22 November 2004

Can You Feel the Draft...?

Hmmm! What happened to that oft repeated campaign promise?


Government Looking at Military Draft Lists

The Monitor

McALLEN, November 15, 2004 — It's taken one year, seven months and 19 days of combat in Iraq for the Lone Star State to lose 100 of its own.

Texas is the second state, after California, to lose 100 service
members, according to The Associated Press.

With continuing war in Iraq and U.S. armed forces dispersed to so many other locations around the globe, Americans may be wondering if
compulsory military service could begin again for the first time since
the Vietnam War era.

The Selective Service System (SSS) and the U.S. Department of
Education now are gearing up to compare their computer records, to
make sure all men between the ages of 18 and 25 who are required to
register for a military draft have done so.

The SSS and the education department will begin comparing their lists
on Jan. 1, 2005, according to a memo authored by Jack Martin, acting
Selective Service director.

While similar record checks have been done periodically for the past
10 years, Martin's memo is dated Oct. 28, just a few days before the
Nov. 2 presidential election, a hard-fought campaign in which the
question of whether the nation might need to reinstate a military
draft was raised in debates and on the stump.

It took several more days, until Nov. 4, for the document to reach the
Federal Register, the official daily publication for rules and notices
of federal agencies and organizations.

The memo was also produced after the U.S. House voted 402-2 on Oct. 5,
against House Resolution 163, a bill that would have required all
young people, including women, to serve two years of military service.

Under federal law, a military draft cannot be started without
congressional support.

About 94 percent of all men are properly registered for a draft,
according to Richard Flahavan, associate director of the office of
public and intergovernmental affairs for SSS.

Martin's memo is just a routine thing, Flahavan said.

"Back in 1982 a federal law was passed that basically linked federal
grants, student loans and federal assistance to students with
Selective Service," Flahavan said. "You had to register with Selective
Service with a Social Security number (in order to receive federal
assistance), and as a consequence of the law the Department of
Education came up with an agreement on how to exchange and compare data to comply with the law.

"It just so happens that the current agreement in effect expires next
month," Flahavan said. "All we did is update the agreement slightly,
but it has no substantive changes. There is nothing new or shocking to
link this to some type of draft right around the corner because its
all been in place for almost 18 years."

Flahavan said the written agreements between SSS and the Department of Education normally run for about four or five years and suggested that a reporter search the 1999 or 2000 records of the Federal Register for the most agreement.

A search of the Federal Register by The Monitor found four such
agreements between the two agencies, with effective dates as follows: Jan. 1, 1995; July 1, 1997; Jan. 1, 2000; and July 1, 2002.

All four agreements lasted for 18 months, during which time the SSS
and the Department of Education could complete their comparisons.

The most recent agreement, which began July 1, 2002, actually expired
Jan. 1, 2004, according to federal records located by The Monitor.

"This has nothing to with current events," Flahavan said. "This is
just the periodic renewal of previous agreements — this one is 18
months but normally it runs four years and that's why we're doing it
now. I'm not quite sure why it's 18 months versus the normal number of years."

Flahavan said the agency was required to place the agreement in the
Federal Register.

"That's fine and we did," Flahavan said. "We believe the public
wouldn't stand for a draft that isn't fair and equitable.

"And the only way to be fair and equitable is if everyone who should
register is registered, because that's the pool from which the people
who would be drafted would be selected from. So you want everyone who should be in the pot in the pot," Flahavan said.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, who officially begins representing
western Hidalgo County residents in January, said Congress has voted
on record against a draft.

"It was a near unanimous vote in the House," Doggett said. "When
things are filed in the Federal Register, there will be standards, and
they are a reminder that if we cannot get more international
participation that the risk of a draft remains out there.

"And I think we do need people to remain watchful of this

Doggett said one type of "draft" was already being used by the

"I'm concerned that a very real form of the draft is there now for
those already in the service," Doggett said. "People are being forced
to stay in beyond their commitment, and that's an indication of being

"I want us to pursue policies that don't overextend us and involve
more international participation, so that Americans don't have to do
all the dying and endure all the pain for these international
activities," Doggett said.

Flahavan said the computer records check would help Selective Service
with its compliance rates.

"From 1999 to 2000, it was dropping about a percent a year," Flahavan said. "It's now inching back up about a percent a year. Last year it was 93 percent.

"At the end of 2004 we anticipate about a 94 percent compliance rate," Flahavan said. "We're pleased we've got it back on the rise and that's where we want to keep it — that's our goal."

Draft Gear Up?
Who Has To Register?
All male U.S. citizens and male aliens living in the U.S. between the
ages of 18 and 25 Dual nationals of the U.S. and another country, regardless of where they live.

Young men who are in prison or mental institutions do not have to regsiter while they are committed, but must do so if they are released and not reached age 26.

Disabled men who live at home and can move about indiependently.

Contrary to popular belief, only sons and the last son to carry a
family name must register and they can be drafted.

What Happens In A Draft
Congress would likely approve a military draft in a time of crisis, in
which the mission requires more troops than are in the volunteer
military. Selective Service procedures would treat married men or those with children the same as single men. The first men to be called up will be those whose 20th birthday falls during that year, followed by those age 21, 22, 23,24 and 25. The last men to be called are 18 and 19 years of age.

Historical Facts

The last man to be drafted was in June 1973.
Number of Drafted for WWI : 2.8 million
Number of Drafted for WWII: 10 million
Number of Drafted for the Korean War: 1.5 million
Number of Drafted for the Vietnam War: 1.8 million
Source: Selective Service System


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