The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Feeling the Draft
For those of you concerned about a draft, this column will not help you feel more secure.
I doubt that Bush has any intentions to reinstate the draft, but his lack of foresight and doctrine of democracy by force leave us in a dangerous position. Any new military action, pre-emption against Syria or Iran, or defending an attack at home, while maintaining the same troop level in Iraq would give them no choice but to begin drafting.
Paul Krugman, the column's author, is an economist, so I am a bit more skeptical of columns that stretch too far out of that field. He has some good stuff here, though.
The administration's strategy of denial in the face of these realities was illustrated by a revealing moment during the second presidential debate. After Senator John Kerry described the stop-loss policy as a "backdoor draft," Charles Gibson, the moderator, tried to get a follow-up response from President Bush: "And with reservists being held on duty --"
At that point Mr. Bush cut Mr. Gibson off and changed the subject from the plight of the reservists to the honor of our Polish allies, ending what he obviously viewed as a dangerous line of questioning.
And during the third debate, Mr. Bush tried to minimize the issue, saying that the reservists being sent to Iraq "didn't view their service as a backdoor draft. They viewed their service as an opportunity to serve their country." In that case, why are they being forced, rather than asked, to continue that service?