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Journal Philip K Dickhead's Journal: USA: Military Draft System To Be Tested 6

WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2006(CBS/AP) The Selective Service System is making plans to test its draft machinery in case Congress and President Bush need it, even though the White House says it doesn't want to bring back the draft.

The agency is planning a comprehensive test -- not run since 1998 -- of its military draft systems, a Selective Service official said. The test itself would not likely occur until 2009.

At the direction of the White House, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Knoller, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson is making it clear he is not advocating the reinstatement of a military draft. He told a news conference that society would benefit from a return to the draft, but a few hours later, after the White House disavowed the remark, Nicholson issued a statement in line with administration policy. He said he strongly supports the all-volunteer military and does not support returning to a draft.

President Bush has repeatedly stated that the all-volunteer army would remain all-volunteer.

"We're kind of like a fire extinguisher. We sit on a shelf," Scott Campbell, the service's director for operations and chief information officer, said. "Unless the president and Congress get together and say, 'Turn the machine on' ... we're still on the shelf."

The administration has for years forcefully opposed bringing back the draft, and the White House said Thursday that policy has not changed and no proposal to reinstate the draft is being considered.

The "readiness exercise" would test the system that randomly chooses draftees by birth date and its network of appeal boards that decide how to deal with conscientious objectors and others who want to delay reporting for duty, Campbell said.

The Selective Service will start planning for the 2009 tests next June or July, although budget cuts could force the agency to cancel them, Campbell said.

President Bush said this week he is considering sending more troops to Iraq and has asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to look into adding more troops to the nearly 1.4 million uniformed personnel on active duty.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, increasing the Army by 40,000 troops would cost as much as $2.6 billion the first year and $4 billion after that. Military officials have said the Army and Marine Corps want to add as many as 35,000 more troops.

Recruiting new forces and retaining current troops is more complicated because of the unpopular war in Iraq. In recent years, the Army has accepted recruits with lower aptitude test scores.

In remarks to reporters, Nicholson recalled his own experience as a company commander in an infantry unit that brought together soldiers of different backgrounds and education levels "in the common purpose of serving."

Rep. Charles Rangel, a New York Democrat, plans to introduce a bill next year to reinstate the draft. House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi has said such a proposal would not be high on the Democratic-led Congress' priority list.

Hearst Newspapers first reported the planned test for a story sent to its subscribers for weekend use.

The military drafted people during the Civil War and both world wars and between 1948 and 1973. Reincorporated in 1980, the Selective Service System maintains a registry of 18-year-old men, but call-ups have not occurred since the Vietnam War.

©MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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USA: Military Draft System To Be Tested

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  • That the 20-30 year old set of potential draftees is now so mobile that US Mail is not sufficient to keep up with them for purposes of draft notification. The sad state of American Employment forces this to be so.
    • Time for a good ol' fashion roundup. I'm sure they can keep 'em in a couple of unused football stadiums while they're being processed. Maybe the next time there's a hurricane in New Orleans, they won't be so quick to let the refugees go before they are registered with selective service. Or we can just conscript those who have been quarantined with some previous unknown mysterious new disease. There's all sorts of ways to capture people and enslave them. And when being unemployed becomes a criminal offense,
      • You seem to be under some illusion that the federal government is competant enough to come up with such imaginative solutions. The (continued) existance of the Taliban and lack of ability to bring a crazy old man with a kidney condition living in a cave to justice would tend to argue against any competance in the military.
        • Oops. Forgot the smiley thingy. On the other hand, you may want to recalibrate your sarcasm detector. The last sentence should have been a dead give away. At the same time, I won't put it past them to do such a thing.
          • I wouldn't put it past them to order it done. Which is probably why I didn't detect the sarcasm. I just strongly doubt their ability to carry out such an order- especially given the way I can't even seem to keep track of where my friends live in the 10 years since high school. A few of them were even homeless in that period. Some of them with college degrees. People don't even keep in touch with their parents anymore, how the hell is the military going to find them?
            • the hell is the military going to find them?

              That's why the roundup. The military just needs warm bodies. They won't care who occupies it. They can find that out after they catch you. And it's even easier to capture homeless people...until they head for the hills.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.