Monday, November 20, 2006

P-59 US Military Draft to be restored

US lawmaker to offer bill restoring military draft

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A top Democratic lawmaker said he will propose legislation to reintroduce the US military draft, saying that the all-volunteer army is shorthanded and overwhelmed by troop deployments in Iraq..... "I don't see how anyone can support the war and not support the draft. I think to do so is hypocritical," Representative Charles Rangel (news, bio, voting record) said.

The proposal would have reinstated the military draft to include conscripts between the ages of 18 and 42 years old.

But he said he felt compelled to try again because of continuing pressure on US forces, including President George W. Bush's insistence that he would not rule out using military force against North Korea and Iran.

The US has heavily depended on military reserves to keep up staffing levels in Iraq, and many soldiers have been pushed into multiple tours there because of the shortage of fresh troops..... More than 140,000 US troops are currently deployed in the country.

"If we're going to challenge Iran and challenge North Korea and then, as some people have asked, to send more troops to Iraq, we can't do that without a draft," said Rangel.... He said he envisioned that draftees could also serve in civilian positions...... "A draft doesn't necessarily mean that everyone drafted will have to serve in the military," said Rangel.

He advocated "having our young people commit themselves to a couple of years in service to this great republic, whether it's our seaports, our airports, in schools, in hospitals.".... Rangel said the bill could provide perks, including educational benefits, for draftees.

"It's the best thing for our young people and the best thing for our country.


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