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Old 11-19-2023, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Crooked Pennsylvania
1,296 posts, read 645,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Led Zeppelin View Post
QUOTE=Ralph_Kirk;66089894]It takes a specific kind of war to make a general draft worthwhile: A war that is at once low-tech, bloody, and extended. It takes a cannon-fodder war, such as Vietnam was.

The US spent 10 years in Vietnam with 55,000 dead, which required a draft. But the US spent 20 years in Afghanistan with 5,000 dead...and no draft needed.

The US is not going to fight another Vietnam-style cannon fodder war again that requires a general draft. Future wars will either be high-tech and extremely intense, but of duration too short to make a draft useful (it would take a year to put the first draftee into the field), or it will be a high-tech, low intensity war in which a general draft is not necessary.

What might happen, though, are small technical specialty drafts, such as the "doctor draft" that happened periodically during the Vietnam and Korean wars.



Vietnam was a 25 year effort that began with Truman - even if we didn't call it that for the first decades that it was a covert half-baked attempt by Truman/Eisenhower/Kennedy to stick a finger in the levee to stem the flood of dominos. The rest of SEATO left us holding the bag. But at least we showed up. Hope NATO doesn't wind up the same way ultimately.

Vietnam didn't require a draft. Necessitywas manufactured due to poor planning and general administration-level incompetence through the 50s. We chose to fight the war the way the British chose to fight us in the American Revolution, or the North started out fighting the Confederates. With similar results. Like the French at Dien Ben Phu, yuck yuck. But even Truman said "we can't win it". Defeatism from the outset by the civilian leadership was definitely an ominous signal, despite the lip service to dominos and democracy.

We fought Vietnam as a defensive war which, had we done it this way against the Axis in WW2, we would have lost miserably. Instead of taking it to the NV in Hanoi with all the power and technology at our disposal, we chose to try to duke it out in the jungles, squads and platoons defending the South against guerilla fighters with fanatical dedication who recognized no rules, while we did our best to alienate our own allies. We were scared of the Chinese jumping in supposedly. We required no commitment from the remainder of the SEATO pact to HONOR THEIR COMMITMENT. The French just abandoned us to the fight and withdrew. And then we did NOTHING to keep up constant pressure on Uncle Ho to give up. We just acted in spurts of commitment followed by stalemate.

End result: We had all but run the NVA out of the entire county when we gave up (sound familiar) on the "unwinnable war", pulled out willy nilly and then did our best to clean up the chaos piece meal and weasel out of the promises we made to the SV government that we would continue to supply them arms and money to fight alone. That was a disgraceful Congressional failure swept under the rug. We listen to the armchair quarterbacks itemized our "failures" in Vietnam but notice how they overlook the really awful things we did.

Like how we've already gotten past the chaos of the Afghan withdrawal; civilians falling off the C-17. And the people we left behind to the Taliban whims.

The USA has really developed a penchant for quitting and running away since the baby boomer years. It's sad. And it's also seldom mentioned by all the neocons and globalists wanting to warmonger every few years. And what's all the waffling gotten us? Our enemies STILL call us aggressors and imperialists bent on taking over the planet. Even as we run away and pay them off.[/quote]

Agreed. We lost 55-58000 of our best for NOTHING...
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Old 11-20-2023, 03:52 AM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
24,619 posts, read 9,446,498 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veritas Vincit View Post
In an actual major war eligible people would be 'voluntold' to join the military.
The reservists, yes. But any "draft" would lead to serious protests and social unrest. Even Russians protested their "mass mobilization" and Putin is trying to avoid any future ones.

Many of us are veterans, we served voluntarily, the average American citizen would not.

Even at the height of the Iraq/Afghan wars with plenty of motivation to "go fight to protect your freedom," there was no one being "voluntold" to go join. Politicians may be crazy, but they're not stupid.
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Old 11-20-2023, 05:29 AM
 
6,096 posts, read 3,338,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocko20 View Post
The reservists, yes. But any "draft" would lead to serious protests and social unrest. Even Russians protested their "mass mobilization" and Putin is trying to avoid any future ones.

Many of us are veterans, we served voluntarily, the average American citizen would not.

Even at the height of the Iraq/Afghan wars with plenty of motivation to "go fight to protect your freedom," there was no one being "voluntold" to go join. Politicians may be crazy, but they're not stupid.
The US Military conscripted 1.9 million troops over the course of the Vietnam War. Obviously, there was a huge amount of pushback from the young people who were affected. Protests all over the place.

But that was back when we actually had a free press, a free thinking media, who generated support for the protests to get them going.

We now have an MSM that is nothing more than state run TV. If we did bring back the draft, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, etc would all be saying how good this is for the country.

The only people that would be pushing back are Tucker Carlson and the usual cast of characters. I think young progressives would rather die in war than agree with Tucker Carlson, haha!
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Old 11-20-2023, 05:56 AM
 
28,666 posts, read 18,779,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WK91 View Post
The US Military conscripted 1.9 million troops over the course of the Vietnam War. Obviously, there was a huge amount of pushback from the young people who were affected. Protests all over the place.

But that was back when we actually had a free press, a free thinking media, who generated support for the protests to get them going.

We now have an MSM that is nothing more than state run TV. If we did bring back the draft, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, etc would all be saying how good this is for the country.

The only people that would be pushing back are Tucker Carlson and the usual cast of characters. I think young progressives would rather die in war than agree with Tucker Carlson, haha!
Generation Z is paying more attention to social media than the news outlets. Social media will be saying, "Eff, no." The salient point of this entire thread is that Generation Z does not want to fight for the United States.

Do you seriously think all the progressive voices that are currently pro-Palestinian are going to support going to war for the friend of Israel?
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Old 11-20-2023, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
6,791 posts, read 4,233,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocko20 View Post
The reservists, yes. But any "draft" would lead to serious protests and social unrest. Even Russians protested their "mass mobilization" and Putin is trying to avoid any future ones.

Many of us are veterans, we served voluntarily, the average American citizen would not.

Even at the height of the Iraq/Afghan wars with plenty of motivation to "go fight to protect your freedom," there was no one being "voluntold" to go join. Politicians may be crazy, but they're not stupid.
My definition of 'major war' might be different, but adventures in the Middle East or Asia don't really count as that. Iraq or Afghanistan weren't major wars. They would never have been fought with a draftee army (because they were far too controversial and questionable to begin with).

America really has only fought four major wars - the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WWI and WW2. A major war requires the full focus of a nation, economically, culturally, socially.

The Korean and Vietnam wars were interesting in that they were fought with draftee armies but they were also more of the 'imperial police action' variety where the military is used as simple muscle to achieve strategic foreign policy objectives. I think the problems with that kind of killed the post-war consensus in America and universal support of the military. Too many American deaths abroad because of 'global strategy' concerns.

But even during those wars, for much of America normal life basically continued. Consider that less than 10% of eligible individuals were actually drafted for Vietnam and of those only a certain % would ever see combat. War was background noise for a large % of the population even then.

The Gulf War of 1990/91 was basically designed as a significant military operation that would have the smallest possible effect on society at-large. That's part of why it was so popular. It was a quick, easy win and the wider public had no role other than cheerleader.

They thought Iraq II and Afghanistan was gonna be like that, but of course it turned out to be no easy wins given the unrealistic objectives. But even as they dragged on, the wars were really just another 'issue' that politicians and politically minded people argued about, but they didn't really affect most Americans' lives. The military at this point had become a significant but fairly strictly delineated subculture separate from the larger American public. The U.S. military was essentially just a large corporation and if you get a job there then you fight these wars. Otherwise it's of little relevance for people whether there's a war going on or not.

If you consider the steady growth of the use of 'remote control warfare' and the likely further escalation of AI-driven warfare in the next decade, the detachment of the larger public from the military is even more likely to grow. Politicians love a military that only requires a small number of 'pros' who consider their jobs to be mostly of a technical nature. But such use of military force can hardly be called a 'major war'.

A major war would require a major adversary that can bring significant technology *and* manpower to the field. There's not many countries or coalitions of countries that could pose such a challenge, but any such conflict would likely become quite existential. At that point, there would be no choice but to enforce emergency legislation that puts the entire country in service of the war effort. And yet a nuclear exchange could end it before it even really begins. So that makes it even more of a moot point.
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Old 11-20-2023, 08:12 AM
 
28,666 posts, read 18,779,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veritas Vincit View Post
My definition of 'major war' might be different, but adventures in the Middle East or Asia don't really count as that. Iraq or Afghanistan weren't major wars. They would never have been fought with a draftee army (because they were far too controversial and questionable to begin with).

America really has only fought four major wars - the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WWI and WW2. A major war requires the full focus of a nation, economically, culturally, socially.

The Korean and Vietnam wars were interesting in that they were fought with draftee armies but they were also more of the 'imperial police action' variety where the military is used as simple muscle to achieve strategic foreign policy objectives. I think the problems with that kind of killed the post-war consensus in America and universal support of the military. Too many American deaths abroad because of 'global strategy' concerns.
An important point is that the WWII draft merely continued through Korea and Vietnam. There was no break in the draft from WWII through Vietnam. There was never a new debate in Congress--with commensurate public discussion--of initiating a new draft. In fact, the existing draft was made less likely to affect the classes of people most likely to object. It was just a fact of life for the lower classes of those generations...until Vietnam deaths began piling up.

That's why it would be a considerable issue to re-impose a draft today. Not only has it been out of the experience of a couple of generations, but the issues of race, class, and gender would be issues that weren't even considerations in the past.

Quote:
If you consider the steady growth of the use of 'remote control warfare' and the likely further escalation of AI-driven warfare in the next decade, the detachment of the larger public from the military is even more likely to grow. Politicians love a military that only requires a small number of 'pros' who consider their jobs to be mostly of a technical nature. But such use of military force can hardly be called a 'major war'.

A major war would require a major adversary that can bring significant technology *and* manpower to the field. There's not many countries or coalitions of countries that could pose such a challenge, but any such conflict would likely become quite existential. At that point, there would be no choice but to enforce emergency legislation that puts the entire country in service of the war effort. And yet a nuclear exchange could end it before it even really begins. So that makes it even more of a moot point.
That relates to what I've said before. It's a particular kind of war that supports a general draft: A war that is long-duration, low-tech, and low-intensity...a cannon fodder war. The US is not going to fight that kind of war again.

If the US has an option of where, when, and how, we will choose to fight a high-tech, low-intensity war that doesn't require a draft. (Note: The Iraq invasion came to be a greater intensity than intended...remember that Rumsfeld sold the war on the assurance that it would be cheap and quick, employing no more than 50,000 troops for only a few months).

In a circumstance that the US has no option--which would only be with a technologically near-peer nation like Russia or China--that conflict would go existential quickly and would be concluded one way or another too soon for a draft to come into play.
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Old 11-20-2023, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
6,791 posts, read 4,233,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
In a circumstance that the US has no option--which would only be with a technologically near-peer nation like Russia or China--that conflict would go existential quickly and would be concluded one way or another too soon for a draft to come into play.


The question of how fast and complete nuclear escalation would be in such a scenario is intriguing. It's a possibility - technically - that both sides would reserve nuclear strikes for 'last resort' scenarios.



Consider the scenario of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. It would actually require all but collusion between the U.S. and China to avoid any U.S.-Chinese combat in the opening stages of that. With uncertainty around U.S. commitment, the Chinese would need to include elimination of any U.S. military elements in the vicinity as essential in their plans. Given the Navy typically has *something* in the South China Sea, there would almost certainly be hostilities.



If U.S. vessels are engaged and potentially destroyed by Chinese forces, it would then be all but impossible for the U.S. to step away from the situation. If the attack occurs *somehow* exactly when no U.S. naval presence is in the vicinity it would be almost certainly due to back channel communications leading to such a 'desirable' outcome. However, politically, a capitulation to China like that would be seen as a major defeat and embarrassment for any administration.


But at the same time, a President would likely be extremely reluctant to nuke Chinese cities and kill millions (while also inviting retaliation) because of it. So it's feasible that U.S. forces and the Chinese duke it out conventionally with both sides sitting on their nukes with certain 'red lines' being established.


Of course given that a conflict with China creates an instant economic crisis, other questions come into play. A national emergency would be immediately declared in the U.S.. Significant efforts would be made to shore up and protect trade routes with India and SE Asia. Would China act to disrupt trade activity there? The Philippines, Japan and Australia would likely support the U.S. war effort, but would China take strategic aggressive action vs those nations? If the Chinese invade the Philippines, it'd open a whole different can of worms. And yet the Chinese might say "we will not use nuclear weapons unless U.S. forces land on the Chinese mainland." Would a U.S. president use them if Chinese forces are landing in the Philippines?
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Old 11-20-2023, 11:00 AM
 
28,666 posts, read 18,779,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veritas Vincit View Post
The question of how fast and complete nuclear escalation would be in such a scenario is intriguing. It's a possibility - technically - that both sides would reserve nuclear strikes for 'last resort' scenarios.



Consider the scenario of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. It would actually require all but collusion between the U.S. and China to avoid any U.S.-Chinese combat in the opening stages of that. With uncertainty around U.S. commitment, the Chinese would need to include elimination of any U.S. military elements in the vicinity as essential in their plans. Given the Navy typically has *something* in the South China Sea, there would almost certainly be hostilities.



If U.S. vessels are engaged and potentially destroyed by Chinese forces, it would then be all but impossible for the U.S. to step away from the situation. If the attack occurs *somehow* exactly when no U.S. naval presence is in the vicinity it would be almost certainly due to back channel communications leading to such a 'desirable' outcome. However, politically, a capitulation to China like that would be seen as a major defeat and embarrassment for any administration.


But at the same time, a President would likely be extremely reluctant to nuke Chinese cities and kill millions (while also inviting retaliation) because of it. So it's feasible that U.S. forces and the Chinese duke it out conventionally with both sides sitting on their nukes with certain 'red lines' being established.


Of course given that a conflict with China creates an instant economic crisis, other questions come into play. A national emergency would be immediately declared in the U.S.. Significant efforts would be made to shore up and protect trade routes with India and SE Asia. Would China act to disrupt trade activity there? The Philippines, Japan and Australia would likely support the U.S. war effort, but would China take strategic aggressive action vs those nations? If the Chinese invade the Philippines, it'd open a whole different can of worms. And yet the Chinese might say "we will not use nuclear weapons unless U.S. forces land on the Chinese mainland." Would a U.S. president use them if Chinese forces are landing in the Philippines?
A Chinese landing on Luzon? I think the logistics would prove impossible for the Chinese to secure an invasion...the preparations would be obvious to surveillance and the amphibs would be too easily picked off by smart weapons from safe distances.

I'm sure there are modeling systems that have churned away at those various scenarios. I think at some early point--long before there is any consideration of a general draft--a China-US conflict will have reached a decision point of capitulation or extermination.

If the Chinese were to convince the US that all they want is Taiwan, and they'll go nuclear to get it (which is a tall, tall order even for them...hard to imagine that scenario), then I think the US would give up Taiwan rather than go nuclear even at the battlefield level. And, yes, that president's legacy would be ruined.

Bottom line: A general draft is for a cannon fodder war, and the US isn't going to fight any more cannon fodder wars.
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Old 11-20-2023, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
6,791 posts, read 4,233,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
A Chinese landing on Luzon? I think the logistics would prove impossible for the Chinese to secure an invasion...the preparations would be obvious to surveillance and the amphibs would be too easily picked off by smart weapons from safe distances.

I'm sure there are modeling systems that have churned away at those various scenarios. I think at some early point--long before there is any consideration of a general draft--a China-US conflict will have reached a decision point of capitulation or extermination.

If the Chinese were to convince the US that all they want is Taiwan, and they'll go nuclear to get it (which is a tall, tall order even for them...hard to imagine that scenario), then I think the US would give up Taiwan rather than go nuclear even at the battlefield level. And, yes, that president's legacy would be ruined.

Bottom line: A general draft is for a cannon fodder war, and the US isn't going to fight any more cannon fodder wars.

I don't think our positions are actually opposed in any significant way. If a major war requiring a draft is not going to occur then it is even more irrelevant if 80% of the people wouldn't want to fight in another war.
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Old 11-20-2023, 12:25 PM
 
28,666 posts, read 18,779,066 times
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Originally Posted by Veritas Vincit View Post
I don't think our positions are actually opposed in any significant way. If a major war requiring a draft is not going to occur then it is even more irrelevant if 80% of the people wouldn't want to fight in another war.
We're not opposed.
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