America “Must Afford” Costs of Volunteer Force

America “Must Afford” Costs of Volunteer Force

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey had just sworn in slightly more than two dozen new recruits and serving soldiers at a celebration of the 35th anniversary of the creation of the all-volunteer force with Army Secretary Pete Geren attending. They recited the oath of enlistment and some spoke of why they enlisted. I asked Geren after the ceremony if the US could afford a volunteer force with its ever-increasing costs from bonuses, pay increases and health care.

The Senate’s senior defense spending member had raised this very issue in late May when he asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen if it is time to “consider reinstituting the draft.”

 Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii),  chairman of the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee, asked the question he said no one wants to ask: “Is the cost of maintaining an all-volunteer force becoming unsustainable and, secondly, do we need to consider reinstituting the draft.”


 When I asked  the leader of the biggest military service whether the slippery slope of spending could be sustained he did not miss meet a beat. “As a nation, we must afford an all-volunteer force. It’s the best force the world has ever seen,” Geren told me.

 Geren’s commitment notwithstanding, there is clearly some debate — or at least concern — among the senior reaches of the military if Mullen’s comments at the hearing were any indication.

 “A future that argues for, or results in, continuous escalation of those costs does not bode well for a military of this size,” he said, adding it the rising costs will eventually force the US to shrink the military, spend less on new weapons or to “curtail operations.” The question of pay and benefits for the U.S. military “is the top issue we need to come to terms with,” Mullen said.

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We can’t afford a draft, not an all-volunteer force.

A draft has many more intrinsic values for the country such as iving each generation a responsiblity to serve their country. European countries have had mandatory military service which is the way to go. Make it mandatory for each male to serve 18 months and from that we can pick the best to offer further opportunites. Females could volounteer.

There should have been a draft from the beginning of this action in Iraq. We should draft males and females, after all it is 2008, who could be against this equality? It is the equivalent of not drafting a minority, it’s backwards, and it doesn’t make sense. I would rather draft a woman who was smart, fit, has a diploma, and no criminal record than a guy who is a fat drop-out and on probation for knocking off a liquor store. Which one do you think it would be easier to instill with respect and discipline? My money’s on the girl.

I personally think that a draft in the
United States would cost us more than an all volunteer force would in the end, for instance The Israelis have a mandatory force at the age of 18 both male and female but they consider it there duty to in order to keep there home land considering the the situation throughout the middle east as many Americans don’t have that sense of patriotism, if the draft was put back into action the AWOL rate would likely increase sharply thus wasting the money put into there training and moral would go down sharply reducing combat effectiveness.

Since I have served in both the draft Army and the all volunteer Army cost should be considered but not the deciding factor. The Army I retired from is smaller, better trained, better equiped, SMARTER, and dedicated to professionalism. There are many more positive adjectives to this professional Army but few would read something that lenghty.
I remember in the 1970’s when the Dutch Army was unionized, what a disaster, and that was due to conscription. We shouldn’t want to go back in time to what was a failed system. The only possible way a draft could work today is if there is a war and that there are no exceptions to service (Think about the song, I ain’t no senators son(lyric) used in so many films about the Vietnam era.

The draft will drag the service down to where we were after vietnam. A disgruntled Army with a high discharge and low retention rate that will cost more than paying for the All volunteer army and the equipment it needs.

I feel that all those bonuses should be stopped. Instead of wasting all that money they should restart the draft and every person is open for draft. No exceptions. However there would be some selectiveness as to who goes. Gang members or medically deferred should be the only ones. No college deferrments whats-so– ever. If caught lying its jail. No fines either. The rich have to go as well as the poor. Maybe this will help end the debacle and we can use the funds saved to better help the country not some other place that doesn’t even want our help.

Reinstitute the draft, selection based upon income. Those from families making the most money get drafted first. I wonder how many wars we would start then?

I have served in the service with draftees, I saw no real problems. I agree with a draft to the reserve and national guard only. I think the second ammendment’s milita clause supports this in my view of the law. I only support a draft to the active forces if congress has the guts to declace war.

As everybody is entitled to an opinion, there are plenty here. Here is mine. A draft, no matter your opinion, does get the media’s, as well as the general population, focused on the world’s issues. And that is a good thing. I have worked for the DoD for thirty years, in procurement. I have witnessed some of the most outrageous spending under the republican’s. It seems like the door to the candy shop is open whenever they are in power. Now with the outsourcing of jobs, responsibilities, services, and basically the defense of the country, a MAJOR shift would have to occur before the much needed draft is implemented. For instance, are we only going to draft trigger pullers and combat engineers? In the past we drafted, cooks and MPs too. But now with those lucky republican connected contractors like KBR and Blackwater, we don’t need them. (even though a draft would fulfill the mission at 1/10 the cost).
Would a draft work with the way the government spends money now? Well, the highers would be out of luck. The number of potential second career choices would shrink, but is that a bad thing?
I think I would try to create a system where the draftee would perform his/her duties as described, and then be given a choice after the two years either to stay in or go. Maybe the new military could pay the E-4s and above a better wage. It could be doen if you quit giving the enemy money to not shoot at us, stop giving away tax dollars to the christian/republican lobby (see Blackwater), and quit buying stupid weapons and other “systems”. The land warrior stuff is crap, and the future combat stuff wil be the same. Those programs are nothing but welfare and a transfer of our tax dollars to the good for nothing contractors.
We need a draft, a new cabinet level post whose duties would be to review weapon buys (maybe we could finally but the soldier’s and marines a 21st century PDW and battle rifle)
It is time to belly up to the bar and get this done.

Why would we want to destroy the world’s best military by incorporating a draft? Is this part of the Obama Kool-Aid drinker’s strategy for discrediting yet another great American institution? Is this the new rhetoric; that we can’t afford to PAY a volunteer force? Give me a break.

Marxists like Obama want higher taxes so that our wealth can be redistributed to the world, but they don’t like the pay and benefits of an all volunteer force? Give me a break. Try being submerged on a submarine for 75 days or dodging bullets in the desert for a year! Then, let’s see if you think our military gets too much. Please, let’s not use cost control as the basis for a DRAFT argument.

I may be missing something but how does a draft alleviate spending versus an all-volunteer force? They still have to pay the soldier, even though it’s chump change compared to even a fringe ‘poverty level income’ paying job.

They’re underpaid as it is. Meanwhile Congress keeps voting themselves a raise and can’t take care of issues in-session?

I don’t agree really… I too believe that drafting people will hurt more than it’ll help. We have a lot of patriotism in this country, but trying to say, ‘we can’t afford’ the best Army in the world is pretty weak; especially when you keep sending them off to wars to lower those stockpiles so we can keep the defense contractors going strong… We have only ourselves to blame; or those in Congress and the White House.

i for one have always thought the draft should have never been stopped. as one poster stated even if were only to the reserves and national guard level. all young men and women of our nation should have to contribut our security, too, many of them may even learn something about responsibility and integrity. (IMO)

I have served in both a draft Army (68–71) and a volunteer Army (81–87). I much prefer the All-volunteer force. We will need to draft people when we are attacked by a very large force and have to defend these shores from invasion. We can prevent attacks by having a well trained volunteer force. Sept. 11 happened because the prez didn’t take action against Al Qaeda when smaller targets were attacked. We cannot treat terrorists like criminals; they are like gorilla forces.

Well, this comment will not be popular. There has been news coverage concerning the all voluntary forces. The article that brought my attention concerned religious zealots that are currently filling the higher ranks not only at the Air Force Academy, the Pentagon but, nco ranks. These groupgs have set about a crusade to condem and convert troops into their religious beleifs, including demoting those who don’t relent. A lot of denial has been spouted out of converting the lower ranks, dah. The bottom line is that when the draftees were introduced into Viet Nam, this Evangelical pressure came to a screeching halt. I wonder if the same scenario would produce a devine intervention into what I see as a version of the “American Taliban”. JUST A THOUGHT.

A draft or national service will occur when the benefits are greater than the liablities. For that to happen the all-volunteer force will have to decline substantionally from its present situation. After 9–11, the President should have called for national mobilization. He didn’t, and now years after it’s a bit too late. The real long-term concern is with the exodus of young officers. No draft will fix that, unless you stop-loss them indefinately. I think we will just have to watch a long, slow, painful process of the Army dying before drastic acton ends up taking place.

Draftees were 25% of the soldiers in Vietnam and the rest were regular army. They didn’t get a bonus either.

First things first:
R. Hahn complained that there are too many christians in our military. Or, perhaps these christians are too evangelical.
How about this: 24 of the 56 of the signers of the Declaration of Independance held Seminary degrees. And, General George Washington — yea, the same guy who became president — told his troups that they should “add the Christian Faith” to their patriotism.
If you do not want christians defending this country which was founded on the Bible, then which faith do you prefer? Perhaps you prefer Atheism? Or even more, Islam? Then you would have an American Taliban. (Infidels get beheaded in Islam.)

As for defense spending: I AM SICK TO DEATH OF HEARING THE “BELT-WAY” IDIOTS COMPLAINING ABOUT DEFENSE SPENDING!! (My apology for yelling.) Defense spending is insignificant (single digit percent) compared to the pork and free handouts given by these bozos. I say terminate ALL free handouts, domestic and worldwide. People complain about the coming “nanny-state.” Via our congress the U.S. taxpayer is supporting a “nanny-planet.”

As for the draft:
The liberal wants a large, fully drafted (thus generally disgruntled), under-educated, underfunded military force.
The conservative wants a small, volunteer (chose to be there), educated, well funded military force.

(A draft has no educational standard. A volunteer service does.)

Which of these two would better defend this country? This presupposes that the liberal actually wants to defend this country. (If you actually listen to them, it is clear that they do not. They blame this country for all of the world’s ills. It is phylosophically contradictory to defend that which you hate.)

By the way, go back and read the description of the liberal military. This is also the description of the civilian population in any communist country save one thing. In communist countries it is illegal for the civilians to own guns. (Hum. Which article in the Bill of Rights are the liberal trying to elimiate?)

NOW DO YOU WONDER WHERE THE LIBERAL (COMMUNISTS) WANT TO TAKE THIS COUNTRY?

It just occurred to me that the Military Industrial Complex (a nice liberal buzz-phrase) would love the draft. Demand would be high and supplies would be low. Prices would really sky-rocket, and so would their profits.

By the way Krivka, if you were so unhappy they why did you stay for 30 YEARS?

Perhaps it is because you were earning one of those big, fat, civilian Dod salaries. Yet, hypocritically, here you are complaining about Dod spending. YOU WERE THE PROBLEM!!

You are a typical “desk-driver.” You want a good salary and regular raises, but want the real workers to remain poor.

You are pathetic!

One of the biggest problems today is not the abundance of stupid weapons, it is the abundance of stupid civilians.

Nice!An Evangelical Christian has more power
and ability over his/her none Christian opposite
and they complain about it? Just look at this:“Wars and rumors of wars.” That is part of
the Good News!It’s more of a Christian war,than
none Christian.

Well reading over everyones remarks I can see good points on both sides of the issue but the real question is how well would a drafted force fight over an all volunteer force, I am not enlisted now nor was I ever the only reason I am not is because of a rare illness that I have that they will not not allow me to but my heart has always been with the men a women fighting. I really don’t care if it’s drafted or not as long as we remain the worlds strongest force because if we lose that we may never recover.

The draft is a tricky thing. If we end up in a conflict with another country there will be no choice. People will just have to answer the call before it gets to them. Own up to being an american.
As for the pay and bonuses for soldiers. I don’t think they earn enough for what they do. The bonus check though should be realistic. more than 15 to 20 grand and the person is more about the money than the service so do we really want them to stay in. Their mind is in the wrong place.
Increase pay to inflation at least and lower the bonus.
Also stop wasting all of this money to research we know won’t work.
Pick companies with good track records and standing relationships with U.S. and other countries, then don’t let them rip us off.
The product is to our needs and standards wanted or they don’t get a single penny.

If the “All volenteer ” system works then why are we recruting in forign countries and encourgaging more and more illegal’s to join.…HOUAH

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