extreme as that sounds, I think we rule out that possibility at our peril.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:28 PM

MelonCollie on January 13, 2013 at 9:26 PM

Just observe. And look for patterns.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:30 PM

“bind people to their nation” and “pull people together in shared experiences.”

He realizes that they’ll need gimmicks to bind people to the Obama nation because you sure as hell aren’t gonna be fighting and dying for his vision and the principles on which his nation is built.

Buddahpundit on January 13, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Everyone who receives welfare is automatically enrolled in the military.

trs on January 13, 2013 at 9:37 PM

He realizes that they’ll need gimmicks to bind people to the Obama nation because you sure as hell aren’t gonna be fighting and dying for his vision and the principles on which his nation is built.

Buddahpundit on January 13, 2013 at 9:31 PM

I doubt there are many who want to go the way those in Benghazi did. How many are really going to risk their lives in jobs like that now that we know you will not get backup or help if Obumble thinks you’re expendable?

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 9:37 PM

Buddahpundit on January 13, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Buddha, that IS one of the gimmicks. Now it’s “bind people to their nation”and “shared experiences”. Before it was, as MelonCollie says, ” evil right-wing military-industrial complex.”

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:37 PM

As extreme as that sounds, I think we rule out that possibility at our peril.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:28 PM

I don’t think it’s extreme at all. I think it’s very plausible considering what we see on a daily basis – and I’m not a conspiracy theorist in any way.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Propaganda works both ways, you know.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:40 PM

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Yeah, but you’ve been paying attention. To those who have not, that sounds extreme.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:41 PM

I like the model from Starship Troopers:

Serve or you don’t vote. Very simple, you have all the other rights as a citizen, but if you want a say in whats going on, get your ass up and put something into this country….

American Patriot1980 on January 13, 2013 at 9:42 PM

“bind people to their nation” and “pull people together in shared experiences.”

But they’ll never define what they mean when they say “nation” or “shared experiences”.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:43 PM

I like the model from Starship Troopers:

Serve or you don’t vote. Very simple, you have all the other rights as a citizen, but if you want a say in whats going on, get your ass up and put something into this country….

American Patriot1980 on January 13, 2013 at 9:42 PM

I actually like that idea too.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 9:57 PM

Yep….. nut’n brings people together… like Kill’n

roflmmfao

donabernathy on January 13, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Everyone who receives welfare is automatically enrolled in the military.

trs on January 13, 2013 at 9:37 PM

And applying the Starship Troopers theme to this – you can’t vote if you’re collecting welfare.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 10:08 PM

if only to remind people that the real way to have young people give something back is to instill those values

Jazz, no one needs to give back because no one took anything, unless they are a criminal.

All the young owe us is their attention to the road when they are driving.

AshleyTKing on January 13, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Dizzy: My mother always told me that violence doesn’t solve anything.
Jean Rasczak: Really? I wonder what the city founders of Hiroshima would have to say about that.
[to Carmen]
Jean Rasczak: You.
Carmen: They wouldn’t say anything. Hiroshima was destroyed.
Jean Rasczak: Correct. Naked force has resolved more conflicts throughout history than any other factor. The contrary opinion, that violence doesn’t solve anything, is wishful thinking at its worst; people who forget that always die.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 10:13 PM

More directly relevant to this thread:

Johnny Rico: Mr. Rasczak, I want to join the Federal Service and become a citizen. But my Dad thinks I should go to college and remain a civilian as he has. What should I do?
Jean Rasczak: Figuring things out for yourself is practically the only freedom anyone really has nowadays. Use that freedom.

And we are quickly heading in the direction of even that freedom not being allowed.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Jazz, no one needs to give back because no one took anything, unless they are a criminal.

All the young owe us is their attention to the road when they are driving.

AshleyTKing on January 13, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Yes, but – I believe everyone should share in the responsibility to help support and defend this country so that we all can benefit from the freedoms we have. When enough people decide they don’t want to share that responsibility, we will cease to be a free nation. And unfortunately, I believe we are not far from that happening. We already have more people who just want their gubmint handouts and are not willing to contribute in any way – too many takers and not enough makers or defenders.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 10:31 PM

I heard General McChrystal on someone’s radio show, hawking his book. Just caught the back end of the interview, when he was being asked about more government gun bans, and he sounded remarkably uninformed on the subject. He didn’t claim a strong position, but simply suggested that he had seen the damage that “assault weapons” do to people and he thought that very few people should have access to such weapons.

This, of course, would be the current legal state of control over “assault weapons”, defined as the M-16 and AK-47, and much higher powered but similar selective fire, hand-held weapons, including rocket launchers, high caliber machine guns, and presumably artillery.

Why McChrystal thinks that I can buy and legally carry an M-16 around, when as a resident of Illinois I can’t carry a .22 revolver, is beyond me. I suppose active duty in Afghanistan might reasonably distort and veil one’s understanding of American gun laws.

Jaibones on January 13, 2013 at 10:37 PM

There’s this factor as well. I can easily imagine statewide riots from both sides of the political spectrum if the news gets out that the draft might actually be restarted. The left will stage protests that make the Vietnam debacle look like a domestic disturbance. Does Chrystal REALLY want to chance that kind of anger?

MelonCollie on January 13, 2013 at 9:00 PM

I think what he has in mind is first they confiscate all our guns and, second, they force us to serve them.

FloatingRock on January 13, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Yup, a whole bunch of Bradley Mannings.

Fallon on January 13, 2013 at 10:44 PM

too many takers and not enough makers or defenders.

dentarthurdent on January 13, 2013 at 10:31 PM

Well, that is simple: abolish the welfare state.

AshleyTKing on January 13, 2013 at 10:58 PM

It will be a cold day in you know where before I send my teen to Obummer’s army or any other so-called “government service” for the leftists.

sherrimae on January 13, 2013 at 11:28 PM

the real way to have young people give something back

Don’t like to see us adopting their assumptions or their jargon, Jazz. “Giving back” is a leftist construct. Charity and patriotism are better ideals.

petefrt on January 13, 2013 at 11:39 PM

Draft is a form of slavery. It was/is used by totalitarian states to indoctrinate young people entering adulthood. To avoid draft young people had to either enroll in the university or join the police force. Draft, could and was used as a punishment for protests, strikes or any other form of dissidence. So, it could be used against members of the opposition party or even whole political class.

Either draft or mandatory service will result with more recruits then US military needs. That means that not everybody could/would have to serve and that would lead to corruption.

ktrelski on January 13, 2013 at 11:42 PM

Citizens should be encouraged to join, but not forced. If too many don’t give a crap and don’t want to join up, then I doubt they’d be much good anyway and most would be fine with America going under.

Also, so many of our wars have been rather elective in nature, so I can’t say I blame them too much for not wanting to die in some rat hole where the indigenous population not only despise us, but are actively involved with killing Americans.

To me what makes sense is to have a Foreign Legion and send them to the cesspools of the planet as the pols deem necessary.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 13, 2013 at 11:52 PM

HEY! Remember when Charlie Rangle introduced a bill to Congress to reinstate the draft? And then once the media heard “draft,” the new line for a week was that Boooooooooosh wanted to reinstate the draft, even though he never said anything in support of it?
Yeah… good times!

Glenn Jericho on January 14, 2013 at 12:34 AM

Y’know what — we need a National Military Draft like a Football draft.

Everyone has to do PE in school — so everyone should do mandatory training with firearms, RoE, Geneva Conventions, and military order.

Those who do well are encouraged to concentrate further — so everyone who does well at sharpshooting, leadership, adaptability, should be encouraged to go further.

You can “get a letter” from your High School sports team — and, similarly, you should be honored for pre-military work.

College sports programs actively recruit for various athletics — and the military ROTC should do likewise.

Finally, exceptional college athletes can “go pro”…..and, of course, we should do the same for exceptional soldiers.

cthulhu on January 14, 2013 at 12:35 AM

Draft is a form of slavery.

ktrelski on January 13, 2013 at 11:42 PM

I agree with that. If there is a national emergency that raises the issue of whether draft is justified, it raises the issue of whether slavery is justified. Usually no. But sometimes over the course of history, yes. But not often.

I believe military service builds strong Americans. I think more people learning military discipline would be good for the country. But the way to get it done is to incentivize it, and offer a choice between combat and non-combat positions.

petefrt on January 14, 2013 at 12:37 AM

Well Well As someone who was drafted sent to fight in a war with ten times the casualties as this one paid $150.00 a month then had the media and the government for that matter wipe their ass with me and my dead comrades. Called us baby killers and said what bad soldiers we were.

Vol AR was the be all end all best ever was or will be. Every single clerk and wrench turner is a hero, hero, hero and professional too. Except they have suicide rate higher than their battle casualties. Now they want a draft back. May I say F-them.

bluesdoc70 on January 13, 2013 at 9:08 PM

The army was much better back during Vietnam. It only took 10 years to win many big battles but lose the war, where as in Afcrapistan it is taking our all volunteer army much longer to win a few small battles and lose the war.

VorDaj on January 14, 2013 at 12:49 AM

A few thoughts…

#1. The draft is should be illegal under the 14th Amendment.

#2. I think that volunteer armies are better than conscripted armies. If the cause is worth fighting for, you will get the best and brightest to fight for the cause.

#3. I think that a Swiss-style citizen reserve army has lots of merit. Every able bodied man that comes of age gets basic training in the army. On the other hand, I think that service in any war should still be strictly voluntary. It would do much to serve the national security and it would have other positive effects. Although war can have abject effects on people’s employability, I think that basic training has many positive effects. It has the ability to take a young man with poor upbringing and turn him into a responsible adult who is more likely to be productive and self sufficient later in life. It could even be seen as a reasonable concession to the left, as I think that with a well-trained citizen reserve army of the magnitude that it would be, we could actually stand to cut a good bit from the military budget without sacrificing any security. Thoughts, anyone?

Glenn Jericho on January 14, 2013 at 1:22 AM

We pay for china’s army with interest and our army with china’s new money. The price of fear.

Mormontheman on January 14, 2013 at 2:10 AM

So he’s a gun grabbing confiscating conscriptor. Definitely votes Democrat.

anuts on January 14, 2013 at 2:15 AM

Sounds like a typical leftist. He loves the idea of mandatory “national service” because he loves the idea of the government forcing everyone to come together for the common good.

Of course, that’s the exact opposite of freedom.

Progressives have always been in love with the idea of war, even when opposed to an actual war. They love making the entire populace get conscripted by the War Leaders, drop everything they are doing or planning to do, and be sent under the command of their government. They love war so much that they borrow the imagery constantly for their pet causes, leading to the “War on Poverty,” and the “War on Drugs,” among others. And when they don’t have a war to fight, then they want to draft everyone anyway.

McChrystal is just revealing himself as another progressive. When you believe the State is the next thing to God, then you see no problem with ripping people away from their lives and enslaving conscripting them to work for the Glorious State.

It’s one thing to accept a draft in the case of national emergency, such as a war on the scale of World War 2. It’s another thing entirely to decide the draft is such a lovely thing that everyone should have to do it, whether you actually need it or not.

There is something very wrong with being forced to do military service for a period of time when your service is not actually needed, just because certain elitists love the idea.

We have an all-volunteer military, and it’s working out great for us. The last thing we should do is go back to forcing people to go into military service who don’t want to be there.

Nobody in the military really wants to return to the draft, with the exception of certain people whose liberalism outweighs their desire to see a strong military.

There Goes The Neighborhood on January 14, 2013 at 3:06 AM

Every male should have at least 1 year military service.

nazo311 on January 13, 2013 at 8:43 PM

Hooray! Legalized kidnapping by the State! Yay, force! Boo freedom!

Dante on January 13, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Ideally, every male should volunteer for at least a couple of years in the military. None of them should be drafted.

Practically, of course, the minimum allowed enlistment is about 3 years.

There Goes The Neighborhood on January 14, 2013 at 3:12 AM

Great idea: pundits , politicians, and lobbyists first!

Don L on January 14, 2013 at 6:45 AM

He is as blind a patriot as he was a general. What better way to cement into Americans that the government is our master, not our servant.

elfman on January 14, 2013 at 6:50 AM

When you believe the State is the next thing to God, then you see no problem with ripping people away from their lives

Huh! Next to God?

Every liberal I know and listen too, believes: a) there is no Judeo-Christian God (Unless first remade into his own image) and b: the state is god (somebody has to control all the “equal to animals” humans, lest they get ideas about true independence and freedom.)

If they don’t say it–they believe in in their deepest hearts.

Don L on January 14, 2013 at 6:54 AM

A free State with its freely elected and backed government will get its own defenders who will take up arms to defend their government that they created and control.

That is how the militia worked back before we began to depend on the federal government to ‘defend us’.

The ranks of the militia are formed at the local level into companies of their own selected officers: they set standards for training, what you need to have in case of call-up and create a flexible system that can exempt at the local level due to local considerations.

Conscription is the forced imposition of the State upon individuals to defend it at using the power of the State to do so. If America could not defend itself during those conflicts that featured conscription then just what sort of Nation is it that can’t gain voluntary defenders? Everyone thought that the Civil War would burn itself out after the militia call-ups as that would limit the size, scope and depth of the war… conscription changed that and you could get out of being conscripted by paying someone to take your place. Mass warfare leading to Total War happened in that change-over.

After Pearl Harbor the lines of men to volunteer were long for weeks and months afterwards due not just to the attack but to the declaration of war on the US by Germany and Italy. America had plenty of volunteer defenders and the necessity of other powers using conscription forced a free people to under go it once more to suit the style of mass war that was the feature of the conflict. After that conscription showed itself to be only relatively capable in the Korean conflict and had instituted a style of thinking that was inappropriate to the inherent COIN conflict that was Viet Nam.

Does mass warfare and total war have a logic all its own and its own requirements? Yes, yes it does.

So does the militia system which we haven’t been actively supporting which creates local cohesion, comradeship and a self-trained force willing to get out of the house to defend their State as the first line of defense for it.

If you want that feeling of ‘nationalism’ then consider the local militia to be where the heart of it starts: not at the federal end but the local end.

Conscription is the very last resort for a style of warfare for a free people that reached its reductio ad absurdum with nuclear devices. Strangely those devices made the world safe for limited conventional war… one that doesn’t require conscription as such conflicts no longer require mass industrial output but are ‘come as you are’ affairs. After Iraq (twice) and Afpak the question of conscription was only floated by the Left seeking power over individuals. Yet both conflicts went on just fine with volunteer service showing that the armed forces were made of committed volunteers in defense of their Nation. If this is what you WANT then it should be instilled at the LOCAL LEVEL to defend your State and serve as a ready force to be called up in case of dire and dread mass war.

Mass war of the old style has not been a winning hand for the Soviets in Afghanistan and only serve well in purely sectarian or racial conflicts that devolve more to butchery than even civil war. Name the post-WWII places that mass war has been the only way to win that remained a conflict able to be run by the rules of warfare. Post-Viet Nam the US hasn’t been in one, and the Soviets got stuck in Afghanistan and see how well that worked out for them. After that you are down to smaller Nations and civil war conflicts, which are local in scope… and the US has not been all that supportive of its ‘allies’ when they get into such conflicts, either.

A good feeling towards your nation is to appreciate the benefits and freedoms it offers and to freely acknowledge that and DEFEND IT WITH YOUR LIFE by training to do so at the local level. Because these are the people you will fight with and for, and be willing to die for. And that is where the Nation STARTS down at the family and local level… and if this Nation can’t get defenders at that level, it is not long for this Earth.

You want that great feeling? DIY and invite others to help. An exercise of government power makes citizens into subjects, and these are not the best defenders of a free State, a free Nation or of Freedom as a whole.

ajacksonian on January 14, 2013 at 7:12 AM

What? Are we at war with Eurasia again?

claudius on January 14, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Simple motivation on the left at play here . Those who WANT to serve in the military tend to lean right. How do you get more John Kerry leftys that would toss their medals over the fence? Conscription.

Why do you need a military less sympathetic to freedom-loving Americans? I think we all know.

CycloneCDB on January 14, 2013 at 8:27 AM

I tend to agree with where he was going with this.

It doesn’t mean everyone has to strap on a pair of boots and grab a rifle necessarily, there are opportunities at the state and community level that would serve the purpose just as well.

The ‘draft’ is a dirty word because there was a time when we did not have a professional all-volunteer military, and the result was incredibly messy in Korea and Vietnam.

CorporatePiggy on January 14, 2013 at 9:01 AM

I’m opposed to a peacetime draft because (1) it’s not needed and (2) it amounts to involuntary servitude. But I’ve often thought the armed forces – and society at large – would benefit if each service filled some small percentage of its recruiting quota from a draft.

I joined the service in ’77 and met plenty of Vietnam era draftees who found they liked the military and ended up staying. I myself didn’t plan on doing more than one term and ended up staying for 27 years.

I’ll bet the same would happen with many draftees today who wouldn’t have otherwise considered military service. For most 18-19 year old kids it would simply mean future plans deferred, but for some it might end up being a life-changing experience for the better.

But as much as I think it’d be good for the military and for society, I wouldn’t support it for the reasons I mentioned above.

flipflop on January 14, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Ideally, every male should volunteer for at least a couple of years in the military. None of them should be drafted.

Practically, of course, the minimum allowed enlistment is about 3 years.

There Goes The Neighborhood on January 14, 2013 at 3:12 AM

Why is that ideal? I have no desire to be a tool for the sociopaths directing our foreign policy. I have no desire to go halfway around the world and kill someone because the State says he’s its enemy.

Dante on January 14, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Still thinking this one through…………..most from our side volunteer…………..would get many leftists……………….

Bmore on January 14, 2013 at 10:32 AM

That is the only way you could get anyone decent to serve with him. Based on quotes from Greg Jaffe’s review, he is a passive-aggressive toad.

I would not serve with him or even shake his hand.

Denver Bob on January 14, 2013 at 10:46 AM

So many, so ready to live off the fruit of freedom fought for by others who often give their lives for the fruit of freedom, so many who want a free ride, so many who only think of themselves, so many it seems that the fruit will not be so free much longer.

Personal Responsibility has no meaning for way to many now.

If you will not fight, it is as sure as the sun comes up someone or something will come and take all you have sooner than later.

They are at the gates now. Some help get the gates open just enough. Just cower a little longer and the results will be blood runing red and deep.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 14, 2013 at 10:52 AM

If you don’t want to be there, why bother. You’re just making it harder for those who want to volunteer. The desire has to come from within. I’m not big on external motivation.

NoVAHockey on January 14, 2013 at 11:11 AM

I kinda have to agree with the general.

Especially with that recent survey indicating that we have the most narcissistic young generation ever. Kinda hard to believe that your poop don’t stink, when the Drill Sgt is telling you and anyone within shouting distance that you’d have to stand on a dime to reach the level of a worm.

Oh Yeah. I was drafted in ’69, and am better off because of it.

WestTexasBirdDog on January 14, 2013 at 11:21 AM

There are other ways to demonstrate you are willing to lay down your life for your fellow man that does not include conscription or forced servitude.

I did volunteer work for the park service, was a federal employee in DoD, and volunteered for an experimental medical trial… I don’t like the results of the last, but I would willingly do it again if I was still healthy. As it is my good health is gone, now and ain’t coming back.

Creating a local defense militia amongst your fellow armed citizens and training together is a good thing, and can include: paintball, range time, drill time, and the ever better bbq and beer afterwards. Plus you get to choose your own officers and learn to respect them! Happy Warriors, isn’t that what its all supposed to be about?

If a free State has to press people into service, you are running out of ‘free’ and that should only happen when you are running out of ‘State’, not before.

ajacksonian on January 14, 2013 at 11:37 AM

We should just eliminate any welfare payments to able-bodied Americans under the age of 25.

If you’re under 25 years old, are able to work but cannot find work, the military should be considered before jumping on the welfare wagon. Learn a skill, EARN some money for yourself or your family and stop being a drain on the rest of taxpayers while adding no benefit to society.

JetBlast on January 14, 2013 at 12:05 PM

I can easily imagine statewide riots from both sides of the political spectrum if the news gets out that the draft might actually be restarted. The left will stage protests that make the Vietnam debacle look like a domestic disturbance. Does Chrystal REALLY want to chance that kind of anger?

MelonCollie on January 13, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Maybe not, but Obama would probably see that as a feature, not a bug. Imagine the potential of that crisis?

GWB on January 14, 2013 at 12:15 PM

One thing to consider, based on the information from commenters in one of the gun threads:
It seems a lot of the state militias consist of pretty much every citizen or resident within some age range and adequate health. If the state would simply drill that militia in some fashion (even if it’s a voluntary call-up) once a year or so, it would achieve exactly what McChrystal is talking about. Now, it would tie the members to their state (and perhaps the community), and not necessarily to the US, but I think that’s a good thing.

GWB on January 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM

I think what he is really doing is schilling for Obama’s Youth corp.

dwn on January 14, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Still thinking this one through…………..most from our side volunteer…………..would get many leftists……………….

Bmore on January 14, 2013 at 10:32 AM

It’s not that hard: either you side with liberty, or you side with kidnapping, slavery, and force, which is what conscription is.

Jimmy Stewart:

Shenandoah

Dante on January 14, 2013 at 2:08 PM

One thing to consider, based on the information from commenters in one of the gun threads:
It seems a lot of the state militias consist of pretty much every citizen or resident within some age range and adequate health. If the state would simply drill that militia in some fashion (even if it’s a voluntary call-up) once a year or so, it would achieve exactly what McChrystal is talking about. Now, it would tie the members to their state (and perhaps the community), and not necessarily to the US, but I think that’s a good thing.

GWB on January 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM

The militias are free of government; it shouldn’t be the state or any form of government drilling the militias.

Now, it would tie the members to their state (and perhaps the community), and not necessarily to the US, but I think that’s a good thing.

Welcome to federalism, a notion killed by Lincoln’s tyrannical war.

Dante on January 14, 2013 at 2:10 PM

If we draft, put those soldiers at our borders and protect our own interests, not everyone else’s.

RovesChins on January 13, 2013 at 6:40 PM

You mean facing inward like the dreaded Vophos of East German communism’s fame?

Don L on January 14, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Sorry, General, but I done used up my quota of volunteer.

mojo on January 14, 2013 at 4:18 PM

You mean facing inward like the dreaded Vophos of East German communism’s fame?

Don L on January 14, 2013 at 3:14 PM

To be honest – why are we tap-dancing around this whole issue with just draft talk?
Why not just have every kid take the ASVABS and other skills tests before they finish high school, and then we can have government bureaucrats assign them to the career field that best fills society’s needs and matches their capabilities? We shouldn’t be wasting peoples’ time and effort letting them pursue careers that they WANT, but aren’t good at – let the government bureaucracy decide it for them for the good of everyone involved…..

dentarthurdent on January 14, 2013 at 4:30 PM

the real way to have young people give something back is to instill those values at home

Let’s see, the federal government murdered over 80 people in Waco Texas, is currently involved in illegal human experiments (EPA), (and has a long history of this type of Nazi activity (CIA, Army, etc)), Is run by an administration that ignores laws it finds inconvenient like presenting a budget to Congress, and on and on, and you want me to teach my kids that they should enslave themselves to this fascist survelance police state? Not happening.

woodNfish on January 14, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Military 55 – 59, USN, Honorable discharge, many men grew to maturity during their military days and when they left the service they could take orders, give orders, disciplined, could work alone or part of a team, knew what they didn’t want in life and knew what they wanted in life. Vets were an employers dream come true. At 22 years of age they were head and shoulders above the average school grad as far as maturity and self respect goes. The draft did work wonders with some men and honed them to a sharp edge and gave them an education not written in books or taught in schools. The military has changed since I left it in 59, some good points and some not so good. I have little tolerance for cry babies and whiners and I think bringing back the draft would enhance the corrective measures needed for our undisciplined youth.

mixplix on January 14, 2013 at 5:56 PM

I can’t believe Hillary’s favorite General favors the draft.

flyoverland on January 14, 2013 at 6:41 PM

McChrystal is a leftist tool..

david kumbera on January 14, 2013 at 9:22 PM

Welcome to federalism, a notion killed by Lincoln’s tyrannical war.

Dante on January 14, 2013 at 2:10 PM

The only thing that Lincoln’s army killed was your toothless inbred ancestors and their dream of living off the unpaid labor of others. Keep crying, racist baby, the rest of us are having a marvelous time laughing at you.

MelonCollie on January 14, 2013 at 10:26 PM

If the cause was just, a draft would be unnecessary.

dom89031 on January 14, 2013 at 11:44 PM

I tend to agree with where he was going with this.
It doesn’t mean everyone has to strap on a pair of boots and grab a rifle necessarily, there are opportunities at the state and community level that would serve the purpose …

CorporatePiggy on January 14, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Meh. The boots and the rifle are two of the only worthwhile parts of this “national service” nonsense. There are already hundreds of taxpayer funded service boondoggles that waste our money, serve no legitimate purpose, and indoctrinate new government drone leftists.

The military needs to be the military, and fewer adventures abroad, and fewer State Department social engineering projects would be a good first move.

Jaibones on January 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM

I’m proud to serve with the best young people this republic has to offer, and I feel no hesitation when it comes to putting my life in their hands. They are all volunteers, serving because they want to, not because they have been drafted.

I love how people whose lives will not depend on the performance of conscripts think it would be a great idea to inflict them on those of us whose lives will. McChrystal, you will note, waited until he was safely retired to make his suggestion.

Steven on January 15, 2013 at 9:38 AM

General Stanley McChrystal sold his soul to the Devil in order to retire with FOUR Stars – that 4th goes with the position, not the man – if only he agreed to not diss Emperor Øligula publicly.
The man who I once respected unquestionably, is now just another Army dweeb.
So tell us, Stanley, is that extra $12k per year really worth your soul?
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 15, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Forcing anyone to serve under this CIC? Cruel and unusual punishment.

Mayday on January 15, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Mcchrystal: “Because STATISM. I love it. And so should everyone else! In fact, I think it’d be just swell if they were forced to embrace statism! More statism will make more statists and thats a good thing!”

Republicans are so laughable with their blatantly incompatible “freedom” rhetoric and their blind subservient support for idiot military clowns like Stanley here.

…And that scumbag Petraeus until VERY recently. Many of the R-tards even wanted a standup guy like that for president. MILITARY HERO HERP DERP.

Daikokuco on January 15, 2013 at 10:10 PM

Cleombrotus Exactly! Would the recruits be drafted under Obama’s America of international socialism and slavish obeisance to the UN? If so, I would dare say that such conscription would be illegal since it would be to perpetrate unlawful acts.

MaiDee on January 16, 2013 at 5:07 PM

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