War Czar Touts Draft
LTG Douglas Lute, the war czar that has been strangely missing since his appointment, came out with a bang yesterday, saying it’s time to consider bringing back the military draft.
Frequent tours for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have stressed the all-volunteer force and made it worth considering a return to a military draft, President Bush’s new war adviser said Friday. “I think it makes sense to certainly consider it,” Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute said in an interview with National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”
“And I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table. But ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation’s security by one means or another,” said Lute, who is sometimes referred to as the “Iraq war czar.” It was his first interview since he was confirmed by the Senate in June.
President Nixon abolished the draft in 1973. Restoring it, Lute said, would be a “major policy shift” and Bush has made it clear that he doesn’t think it’s necessary. “The president’s position is that the all-volunteer military meets the needs of the country and there is no discussion of a draft. Gen. Lute made that point as well,” National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.
In the interview, Lute also said that “Today, the current means of the all-volunteer force is serving us exceptionally well.” Still, he said the repeated deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan affect not only the troops but their families, who can influence whether a service member decides to stay in the military.
Methinks it’s time for Lute to go back into hiding.
UPDATE: It’s been a while since I’ve written about the draft, so a glib dismissal of Lute’s proposal may be unwarranted. Check out these selected posts for a more detailed view: