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If It Ain't Broke, Break It!

Some years ago, I got into the habit of listening to NPR on weekends. I think it was "Car Talk" that got me started, and I've gradually expanded my listening habits to include Weekend Edition, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and On The Media.

Well, Weekend Edition Sunday is running a series of essays from listeners called "This I Believe." And yesterday, a woman named Aileen Mory from Allentown, New Jersey was chosen to be featured.

Mrs. Mory took the opportunity to call for a return to the draft -- and nobly offered her own two children, ages 13 and 17, for service.

How gracious of her.

And how stupid.

One of my core beliefs -- and I believe it's carried out by the facts -- is that the federal government is the most inefficient mechanism this nation has ever seen. I have always said that if you want to find the slowest, most cumbersome, most expensive, most wasteful way to achieve something, make it a federal responsibility and let the bureaucrats go at it.

Of course, there are certain tasks that simply have to fall to the federal government. Most of them are spelled out in the Constitution -- roads, mail, censuses, and whatnot. Chief among them is to "provide for the common defense."

The US military is no exception to the wasteful rule. Senator William Proxmire used to annually hand out his "Golden Fleece" awards for the most atrociously egregious wasteful military spending. The Pentagon bureaucracy is legendary for its inertia.

On the other hand, the US military has routinely achieved the impossible.

Right now, the US military is the mightiest force the world has ever seen. I would put our armed forces not only better than any other military force in the world, I would give them decent odds against every other military force in the world. We have built this tremendous juggernaut, and -- more astonishingly -- we have ingrained its obedience to the civilian leadership to the point where a coup is inconceivable.

At the same time, we took one of the most stubbornly racist and (pardon the term) militantly segregated bodies in our nation and forced it to become an embodiment of Dr. Martin Luther King's dream -- where people are judged not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character. I cannot find a more egalitarian institution anywhere in the world, anywhere else that is such a pure meritocracy, where excellence is the norm and superlatives quickly lose their meaning.

One of the biggest factors in the success of our military came about, I think, almost by accident.

For most of our history, the military was filled with conscripts. Folks who had no interest in serving went in anyway, courtesy of the draft. And the thought of doing without that was unimaginable.

But then Viet Nam happened, and the anti-war faction managed to defeat the hated draft.

I have to make a confession: had I been politically aware at the time, I most likely would have supported the draft. My political forefathers were among the draft's most staunch backers, and those I routinely oppose are the heirs of those who killed it.

They were right, but for the wrong reasons. (That happens a lot.) The arguments they made -- that the draft was innately unfair, that the unfairness was aggravated by favoritism and elitism and selective enforcement, and so on -- were accurate, but I doubt very many of them (or anyone) could foresee the consequences of that decision.

After the draft went away, the military was seriously hurt for a while. Enlistments dropped, and a lot of key positions went unfilled.

But then things started changing. The military started filling back up, with people who wanted to be there. Who saw service not as a burden, but a calling. We replaced the masses of warm (if often unwilling) bodies with professionals, men and women who were where they were because that's where they wanted to be.

That attitude kept building and feeding itself, those who didn't really want to serve were shoved out and more and more people found themselves competing for what they saw as a privilege. And as the costs of training troops kept rising to keep up with advances in technology and tactics and whatnot, it behooved the government to keep raising the standards to get in.

So, what would Mrs. Mory's plan achieve? Quite a lot, and little of it good.

There is a powerful esprit de corps in the military today. They consider themselves "the best of the best," and with damned good reason. There is plenty of grumbling in the ranks, but most of it is more tradition than actually sincere. Enlistments and re-enlistments keep meeting quotas (one division currently in Iraq met its annual re-enlistment quota about two months early), and the status of a veteran among the general populace is (rightfully) very high.

So let's fix that problem by stuffing the military with a bunch of people who don't want to be there, have no incentive to pay attention during the very expensive training they will undergo, and will count the days until they can get out. Let's stick alongside our professional class a bunch of malcontents who consider their service a burden or punishment -- and will loudly proclaim that belief at every opportunity.

We know it will happen, because that's exactly what did happen before -- and it ended with the ending of the draft.

So, what is motivating Mrs. Mory's plan to wreck the military? She's up front about it:

I was against the war from the start, although my opposition never translated into a protest march in Washington or a letter to my congressman. It remained no more than a quietly held belief.... (i>f every parent does not have to fear losing a son or daughter -- if every politician does not have to face that fear in his constituents -- decisions to go to war will continue to be too easy. I believe that a true democracy comes from shared responsibility for our collective choices. If that choice is war, we must all share in its tragedy.

That's right. It's all about Mrs. Mory's opposition to the war in Iraq, and thinks that the best way to end it is to cripple the military. This is all about her sense of guilt in not opposing the war more strenuously, and now she is willing to "sacrifice" her own two children to end it.

Thanks, but no thanks, Mrs. Mory. Speaking as a citizen and taxpayer of the United States, I don't want your chlidren to serve in the military -- unless they want to, and they are willing to prove they are capable. Within a year, your oldest child will be of age to enlist, should he or she do so.

Here's a radical thought, Mrs. Mory: why not let them decide if they want to serve? Why not let them enjoy and celebrate your philosophical forebears fought so hard to win, the right to choose whether or not they wish to join the military? Why treat the military as a form of punishment?

I'll need a better reason than "to assuage your conscience for not fighting against this war more successfully," Mrs. Mory, to risk wrecking the efficacy of the United States armed services. Go find another way to make yourself feel better than to offer up the freedom of your children -- and everyone else's.


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Comments (41)

Well said Jay....Well said.... (Below threshold)
DoninFla(CW4):

Well said Jay....Well said.

As a retired Marine with 26... (Below threshold)
William Western:

As a retired Marine with 26 years of service may I tell you to go straight to hell? We're the most stobbornly racist section of the society are we. Who crushed slavery? Who integrate Little Rock? Who moved George Wallace out of the doorway? Was it necessary to denigrate me and my compatriots? It certainly isn't needed in defending the volunter force.

Also, the military has traditionally been a volunteer force. There was a draft in the later part of the Civil War, WW I, and from 1940 to around 1970. That's certainly not "most of our history."

The gist of your article is good. I just don't understand your inability to defend an institution without first apologizing for some off point, real or imagined sin

After the draft we... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
After the draft went away, the military was seriously hurt for a while. Enlistments dropped, and a lot of key positions went unfilled.
I remember that Army. I joined it March of 1979. As a Private I was making less than $100 a week.

But it wasn't the money that motivated me to join. When I was 18 years old I had this vision I was going to be a super doper paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and that was first and foremost in my mind.

But I was disappointed when I got to the 82nd. We had a weak NCO Corp, little training money and old worn out equipment. Drugs were part of the culture at Fort Bragg too. The 82nd Airborne motto was better known as the "Jump'in Junkies" rather than "America's guard of Honor".

But then things started changing. The military started filling back up, with people who wanted to be there. Who saw service not as a burden, but a calling. We replaced the masses of warm (if often unwilling) bodies with professionals, men and women who were where they were because that's where they wanted to be.

And I can pinpoint the moment this happened. It was when Ronald Reagan became our Commander in Chief. First thing that happened was we all got a big pay raise. Next came the money for equipment and training. Then "piss-test" for drugs "weeded" out the riff-raff.

Those are things that created our professional military. But the most important thing that created a professional military was the fact that those that choose to serve wanted to be there and volunteered.

All the best equipment and training would never turn a hippie moonbat into a functioning, motivated soldier. The only thing motivating them would be looking for ways to get themselves kicked out so they could go back to smok'in dope and bad mouthing their country.

And a unit is only as strong as its weakest link. Nobody wants to babysit lefty moonbats dragging their feet and whining and holding the unit back in training or war.

At the same time, we took one of the most stubbornly racist and (pardon the term) militantly segregated bodies in our nation and forced it to become an embodiment of Dr. Martin Luther King's dream -- where people are judged not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character

Last weekend I traveled to Fort Bragg to welcome home my son from his tour of duty from Afghanistan. He serves in the same Division that I spent most of my 20 years with.

Nowhere in the country will you find the diversity that you find in the military. Race isn't even a factor that you even think about. It would only have to be brought up like this in a forum.

But there you have the diversity of "America's Guard of Honor", welcomed home by the diversity of their loved ones, all waving American flags and screaming with pride and joy as our loved marched off the plane into the building at Pope AFB to the sounds of the military band.

That is the America I am proud to associate with.

I fully agree with Jumpinjo... (Below threshold)

I fully agree with Jumpinjoe. I was in the AF from 1974 to 1984 active duty, and in the AF Reserve from '89 to 2003. I was in during the Carter years - and that was a lousy time. You got the feeling he actually hated the military, and would have starved it to death if he could have. Then Reagan got in, and it was the difference between night and day.

Every time a proposal to restart the draft is floated, it's not to make the military work better. You don't get that, as Jay pointed out, by taking people who don't want to be there in the first place and giving them expensive training and then letting them wreck expensive machinery. The draft proposals are intended to get the anti-war crowd stirred up and to weaken our military - nothing less - no matter the high-sounding rhetoric behind them of 'shared sacrifice'.

Its all about recreating th... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Its all about recreating the Vietnam narrative.

I believe that a true de... (Below threshold)

I believe that a true democracy comes from shared responsibility for our collective choices. We choose to fight fires and crime, don't we? Let's set up a draft for police and firemen! We share that responsibility, too, don't we?
Let's draft some 98 pound weaklings to drag firehoses! Let's draft some folks with criminal records to be cops! After all, criminals are Americans, too!

(Good thing I proofread this! I typed the word "daft" instead of "draft". Hmmm! Could work either way! )

Yes I have to agree..... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

Yes I have to agree..
PLEEEEEZE lets keep the dipshits OUT of our military!!

No draft...let the hippies cry about GLO-BALL warming instead.

Very few (nearly none) of t... (Below threshold)

Very few (nearly none) of those who suggest a draft do so because they think that military service is good or that a draft will increase our ability or readiness. (Almost!) invariably it will be for just the reason this woman cited. If there was a draft it would invigorate the anti-war movement.

I oppose the draft for all the reasons that Jay Tea listed.

But I would like to see this woman and others like her encourage their children to serve in the military. Just because we don't have a draft doesn't mean that an ethic of service is not a good thing or that having people with experience and familiarity with the military among a broader swathe of the community is not a very good thing.

It would be better if our highly professional military class avoided becoming a military caste. But not with a draft. With voluntary citizen participation. If it's right to do, it ought not require coercion.

Mr. Western, acknowledging ... (Below threshold)

Mr. Western, acknowledging reality is not a slur. Now, I grew up a military brat, and I know that racism has been pretty thoroughly purged from the military, but it was not always that way. I don't have any quotes to hand from the time of integration under Truman, but here's something from Stephen Ambrose's "D-Day" (p. 147 in my edition):

In World War I, two black U.S. divisions had fought in France. One, serving with the French army, did well; it won many medals and a request from the French for more black troops. The other, serving with the American army, with white Southerners as officers and woefully inadequate training and equipment, did poorly. The War College officers in 1937 [in a report assessing black soldiers' capabilities and tendencies] concentrated on the failure and ignored the success, which led them to conclude that blacks were not capable of combat service.

"shared responsibility"... (Below threshold)
marc:

"shared responsibility" - This loonbat is pulling pages straight out of Shillarys play book.

jumpinjoe - my 20 in the Navy started exactly 2 years after your hitch started. I concur wholeheartedly. The Reagan pay raise has never been matched in size since and from '81 to took a good 5-8 years to weed out all the druggies and various and sundry other non-performers.

A big problem with the draf... (Below threshold)
Eric:

A big problem with the draft in the Vietnam years wasn't so much that guys got drafted as much as the military wasn't large enough to take everyone of draft age, so there was necessarily a system to choose some while leaving others to pursue their own affairs. The basic unfairness of the situation was bound to cause all sorts of social problems.

There's only one fair way to institute the draft: everyone goes. And goes to fight, too, not 30% go to fight and the other 70% do some bullshit makework in the states.

The draft is a dumb idea, for all the reasons others have mentioned, but also because we'd have the same problem - who wouldn't be bitter if forced to do a hitch when his neighbor wasn't?

By far the biggest issue th... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

By far the biggest issue the anti-war crowd had during the Vietnam years was the draft, and they were successful in ending it, but that was not their intention. Their intention was to end the war, not the issue that gave their protests so much emotional power. That's why anti-war politicians and individuals call for reinstatement of the draft.

The left insists that women have control over their own bodies, even though it's not their bodies being killed. Likewise, men should have control over their own bodies, as to where it is and what it's doing. I say men, because only men have been subject to the draft in the U.S.

I propose a revision to the 13th amendment to make it clear that conscription is a form of slavery.

Jumpinjoe...man what memori... (Below threshold)
SFtrooper:

Jumpinjoe...man what memories! I was in the 10th group so I spent some time at Bragg and remember the "jumpin' junkies" well.

I was an evaluator in the early 70's (for ARTEP?) and jumped with a group of these meatsticks. I remember just prior to the go light the guys in our stick started stomping on the deck and jerking in unison on the anchor line cable. Real smart. I just hoped the damn thing didn't break before I got out the door and canopy deployed.

Also saw these boneheads on a mass tac at Devens. What a sight to see. Cargo chutes not opening and goats hitting the ground with parts flying. Nitwits walking on each other's chutes and stealing each other's air. It's truely a wonder anyone walked away.

There were some draftees in the 101st early in my time but they didn't seem to be the losers that the 82nd had. I suspect there were still enough of the old NCO's around to snatch a knot in their a@@. Maybe not. The point Jay makes is absolutely valid. I believe if those who advocate a return to the draft were to have witnessed first-hand the army at the end of Vietnam they'd probably go screaming into the night.

I was an NCO and later commissioned. It was frustrating because no matter how hard you worked to keep your troops squared away there were neighboring squads/platoons/companies that seemed to be filled with sh*tbirds, to include their leadership. The lack of focused and consistent army-wide standards for everything from tactics to discipline was maddening. I remember at Ft. Devens there was an engineer bn that didn't even PT for chissakes (but these pigs never missed the chowhall)! In units such as the SF groups and Ranger companies the standards didn't suffer (no draftees combined with a "tight" community of professional warrior NCOs).

Yeah, let's bring back the draft!!!

To be a consistent leftist,... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

To be a consistent leftist, one surely must support a draft. After all, if it is permissible for the government to dispose of fruit of your life, your labor (i.e. taxation for the benefit of another person) then conscription is simply a more complete application of that principle - where it's permissible for the government to dispose of your entire life for another not merely a portion of it.

An all volunteer military is by far the best choice for multiple reasons, some of which JT cited. One other reason is the if the conflict is not worth fighting the government won't have the volunteers necessary to pursue the conflict. If the conflict is worth fighting, the government will have volunteers.

Re-instituting the draft wo... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

Re-instituting the draft would mean the end of the military as we know it today, and that's a fact you cannot spin.

Since Mrs. Mory wants 'to m... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Since Mrs. Mory wants 'to make a statement', why doesn't she enlist?

I supported the draft in th... (Below threshold)
David:

I supported the draft in the 1960's. I was wrong.

I joined the AF in '84 and ... (Below threshold)

I joined the AF in '84 and retired just last year. My entire time was spent with people who wanted and deserved to be in the military.

The reason we're the best is that we have people who want to be the best.

I stopped in at the Marine Recruiting office in '84 and the recruiter looked up from his paperwork.

Marine: You want to be a Marine?
Timmer: I'm not sure, I thought we could talk about it.
Marine looking back at his paperwork: Come back when you're sure, you gotta want it.

It's THAT attitude that makes our fighting force the best in the world.

But it's not 1984. Back then, the Marines and the Army had lower academic requirements and the Air Force and the Navy had lower physical requirements.

All the branches in this decade require a higher level of brain power than ever before simply because of the technology involved with fighting. All of the branches in this decade require a higher level of physical ability because of the deployment requirements and the fact that each and every member of the armed forces could be a combatant.

One thing that still holds true, is you HAVE to want to live that life. You HAVE to want to be the best to make it.

One of the reasons I retired was that I recognized the simple reality that I was getting older and that I was at the point where I was going to get in the way instead of leading the way. The draft would simply ensure that you have people who don't want to lead, don't want to follow, but would simply be in the way. It's a recipe for failure.

took a good 5-8 years to... (Below threshold)
Brian:

took a good 5-8 years to weed out all the druggies and various and sundry other non-performers.

So then what was your position on this?

According to statistics obtained by The Associated Press, 3.8 percent of the first-time recruits scored below certain aptitude levels. In previous years, the Army had allowed only 2 percent of its recruits to have low aptitude scores. That limit was increased last year to 4 percent, the maximum allowed by the Defense Department.

...
About 17 percent of the first-time recruits, or about 13,600, were accepted under waivers for various medical, moral or criminal problems, including misdemeanor arrests or drunk driving. That is a slight increase from last year, the Army said.

Of those accepted under waivers, more than half were for "moral" reasons, mostly misdemeanor arrests. Thirty-eight percent were for medical reasons and 7 percent were drug and alcohol problems, including those who may have failed a drug test or acknowledged they had used drugs.

Did you come out against Bush weakening the military and allowing back in "all the druggies and various and sundry other non-performers"?

Brian,I can't spea... (Below threshold)

Brian,

I can't speak for everyone, but those of us who were in the military when it happened certainly made an issue of it.

And I'd add this. They may have had problems before they joined the military however, it was explained to them exactly what conduct would be required to STAY in the military. When it comes to drug use, the military is still, "One strike and you're out."

Democrats want the draft ba... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Democrats want the draft back in hope the military can cure their left wing educated, anti-american, drug addicted children. This would give the future democrat politicians a half way house stop between a liberal college, congress and prison.

Did you come out a... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Did you come out against Bush weakening the military and allowing back in "all the druggies and various and sundry other non-performers

What Brian fails to mention is the stringent waiver process that must occur and the levels of approval that must all be met in order to get in with a waiver.

What Brian also fails to post is how many of those who are given second chances in life in the military that go on to be druggies in the military or non-performers.

Where's that statistic Brian? A better question is why is it an issue with you if you can't even prove that those given waivers are poor performers?

Personally I am all for the second chance for minor infractions when one is young. I can't fathom why lefties are such hard asses about it. (Just kidding, I know why...it's to make baseless points)

Of those accepted ... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Of those accepted under waivers, more than half were for "moral" reasons, mostly misdemeanor arrests. Thirty-eight percent were for medical reasons and 7 percent were drug and alcohol problems, including those who may have failed a drug test or acknowledged they had used drugs


or acknowledged they had used drugs.

Meaning Obama could not get in the military today without a waiver. And Brian wouldn't want Obama in with the potential of Obama being a poor performer or continued druggie.

That is your point, right?

Jay does listening to NPR m... (Below threshold)
patrick:

Jay does listening to NPR make one think liberally? I have often made the point, if this situation in Iraq was dire then should we not draft to have enough manpower to get the job done. This is certainly a different situation than Vietnam. I enlisted in 1976 and went active in June 1977 and served in the USN until 1981. I had to work with the druggies and criminals that were given choice of military or jail. I think that most of us took our training seriously and think that we could have done the job needed in spite of Mr. Carter. I was 17 when I went active and so the pay was ok for me and when I went in the shipyards in Seattle I was able to take a second job for fun. Having said all that regardless of whether a draft is needed I still don't know what is the plan to finish in Iraq. I also see that Mr. Bush has said he would extend no more deployments, thanks a million on your way out. The other issue that I have is are we taking care of those volunteer troops when they are harmed and I don't see this administration making taking care of all the troops priority one.

Bill Clinton as well as the... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Bill Clinton as well as the new governor of New York acknowledged they used drugs in their younger years. What, it's ok for presidents and governors to have experimented with drugs, but not new recruits?

What Brian fails to ment... (Below threshold)
Brian:

What Brian fails to mention is the stringent waiver process that must occur and the levels of approval that must all be met in order to get in with a waiver.

Uh, the point of the story is that the waiver process was loosened. So regardless of how "stringent" it was, it's less so now.

What Brian also fails to post is how many of those who are given second chances in life in the military that go on to be druggies in the military or non-performers. Where's that statistic Brian?

Good question. You also failed to post it. Feel free to do so.

Meaning Obama could not ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Meaning Obama could not get in the military today without a waiver.

And neither could Bush. That is your point, right?

Uh, the point of t... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Uh, the point of the story is that the waiver process was loosened. So regardless of how "stringent" it was, it's less so now

It is less with a waiver, but it is still greater than before the big draw down of the 1990's. Once the draw down was complete the standards rose because there was greater completion for fewer available positions to fill.

What Brian also fails to post is how many of those who are given second chances in life in the military that go on to be druggies in the military or non-performers. Where's that statistic Brian?...Jumpinjoe

Good question. You also failed to post it. Feel free to do so

First off it was YOUR claim that the military was weakened by granting waivers. Yet you failed to include the statistic to prove your point. Without any proof your point is worthless unless it was stated as an opinion. But you claimed it as a fact.

And I guarantee that if such a stat existed the lefties would be pouncing on it and spamming it across the inter-web-net.

But all you have is the fact that some are given second chances, most for minor infractions and they must get approval from many levels taking 6 months to a year to get. Yet you don't believe we should allow these people in even if they met the same standards that existed in the 1980's. Why are you such a hard ass and so unforgiving especially since you can't prove that their service is a harm to the military.

Do you have a halo that you polish daily and look down on others that don't have one as shiny? Inquiring minds want to know.


Meaning Obama could not get... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:

Meaning Obama could not get in the military today without a waiver...Jumpinjoe

And neither could Bush. That is your point, right?

You are the one touting the standards shouldn't be lowered for those that admit they used drugs in the past. You are the one that would keep them from serving, not me.

You are the one making the claim waivers weaken the military, not me.

It is you that would keep Obama out by YOUR standard, not me.

Sheesh. What part of this are you not getting?

That's typical of Brian's m... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

That's typical of Brian's misrepresentational style of debate.

It got old a long time ago.

I was a sailor 1981-86. I t... (Below threshold)
jdgjtr:

I was a sailor 1981-86. I think that the turn around came when a lot of the Vietnam era lifers retired. The ones I knew on active duty couldn't conceive of treating people on their first hitch as volunteers deserving respect. They treated them as draftees, like dirt. Consequently I saw a lot of Nukes, Electronic Techs, and other well trained people with good attitudes, good work records and good training hit the road . From the people I talked today, who stayed in, the dead wood was in the E-6 and up over twenty, who demanded respect without earning it, didn't want to change and didn't want to adapt to the new Navy. They didn't want females, they didn't like married sailors and they sure didn't like to run PT!

While I'm all for keeping t... (Below threshold)

While I'm all for keeping the dipshits out of the military, I am disappointed that the sons of the elites are conspicuously absent from the ranks that protect their cushy lifestyles and boundless opportunities. It seems that recruiting and ROTC are somehow a plague to be avoided by the pampered rich kids on today's campi. Of course they "support the troops", they just don't want any contact with them; patriotism and belonging to something greater than yourself might be contagious!

Check out Frank Shaeffer's Book:
http://www.amazon.com/AWOL-Unexcused-Absence-Americas-Military/dp/B000MG1Z74/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1208211790&sr=8-1

First off it was YOUR cl... (Below threshold)
Brian:

First off it was YOUR claim that the military was weakened by granting waivers. Yet you failed to include the statistic to prove your point. Without any proof your point is worthless unless it was stated as an opinion. But you claimed it as a fact.

It's called common sense. Unless you claim that lowering education/intelligence standards and moral/criminal standards does NOT weaken the military. In which case, why weren't those standards lowered prior to the military missing recruiting goals? And heck, why not lower them even more?

You are the one making the claim waivers weaken the military, not me.

No, I never made that claim. If you want to respond to me, fine, but don't misrepresent what I said.

It's called c... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:

It's called common sense. Unless you claim that lowering education/intelligence standards and moral/criminal standards does NOT weaken the military. In which case, why weren't those standards lowered prior to the military missing recruiting goals? And heck, why not lower them even more

I already explained this but I'll reiterate. Since the military draw down of the 1990's there were less positions to fill with recruits. Therefore in order to get the very best the standards were raised for those competing for those positions.

If more positions become available then those standards can be lowered for a few to meet a quota, but they must complete a rigorous screening process that requires approval from multiple levels.

These people are not dunces, they are smart enough and physically fit enough for military service. They just didn't meet the new higher standard established not so long ago.

Once these people are in, initial test taking has no bearing on how well they perform over the course of years of service. Common sense dictates that if someone requested a waiver and waited 6 months to a year to receive it, then they probably are going to go above and beyond to prove their worthiness.

Your premise doesn't rely on common sense but rather a knee jerk reaction of "if they did something bad once, they'll do it again". But in real knee jerk form your argument has been circulated around in left wing forums with the intent of proving "criminals and druggies are now filling the ranks". But it's complete bullshit. If these people were creating a problem then the waiver process would end. But that is not the case.

I know when I challenged you to find the stats on how many of these waiver holders were causing problems you scrambled to find something. When you couldn't find anything to back up your distributed talking point you challenged me to find it. That was weak on your part.

Here's the funny part:

You are the one making the claim waivers weaken the military, not me...Jumpinjoe

No, I never made that claim. If you want to respond to me, fine, but don't misrepresent what I said.

Post #19 of this thread, copy and pasted here verbatim. Posted by Brian.

Did you come out against Bush weakening the military and allowing back in "all the druggies and various and sundry other non-performers


Therefore in order to ge... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Therefore in order to get the very best the standards were raised...
...those standards can be lowered...
...They just didn't meet the new higher standard...

Your position just doesn't pass the laugh test. You talk about raising standards to get "the very best", but deny that lowering the standards reduces that "best". It's nonsensical.

Your premise doesn't rely on common sense but rather a knee jerk reaction of "if they did something bad once, they'll do it again".

Yeah, how silly of me to think that someone who scores low on an aptitude test might actually demonstrate low aptitude afterwards.

I know when I challenged you to find the stats on how many of these waiver holders were causing problems you scrambled to find something. When you couldn't find anything to back up your distributed talking point you challenged me to find it. That was weak on your part.

What was weak was you challenging me to find a statistic you knew was not available, then acting like it proved something when I didn't present it. I didn't "scramble to find something". I just brushed you off. You're the one who cited that statistic as one that can prove your case, so if you think it's so important then you dig it up.

Post #19 of this thread, copy and pasted here verbatim. Posted by Brian.

First of all, what you got there is definitely verbatim... of me quoting someone else! (Hint: that's what those quotation marks mean.)

But regardless, neither I, nor the other commenter you cited me as quoting, made any general claim about waivers, as you accused me of doing. In fact, I think waivers are fine. But when you weaken the criteria used to grant those waivers, you can't argue with a straight face that you wind up with the same quality result.

Jay,I agree with y... (Below threshold)
azref:

Jay,

I agree with your reasons not to reinstitute the draft. But I think you missed the bigger point - her reason for her wanting to restart the draft.


if every parent does not have to fear losing a son or daughter -- if every politician does not have to face that fear in his constituents -- decisions to go to war will continue to be too easy. I believe that a true democracy comes from shared responsibility for our collective choices. If that choice is war, we must all share in its tragedy

Her premise that war will continue to be too easy is something that I believe shoul not go unanswered. There is simply no basis that our congress or president would not go to war simply because an offspring may be drafted and have to participate. On the contrary, we have a candidate for president with a son serving right now.

While there are those that may be unwilling to have their offspring go to war. I believe that the majority of our elected representatives would put the country's needs first in front of their own desires.

But then again, the demoncrats certainly seem to put their political gains ahead of what's good for the country. Strike everything I just said.

"common knowledge".....used... (Below threshold)
SFtrooper:

"common knowledge".....used in an argument to substantiate your position.

Now THAT doesn't pass the laugh test Brian.

I didn't say "common knowle... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I didn't say "common knowledge", I said "common sense"... something that you, evidently, could use.

Actually, it's more evident... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Actually, it's more evident that it's something that you completely lack, Brian.

Processing wavers involves ... (Below threshold)

Processing wavers involves military JAG persons going over individual case files (in the case of applicants with police or court involvement) and individually deciding if the person has got something going on that should keep them out of the service.

Normally, the military doesn't bother. It doesn't matter how many people are disqualified for silly reasons if it makes the paperwork simpler... there are always other recruits who don't have the PITA factor and the military isn't about doing favors to anyone who wants in. They don't care. They only care that you don't have all the right boxes filled. Homeschooled students (for example) had to really fight to be recognized as first tier recruits so that they could enlist at *all*. Because anything *non-standard* is a problem in a government organization that size.

Recruiters or military services do not CARE about being fair to those who are healthy and law abiding and otherwise exemplary in every possible way if there is some *other* recruit who is easier to process.

Also, considering the limits on ASVAB scores... hey, I'm former Air Force and I'd love to claim that the jobs the Air Force does requires more smarts and that's why Air Force and Navy ASVAB cut offs are way higher than Marines or the Army, but it's simply not true.

The ONLY reason that the required ASVAB scores for the Air Force and Navy are higher than the Army is because those services figure out how many people they need and adjust the score so that's how many "qualified" people they get.

That's how the Army cut off scores are set as well.

This surplus of willing bodies is also the reason why AFROTC candidates have had to have perfect vision. There is nothing about piloting that *requires* perfect vision but it is a handy way of reducing the total number of candidates. Probably the best potential pilots have been weeded out this way. In fact, almost certainly the best pilot *ever* has been weeded out this way.

In regards to comment #3 by... (Below threshold)
Dave in St. Louis:

In regards to comment #3 by Jumpinjoe: You have a faulty memory. I joined the Navy in August of 1980 and got out in December of 1988. The LARGEST percentage pay increase I EVER got during that time occurred when Carter was still President and before the 1980 election.

Reagan gave us back our pride and Carter was 12 kinds of bad on the military, but there is no reason to tell tall tales (or sea stories) about it. OBTW, the first Reagan pay increase didn't hit until September 1981, so even if it was big, it wasn't the first thing that happened.




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