Re: AntiDraft Policy - a failed standard of the Sixties

John Andrew (J_Andrew@ACAD.FANDM.EDU)
Tue, 6 Aug 1996 15:16:09 -0400

>What seems to have gone missing in the general
>review of the Failed Policies, and agenda items
>of the sixties, is the current position we find
>ourselves in with our 'all volunteer' armed forces
>and it's slow but stead detachment of the the US Military
>from it's traditional role as both the Citizen's Armed Forces,
>as well as a portion of the 'melting pot' in this land of
>the great cultural diversities.

>I understand that there were some apparently good reasons to
>attack the draft, and for the Government to end the draft, as
>a part of the politial manuevering of the sixties, since the
>draft was a primary source of manpower for the war in vietnam,
>and by Ending it, it disarmed the Major Concern of a Lot of Nice
>People who would otherwise have been willing to Support the Government,
>were it to limit it's warfare to the use of merely the Untermenschen.
>But I fear that the long term problems remain, and that we will
>not be able to fix them simply by the continued policies of
>creating and maintaining an 'independent' Military detached
>from it's primary base of support the Civilian Community. As such,
>I am an advocate of the restoration of the Draft, so as to 'right size'
>the armed forces to the relevant levels we will actually NEED to maintain
>for Peace Time Operations, as well as to cycle through it the large body
>of 'reserve components' that will be required during time of war.

With some stuff snipped out of Drieux's original post, let me add that
there were several/many? folks in the Sixties who opposed the draft as it
operated, but worried about just what Drieux notes - the emergence of an
all-volunteer army which would be a mercenary force to be used at the whim
of a president - Congress might complain and raise politically-motivated
issues, but it has rarely taken effective action once US troops have been
deployed - one might argue that one of the strongest motivators for the
antiwar position during Viet Nam was the existence of the draft - how many
would have protested if they had been immune forever? granted, there was a
core of opposition to the war, and to the operation of the draft on
principles, but I believe that the great middle-class "conversion" to an
antiwar/bring the boys home position was chiefly driven by the exposure of
their sons to weapons fired in anger.
John Andrew

John Andrew email: J_ANDREW@ACAD.FANDM.EDU
Department of History fax 717-399-4413
Franklin and Marshall College
Lancaster, PA. 17604-3003

"Fantasy Will Set You Free" - Steppenwolf