Tuesday, November 21, 2006

selective service: ready for a draft

selective service: ready for a draftfrom cnn: Although Congress is unlikely to follow calls from a top Democrat to bring back the military draft, the United States does have a plan, if necessary, aimed at inducting millions of young men for service.

The Selective Service System, an agency independent of the Defense Department, says it's ready to respond quickly to any crisis that would threaten to overwhelm the current all-volunteer military.

"We're the fire department," said spokesman Pat Schuback at the service headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

"We're prepared to do the mission with whatever time period we're asked to do it in. Our current plan is 193 days and that was based on manpower analysis."

With an active list of more than 15 million names, Schuback said an estimated 93 percent of all men in the United States between 18 and 26 have registered for the Selective Service, as required by law.

Chris Baker, 20, of Decatur, Georgia, said he wouldn't support a draft under any circumstances.

"I don't believe it's right to send people who don't really want to go fight for the country," Baker said. "I probably wouldn't go, but I know that'd I have to go to jail for that. That's probably what I would do -- sit in jail."

But 25-year-old Donnie Deerman of West Blocton, Alabama, said he would feel obligated to participate in a military draft.

"I'd have to do it. My dad did two tours of duty for Vietnam and for this country," Deerman said. "I wouldn't want to leave my kids behind, but I wouldn't argue about it."

While U.S. commanders insist sending more U.S. troops is not the answer in Iraq, they concede they really couldn't maintain a much bigger force than the 150,000 deployed there now because the U.S. military is just too small.

Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, the Democrat who likely will head the powerful House Ways and Means Committee in the next congressional session, said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation" he plans to propose a new military draft next year.

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