And here is where the messages of Maj. Gen. Mixon and Lt. Col. Yingling intersect. Yingling makes clear that it's the political leaders who decide whether to go to war. Once the policy-maker receives military advice that there aren't enough troops to achieve the war's strategic objectives, he or she "must then scale back the ends of policy or mobilize popular passions to provide greater means."This is interesting. If Iraq and Afghanistan really were the Wars to Save Western Civilization that Bush purports them to be, would a draft be appropriate? Would men aged 18-22 volunteer more?
President Bush has done neither. He has evaded this calculation from the beginning and continues to do so now that everyone plainly realizes there are not, and never were, enough troops. The next president will have to take up the big questions: What kind of threats do we face? What kind of military forces—and military leaders—do we need? How much will that effort cost? If we don't have the resources (in troops, money, or will), should we whip up the passions to get more—or scale back to a more realistic policy? The current course—pursuing grand global visions with depleted means—is a surefire road to disaster.
I think that I would avoid service. Don't call me unpatriotic. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney did the exact same thing -- at a time when 58,000, not 3,300, of their fellow male Americans were dying.
This Iraq War is emerging as the most wretched thing since the Vietnam War. Only I must say Grace. Both Iraq and Vietnam are clearly wars the US lost/will eventually admit losing. But George W. Bush is politically coward enough to not draft young men like myself to kill and die.
This makes me appreciate those willing to serve our country at this time, but also deeply befuddles me.
The proverb goes: "The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children."